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Top Publishers for the Underrepresented

For many communities, representation creates a significant roadblock to publication. This is evident with many literary magazines and journals that lack diversity in their editorial review boards as well as the audience. Publishers are only willing to invest time into works that their reading community has historically taken an interest in reading. Conversely, there are many journals and publishers who are reevaluating representation and turning inward to get a more expansive readership by zeroing in on topics that are further reaching. Black voices, Brown experiences, Queer lives, Gender representation, identity, faith, and relationship dynamics are storylines that cross into everyday life for all of us in one way or another. Readers want to see themselves reflected in the words they read and have grown bored of the same ideologies in both Fiction and Narrative Nonfiction. Vanilla may be the most popular ice cream flavor, but readership suffers when its all that gets served. For that reason, more literary magazines are seeking inclusivity.

The following list consists of publishers and journals with more representation from historically underrepresented communities. Not only diverse on bylines and selection committees, but these publishers have also developed content for an audience of consistently curious readers.

Frontier Poetry Recognition, acceptance, and encouragement are the holy trinity for a poet, and Frontier Poetry welcomes all. They have a mission to expand the conversion beyond the lines that attempt to divide and define us, so each emerging writer who challenges old ideas are encouraged to find a seat at the table.

Seven Stories Press This progressive publisher seeks to amplify voices that focus on human, social, and political rights issues that are literary, nonfiction, or an amalgamation of both. This small independent publishing house has a rich history of publishing voices that have been turned away by larger publishers, and they do not shy away from controversial ideas.

Muzzle Contrary to its name, Muzzle seeks to instead provide volume to the voices behind the stories that often get ignored. An exciting publication of thoughtful contributors, this publication is deserving of more attention from aspiring writers who have something new to add to the ongoing conversation about identity and representation. With a varying window for Poetry and Book Review Submissions, Muzzle accepts submissions via Submittable.

Lit Magazine The New School MFA Creative Writing Program publishes this competitive biannual literary magazine. With a global perspective, this journal publishes perspective writing in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction that tackles the most relevant issues impacting humanity. Respectfully curated with delicately direct work, Lit strives to compile a variety of writing for a variety of readers.

aaduna Established in 2010, aaduna is the epitome of diversity and inclusion that aims to support emerging artists fully. Representation matters as seen within the diverse staff who have worked in the academic community for years, supporting those who seek to grow as artists while learning how to improve their craft. Though a smaller publisher, the advantage with this group is the commitment to community and growth are paramount. Here, you have a support system that is collaborative-driven and strives to "lessen the distance between audience and the creative person."

Arcturus Without a restriction on content, the only requirement Arcturus has for prospective contributors is fresh ideas. The Chicago Review of Books presents this online literary magazine committed to hybrid fiction, poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction from a varied point of view. Not as culturally or racially diverse as the other above mentioned publishers, this group does seek new perspectives on issues more closely related to LGBTQIA+ community.


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