literary journals for women

Five Female-Run Journals To Read and Submit To

It can be intimidating to be a female poet. In a literary landscape where journals more frequently publish men and where the obnoxious Guy In Your MFA archetype appears in seemingly every workshop, women poets often face more towering rates of imposter syndrome and burnout. To put it simply: We all know sexism is real, and the literary world can seriously compound it. Whether it’s online harassment from male readers, a shelf bearing only men’s names at your local bookstore, or a pushy, misogynist professor, the forces telling women poets not to carve out space for ourselves can feel insurmountable. 


One way to fight back is to support women-led workshops, writing programs, poetry slams, and presses. Specifically, change-making literary journals and magazines can help amplify diverse female voices. The next time your gender makes you feel stuck, transform it into your superpower. Read and share your work with these award-winning publications staffed by women writers.


Pleiades: Literature in Context

@pleiadesmag on Twitter

Founded in 1981 at the University of Central Missouri, Pleiades has grown into an international journal that features stories, essays, reviews, and poems. Poets Jenny Molberg, a National Endowment for the Arts recipient who most recently authored Refusal, a collection about women in healing, and Erin Adair-Hodges, whose book Let’s All Die Happy won the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize, serve as co-editors. Poet Taneum Bambrick works as the editor of reviews. Previously featured poets include Mary Jo Bang, Victoria Chang, and Rebecca Hazelton.


Pleiades: Literature in Context seeks online submissions of three to five poems from Dec. 1 to Jan. 1. The journal publishes biannually.


Slice Magazine

@SliceMagazine on Twitter

SLICE asserts the goal of “educating and nurturing emerging writers.” They publish stories, essays, and poetry, with a different theme surrounding each issue. Recently, an issue explored the concept of “Borders and Flight.” Freelance writer Elizabeth Blachman serves as editor-in-chief, and Academy of American Poets prize winner Courtney Faye Taylor is the assistant poetry editor. SLICE has published Rosebud Ben-Oni and Leah Umansky.


SLICE’s reading period typically ranges from Oct. 1 to Dec. 1, with the theme for next submission season still unannounced. Poets can submit five pieces and will receive $100 if accepted.


Longleaf Review

@longleafreview on Twitter

Online journal Longleaf Review describes itself as a publisher of “fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry—all of it weird.” Kate Finegan, who recently released a poetry chapbook called The Size of Texas from Penrose Press, is the editor-in-chief. Armenian-American writer Adelina Sarkisyan works as the poetry editor.


Longleaf has pledged with feminist literary organization VIDA’s #saferLIT campaign, publicly declaring they will not accept submissions deemed anti-Semitic, racist, sexist, transphobic, Islmaphobic, or homophobic. Submissions for the Summer 2020 issue open in May, and accepted poets can expect to receive $20 per published piece.



@memoriousmag on Twitter

Rebecca Morgan Frank heads Memorious, an online journal active since 2004. Frank has published three collections of poetry, as well as published work in The New Yorker and Ploughshares. The magazine has featured poets Emily Rosko and Sandra Lim.

Memorious should open for submissions soon.


Bone Bouquet

@Bone_Bouquet on Twitter

Bone Bouquet publishes print issues of work by female and non-binary poets biannually. Krystal Languell, Deputy Director of Administration at the Poetry Foundation, serves as editor-in-chief. 


Poetry submissions to Bone Bouquet are currently closed, but the magazine always considers reviews of poetry collections.

Need new words to submit? Check out Read Poetry’s guide on how to write a women’s empowerment poem.