What’s Your (Literary) Sign?

Here at CLMP, we’re feeling excited about what the new year has to offer: events and initiatives, opportunities to make change, and more great reading from a diversity of voices and publishing perspectives. In fact, there’s so much fantastic literature out there, sometimes it can be hard to know where to spend your time and attention!

In 2018, we suggest that you discover (or rediscover) the magic of the little magazine. Lit mags remain at the vanguard of literary experimentation, radical political thought, and self expression. New lit mags appear in the marketplace every year, while those many of us know and love continue to publish phenomenal literature.

To help you bond with a new lit mag this year, we’ve composed this handy-dandy zodiac-inspired guide. You can’t subscribe to every periodical out there. So what better way to choose than by following the stars?


Aquarius (January 20 – February 18): Boston Review

Aquarius, star child of the zodiac and lover of intellectual conversation, you embody progressive ideals and independent thought. Your perfect lit mag “believe[s] in the power of collective reasoning and imagination to create a more just world.” It’s the Boston Review! Your natural Aquarius ability to consider multiple perspectives and engage in deep thought meshes well with the Boston Review’s love for “robust discussion of ideas and culture,” making this journal your perfect next read.

Aries (March 21 – April 19): Black Warrior Review

Your determination, confidence, and passion as an Aries make you an unstoppable force to be reckoned with. As the “oldest continuously-run literary journal produced by graduate students in the United States,” Black Warrior Review knows its stuff, and has cultivated the work of future Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winners. With your energy and strong will as an Aries, Black Warrior Review should be on the top of your magazine list.

Cancer (June 21 – July 22): Fourth Genre

As a Cancer, you are tenacious and staunch, imaginative and loyal, able to face adversity head-on and emerge unscathed. An authoritative nonfiction journal, Fourth Genre publishes work that is “lyrical, self-interrogative, meditative, and reflective,” but that is also “expository, analytical, exploratory, or whimsical.” Fourth Genre’s dependability mixed with their inventive approach to nonfiction makes this lit mag a perfect fit for you.

Capricorn (December 22 – January 19): Prairie Schooner

There is no one more responsible or disciplined than a Capricorn, and their dedication shows through in their quality work. Prairie Schooner strives to be “home to the best fiction, poetry, essays, and reviews being published today,” and has achieved widespread literary acclaim in their 85 years of existence (including winning CLMP’s 2017 Firecracker Award for General Excellence!). As a lover of tradition and quality, Prairie Schooner is your perfect lit mag.

Gemini (May 21 – June 20): The Believer & McSweeney’s

The tricky twins of Gemini! Your curious nature and adaptability make you shine in your creative pursuit for knowledge and experiences. With their distinctively cheeky and satirical voice, McSweeney’s excels in their goal to “challenge conventional expectations” of literature. Your sharp wit and rejection of the mundane matches perfectly with McSweeney’s, while your social side will be satisfied by the in-depth and novel non-fiction of The Believer.

Leo (July 23 – August 22): River Styx

The quintessential fire sign, Leos are creative and passionate with a flair for the dramatic. As the fearless leader of the St. Louis arts community, River Styx magazine connotes “energy, accessibility, humor, wit, and a spirit of inclusiveness.” Like you, River Styx’s confidence and natural leadership draws people in and holds them captive, making them your perfect lit mag.

Libra (September 23 – October 22): ZYZZYVA

As a Libra, you are fun, artistic, and intelligent, able to view problems and situations from multiple perspectives. With ZYZZYVA, “every issue is a vibrant mix of established talents and new voices.” This makes ZYZZYVA a perfect read because, like you, this magazine values vivacity and intellect no matter the source.

Pisces (February 19 – March 20): Fence

Altruistic, gentle, and wise, Pisces are on a never-ending quest to make the world a better place. Fence, a journal of prose and poetry, seeks to “redefine the terms of accessibility” and “to encourage writing that might otherwise have difficulty being recognized.” Your tolerance paired with Fence’s mission to bridge divides makes this experimental magazine a fantastic choice.

Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21): Epiphany

Generous and idealistic, you, dear Sagittarius, are as open-minded and optimistic as they come. No matter the genre, Epiphany appreciates artistry and a unique vision: “We are especially open to writers whose explorations of new territory may not yet have found validation elsewhere.” As a Sagittarius, your magnanimity and love for big thinking make Epiphany your ideal periodical companion.

Scorpio (October 23 – November 21): Crazyhorse

Never underestimate a Scorpio! Resourceful, assertive, and decisive, as a Scorpio you know how to weather the storm and take obstacles in stride. In their almost 60 year history, Crazyhorse has had to redesign and adapt to new university settings, but their impressive list of Guggeinheim and National Endowment for the Arts fellows proves nothing can stop this “premier venue” for new writing. Your resilient Scorpio nature matches seamlessly with that of Crazyhorse’s, making this mag your literary soul mate.

Taurus (April 20 – May 20): The Gettysburg Review

Tauruses are responsible and stable, known to appreciate the finer things in life. The Gettsyburg Review has a long-standing tradition of “publishing the very best contemporary poetry, fiction, essays, essay-reviews, and art.” As a Taurus, your practicality and keen eye for quality will appreciate the devoted and discerning team at The Gettysburg Review, your dream magazine.

Virgo (August 23 – September 22): The Literary Review

Virgos are trusted members of their communities, and are often sought out for their sage advice and overall excellence. The Literary Review is a “genuine community” that strives to “read with an open, discerning mind, and to publish carefully and vigorously.” TLR’s reliability and commitment to literary excellence makes this magazine your ideal match.

—Juliann Nelson

Interested in teaching with literary magazines? Check out our Lit Mag Adoption program, where you can get discounted lit mag subscriptions for students, and have lit mag editors and publishers make virtual visits to your classroom.