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Lit Mag FAQ

Moot Point Magazine is led with the intent to make writing accessible to as wide an audience as possible. And we are especially interested in publishing those from nontraditional writing backgrounds. Too much of the writing industry demands wealth, unpaid labor, and ass kissing. Between the four founding editors, we have 0 MFA’s (though our poetry editor is currently a candidate at Columbia University’s MFA program.)

This is a resource for those who are at an earlier stage in their writing career, or are just beginning to submit to literary magazines. We want to create the resources that would’ve been invaluable to us, that we don’t think are worth debt.

How do I find more lit mags?

There are literary magazines everywhere. From the giant names to friend-run passion projects. While there are no all-encompassing databases, a great place to start is chill subs. Chill subs is a database designed to be easy-to-navigate. You can browse for lit mags using filters like genres they accept, their “vibe,” if they are open for submissions, if they offer paid acceptances, and more. We all use it and think it’s a great place to start learning about more lit mags.

Submittable is another great place to discover open submission calls from literary magazines. This is a staple if you are serious about submitting your work.

Twitter is a great place to keep up with lit mags and journals. There is a large community under #writingcommunity, or you could follow us @mootpointmag and discover mags that we follow or interact with. Also in bios, it’s not uncommon for writers to list their places pieces.

Why submit my work, why not wait for it to be published as a book?

You do not have to submit your work! Though we believe literary magazines are a vital part of the writing community. As a writer, publishing in a literary journal connects you to a community of like-writers—your peers! It is a great way to meet up-and-coming writers and read pieces from your favs between books. Also, if your goal is to be published in a collection, typically some of the stories are previously published. Publishing in lit mags is also how you are nominated for prizes, and how you can catch the eyes of agents or potential mentors.

We also want to state that volunteering at a literary magazine can be invaluable. On the other side of a mag, you see all of the submissions that can come in. You spend time reading and honing your editorial skills.

I have never been published. What’s a cover letter?

A cover letter is how you introduce your piece to the editors. An example:

Dear Leia Bradley,

I am submitting my 2 poems entitled “Duck’s” and “Row,” at 450 and 300 words respectively. This is a simultaneous submission and I will withdraw my work if accepted elsewhere.



AJ is a writer from Atlanta. Her work has been published in Examples Magazine.

  • A cover letter should be addressed to the editor, you can check this on the mag’s website

    • This is also a great way to check out the mag and see if your piece is a good fit

  • It’s a good idea to give the word count of the pieces you are submitting. You can also give any backstory to the pieces that you think is relevant

  • A simultaneous submission is a piece that you are submitting to multiple literary magazines at once. This is standard in the literary world, but if your piece is accepted, please withdraw it from other magazines. It’s viewed as a common courtesy, because once a piece is offered acceptances, it’s expected to be placed there.

  • Often a cover letter ends in a short, third-person biography. If you have literary publications, degrees, or other experience, this is the place to put it. However, if you are brand new, it’s totally alright to give a short statement! There is no wrong way to write your bio.

If I am rejected from a magazine, should I submit again?

Yes! For our venue and many lit mags, rejections are not a bad thing. Unfortunately, there are only so many pieces that can be published at each magazine. A rejection does not mean you should give up. Keep submitting, keep reading the magazine, and who knows what can happen one day!

What if I write sci-fi/horror/romance?

You still have a place in the lit mag community! There are many magazines that are specific to a certain genre (genre meaning anything that isn’t “literary fiction”). Of course, genre and literary fiction overlap in a lot of ways. The best way to know is to check what the editors enjoy and by reading what the magazine has previously published. If a magazine has never published any sci-fi pieces, and everything is hyper-realist and literary, it might be best to redirect your attention to other spaces.


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