The Bombay Literary Magazine

Type Of Organization
Mission Statement / Editorial Focus
About Page: We are building a city. It will be a great city, a maximum city, a city built entirely out of possibility's raw materials: the written and the unwritten. We have been building this city for eight years and fifty issues and 263,000+ words, but looking upon the work, we see we have barely started. We are about this city. As with all great cities, this one also invites strangeness and surprise and the sense of being immersed in vastness no matter how small the encounter. It invites courage and boldness. Surrounded by ruin and heritage, it invites those who would start over. Those who would deny their identities, affirm it, reform it or take flight into unrecognizability altogether. Nothing is so important to this city that it cannot be ordinary. Nothing is so ordinary that it is unimportant. As you must have gathered by now, we care about the written word. Indeed, we are about showcasing how good writing is its own reason to be. Writers write for other reasons as well. A story or a poem may be written to be studied in seminars, sold in airports, advance social causes, challenge literature, give voice to the powerless, flatter the powerful, or test the limits of the reader's patience. We have no quarrel or preference regarding motives. However, we like to think about how something is written, not simply what it is about, or why it was written, or who wrote it, or which genre it belongs to. The how of this process is deeply linked to the what and why and where, and it is this relationship that fascinates us. We therefore publish writing that affect us as readers and writers. But what exactly is "good" writing? Regrettably, we can no more define this quality with many names than we could define the word "Bombay". The temptation to draw up criteria is hard to resist. But resist we will. What exists in relation is best left to misrecognition and discovery. We pay our builders, our beloved writers who come to work their art. Thanks to a generous grant from The Kolam Collective, we offer a honorarium of Rs. 5,000 (approx. $65) for their contributions. We do not know you, dear Visitor, but such is this City, we may nevertheless be friends. Look around, stay, and if you are so inclined, come, help us build.

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Primary Editor/Contact Person
Anil Menon
Contact Title
Submissions Policy
We welcome submissions in poetry, essays, reviews and fiction from around the world. We enjoy working with polyphonic, eclectic styles and distinct narrative voices. We encourage you to take chances; after all, this is not open heart surgery. Our primary focus is on the text, not the author's reputation or their experience. The Bombay Literary publishes three issues a year. Our reading periods are the months of January-February, May-June, and September-October (inclusively). GUIDELINES * Please send all submissions to [email protected] * All submissions must be previously unpublished. * Please write a cover letter in the body of your email, including a short third-person bio note. * Fiction/essay/review submissions should be between 2000-7000 words. * For poetry submissions, please send 3-5 poems at a time. Please do not send us a single poem; we want to understand your range and style through a substantial sample. * We accept simultaneous submissions. However, please write to us immediately if your work has been selected elsewhere. * We may take up to two months to respond. In the unlikely event that you haven’t heard from us after three months, please do write to us with a query email. * If your submission has not been accepted, please wait for a period of six months before submitting again. FAQs 1) Do you accept translations? Yes, we accept translations in English as long as the translator has acquired translation rights/permission from the author. If selected, the piece will be credited with the author’s and the translator’s names. 2) Do you accept submissions in languages other than English? No. We are primarily an English-language based literary magazine. 3) Do you accept international submissions? Yes. We encourage submissions from authors of all nationalities and ethnicities. We particularly encourage submissions from underrepresented communities. 4) What are your submission periods? We follow a ternary publications schedule. We accept submissions in the months of Jan-Feb, May-June, and Sept-October. Our issues appear in the months of April, August and December. 5) Do you accept genre fiction? Yes, we accept fiction in all genres, so long as it meets our literary standards. 6) My work is previously published on my personal blog or social media pages. Is that okay? No, it is not. We publish contributions that have not appeared earlier either online or in print. 7) Can I publish my work elsewhere after it is published at TBLM? Yes. We will ask for some basic digital rights to display your work on our website indefinitely, and exclusive rights for a year. You own the copyright to your work. If you would like a copy of the contract that we ask our authors to sign, send a request to [email protected] 8) I am under 18 years of age. Will you publish my work? We do not have any upper or lower age limits. However, almost all our contributors have been adults. 9) Do you pay for selected pieces? Yes. We pay a flat rate of Rs. 5,000 (approx. $63) for a contribution (short story, graphic short, three poems, essay, review).
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