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Talking Writing is an online literary magazine that supports writers and those interested in literature by encouraging creative discussion of the writing process.
Talking Writing features the work of poets, fiction and creative nonfiction writers, visual artists, and photographers. TW includes long reviews and personal essays, pieces that are often hard to place in print. We are committed to a new kind of magazine, one that’s dynamic, talky, inspiring, and not too dusty.
Fall 2013: Distraction
How do you stay focused on your writing?
For our fall issue, TW seeks essays about the many ways writers get distracted. Sample topics: social media addiction, teaching vs. writing, the benefits of multitasking. Feel free to query us first.
Submission Deadline: June 24, 2013
Holiday 2013: Writing and Faith
How do you tackle life’s Big Questions?
During the holiday season, TW will examine why writing is such a powerful tool for soul searching, creating meaning, and defining one’s spiritual beliefs. Feel free to query us first.
Submission Deadline: September 9, 2013
Open Call: Short Stories and Flash Fiction
Talking Writing is looking for terrific, character-driven fiction. We’re currently filling TW’s spring and fall 2013 fiction slots.
“In general, we shy away from genre stories,” says TW Fiction Editor David Cameron. “But if your piece about alien abductions or mutant teenage succubi brings us deep into the desires and inner conflicts of your main character and provides the reader a rich experience of the human condition, then bring it on.”
We want high-quality writing and good ideas—think pieces, long reviews, writerly musings, and other work that is losing ground in many magazine pages and mainstream media outlets. We review unsolicited manuscripts. TW editors also solicit work from established authors, poets, and visual artists.
We prefer to publish work that has not appeared elsewhere. Occasionally we re-post work from an author’s blog or another journal, but this must be negotiated in advance. Once a piece has appeared in TW and that issue has been archived, writers are free to republish their work—as long as they credit Talking Writing as the original source.
At the present time, we are unable to pay writers or artists for the work we publish. But TW editors do work directly with writers to ensure the quality of their pieces. We also insert links to writers’ blogs, artists’ online portfolios, and other promotional sites.
TW accepts unsolicited submissions through Submittable. The $2.00 fee offsets the administrative costs of our submissions process.
While we’re aware that submitting payments online is difficult for some writers, it’s the only way an online magazine like TW can handle submissions. As a literary magazine, we have limited editorial resources and a small budget. Handling submissions and payments online streamlines the process for us, helps us keep timely records, and allows us to keep publishing.
Queries are free, if they really are queries—that is, no longer than a pitch or cover letter with no attachments. Although there are no fees for queries, we request that you send them through Submittable.
We respond to all submissions and queries as quickly as possible, but there may be delays, especially during TW’s summer hiatus and around holidays. You can track the progress of your submission via Submittable. Note that our response time for fiction/creative nonfiction pieces is longer than for others (up to three months).
Queries and simultaneous submissions are fine, but tell us in your cover message if your work is also being considered elsewhere. If it’s accepted at another journal, let us know that, too, so we can remove it from consideration.
TW publishes feature essays of varying lengths. Some essays are personal reflections on the writer’s life. Opinion pieces often focus on the continuing transformation of media and journalism. In addition, we’re always looking for thoughtful essays on our quarterly themes. (See Issue Themes for a current schedule.)
We encourage many different points of view—the more provocative, the better. We ask that a writer’s approach be personal and passionate. Please avoid an overly academic tone. Length: 800 to 3,000 words (but shorter is better).
TW publishes short essays that address the essential question for writers: Why write? These essays get their inspiration from George Orwell’s 1946 piece—but they can go in many directions. Length: 800 to 1,500 words.
TW book reviews are think pieces about the subject matter involved. We like roundup reviews of several books, and we’re open to reviews of movies, visual art, or other creative work. Length: 800 to 1,500 words.
TW publishes poetry in each issue. Featured poets generally publish more than one poem in a given issue. Please submit 3 to 5 poems in one document, but no more than 5 pages in all.
TW publishes at least one short story or flash fiction collection per issue. If submitting flash fiction, include no more than three stories, each no longer than 1,000 words, in one document. Length: Short stories up to 8,000 words; flash fiction up to 1,000 words.
Many issues of TW include creative nonfiction, often related to the theme of the issue. Please see the upcoming Issue Themes. Length: 800 to 3,000 words.
In addition to our regular columnists, TW runs several columns with rotating writers:
We’re also open to creating new columns if you pitch a good idea for one (possibilities: Talking Comics, Talking Mystery). Length: 600 to 1,200 words. Please submit queries about columns under the “Queries” category in Submittable.
TW editors often interview featured writers and poets. We also consider interviews of other writers, agents, literary bloggers, or publishers. Length: 800 to 3,000 words. Please submit proposals for interviews under the “Queries” category in Submittable.
TW features the work of a visual artist or photographer in each issue. We also use spot art from a variety of sources. Send up to 3 images (no more than 1 Mb in total).