Magazines For Writers You've Probably Never Heard Of
There’s a world of hidden magazine gems.
And they are way riskier than the classic—but always excellent—The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, and The Atlantic. The risk is to read something unique, actually.
I’ve put together a spicy selection of magazines for writers. I hope it will inspire you!
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Warm-up: Two Must-Reads
If you know them already, move on to the list of rare gems below-er.
1 - Granta
A magazine founded in 1889 that published 27 laureates of the Nobel Prize in Literature — Granta is the read you don’t want to miss!
I’d need a whole article for its story alone. All you want to know for now is that each themed issue is packed with the world’s best writers—Nobel laureates, debut novelists, investigative journalists — a vibrant range.
2 - The White Review
Launched in 2011, The White Review is an art/lit quarterly, in print and online, and based in London.
They say about it:
“Sumptuous…a list of contributors growing in stature much like the publication itself.”
— The New York Times
“One of the best magazines in Europe.”
— Hans Ulrich Obrist
…or my personal favourite:
— The Paris Review
Find a cosy diversity of content, from essays and long-form interviews to poetry and fine art.
Rare Gems (You’ve Probably Never Heard Of)
Gem #1 - Civilization
Civilization is just beautiful and strange.
One of its key characteristics is the massive word count: there’s a lot to read — and to understand! The format is old, but everything else feels like fresh air.
“We need publications like this: excellently produced by some of the best magazine makers, using an absurdly outdated format, and maintaining a unique editorial position. Here’s a quick flick through some highlights from the issue.”
Based in New York, long articles, sharp tone — you’ll love it!
Gem #2 - Isolarii
Isolarii is just absurdly…cool.
Here what the editors write to explain the mag:
“The humanism of the past five hundred years is dead.
Believing man was exceptional, it opened the abyss of extinction. A new approach is needed to re-enchant the world and establish the commonality of all life on Earth. This is not just the task of politics and philosophy. It requires the effort of all those who tear down convention in order to preserve what is meaningful. That is, the preservation not just of environments, but myth, irrationality, autonomy, and joy—whether by direct or poetic means. New islands—of thought, literature, art—are already emerging. They are the necessary minimum for this re-beginning. We find these points of orientation, mapping a scattered community that spans continents and disciplines. To represent a world of many worlds, not a globe. Our books revive the extinct genre of the same name—the ‘island books’ that emerged at the start of the Renaissance. Bound together were poems, stories, and artworks—each a supposed island, a space that held a singular idea. (…)”
Each book is a ready-to-hand island. Together, they are a growing archipelago—islands from which to view the world anew.
Gem #3 - Somesuch Stories
Somesuch Stories is an annual print literary magazine packed with essays and short stories.
You’ll find original insights into contemporary experiences of culture, nature, sex, spirituality, identity, and society. A lot of stuff!
“It exists to champion unique voices; engender curiosity; enhance our understanding of fellow humans – and to entertain, of course.”
Ambitious and quite attractive.
Gem #4 - The Analog Sea Review
The Analog Sea Review is a poetry-and-in-print-only magazine from Austin and Freiburg.
You’ll notice that they barely have a website: a brave and frankly interesting choice.
“Analog Sea is an offline publisher of printed books. Our titles can be found in many independent bookshops worldwide.”
But you know what? I love it.
It gives me all the vibes of a real tiny treasure: something you only read if you are a true aficionado.
Gem #5 - The Moth
Founded in 2010, The Moth is a quarterly printed art/lit magazine featuring poetry, short fiction and art, both by established and up-and-coming writers.
“What I like most about The Moth is its formal elegance … net-chock-full, as they say, of the finest belles-lettres: not to mention incisive interviews to equal The Paris Review.”
It’s an elegant house for art, literature and poetry.
And it’s also our last rare gem for today.
I trust nothing. Especially magazines! And maybe that's why I love them so much.
See you next Wednesday,