Just as technology has enabled so many authors to easily publish their books, it has also allowed writers to more easily establish and curate their own lit mags, either online or in print, via the same means that self-published authors use.
Whether creating print-on-demand zines, self-designed and distributed mini-ebooks–indie arts and literary journals are cropping up all over the internet, helping writers and designers to flourish along the way.
We invite you to check out nine of our favorites below.
Love her or hate her, you can’t deny that Lena Dunham has already accomplished a lot in her life.
With an award-winning television series and a controversial memoir already behind her (pubbed through traditional channels) she launched, along with Jenni Konner, an email newsletter called Lenny–a self-published, venture covering feminism, style, health, politics, friendship–late last year.
Crowdfunded on Kickstarter, Uncanny Magazine features science fiction and fantasy.
The magazine is published digitally in various formats, but most unique is its monthly podcast that samples of content from each issue—perfect for the workout or commute!
If you dream of exploring fantastic worlds, check out this magazine.
Encouraging readers to “follow the trail,” Breadcrumbs is part journal, part collaborative art project.
Each submission—or “crumb”—takes its inspiration from a preceding piece. Appropriate to the journal’s name, each piece is bite-sized at just 500 to 1,500 words—a nice read for the commute or some down time.
You might have once heard of HTMLGiant, a hip lit blog and online journal running from 2008-2014. The site’s closing was a sad affair, but now a successor site by the name of Dark Fucking Wizard has taken its place.
The site features a varied selection of experimental work by authors such as Blake Butler, Brooks Sterritt, Ken Baumann, Ana Carrete and more, committed to forward-thinking and strange work you won’t find anywhere else.
If you like creative nonfiction, you’ll want to pick up an issue of Under the Gum Tree. It’s a “micro-magazine” featuring seven to ten nonfiction stories and essays, including photo essays.
The work inside is often raw and vulnerable, living up to the journal’s slogan, “tell stories without shame.”
Published by Rowan University’s Master of Arts in Writing program, Glassworks takes its name from the rich history of glassworking in the university’s community. The publication can be read online or in print, and features poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction and even essays on craft. You’ll also find some Pushcart Prize nominees within its pages, too!
Feminine Inquiry is a literary and arts journal dedicated to marginalized and underrepresented voices.
As a feminist zine, the work you’ll find inside sheds some light on perspectives that a lot of us don’t encounter enough in traditional, mainstream media. Can’t wait for the next issue? No worries—check out their blog in the meantime, which is updated regularly.
Turk’s Head Review is a hybrid sort of journal; for the newest stuff, you’ll want to follow their blog of just-published writing and art. But on an annual basis, the journal releases a print compilation of the year’s best material.
It’s a nice approach to publishing that fits the social media-saturated way that so many of us consume media.
Little Fiction is an interesting concept; it’s not really a journal or magazine, but operates similarly by regularly featuring short works.
Short stories and creative nonfiction are each published as their own small ebooks to be read on any digital device (you can read in a web browser, too). It’s a fun kind of digital library—where every story is free!