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Lit Mag Spotlight! Meet The Carolina Quarterly—A Great Market For New Writers

For this week’s Lit Mag Spotlight, our new recurring feature, we have the pleasure of getting you better acquainted with The Carolina Quarterly, a great market for NEW writers! Open-minded and determinedly versatile, The Carolina Quarterly prides itself on constantly evolving and taking risks. Read on to see what makes The Carolina Quarterly tick!

CONTEST! Leave a comment by November 17th to win a FREE one-year subscription to The Carolina Quarterly with a choice of one historic back issue (Choice of Fall 1969 featuring Raymond Carver, Spring 1972 featuring Annie Dillard, Spring 1982 featuring Denis Johnson, or Summer 2000 Thomas Wolfe Centennial Issue). U.S. residents only. This contest is now closed. Congratulations to our winner Cheryl D. Thank you to all who participated!

Carolina Quarterly

Let the Q&A begin!

1. Give us the lowdown on your journal’s mission.

Our editorial staff is entirely composed of University of North Carolina graduate students and undergrads, and changes frequently. That means the journal constantly reinvents itself. We don’t get bogged down in one particular style or school of literature. Eclecticism is our strength.

We feel that the mission of a literary journal is to provide a home for the works of new writers and introduce our readership to authors they may not be able to read elsewhere. Since we publish three print issues per year and the equivalent of two issues in online content, we can afford to take risks on less-than-perfect work and will often invest the time honing it with the author. For this reason alone, we find ourselves publishing several first-time or early-career writers in each issue.

2. Describe your ideal submission in 15 words or less.

It should begin with the pleasure of novelty and end with the ache of recognition

3. Tell us about a piece you recently published that got the staff really excited. Why did you love it? Why did it strike a chord? Can readers find it online?

In our most recent issue, Fall 2011 61.2, we published “In Perfect English,” by Nahal S. Jamir. The fiction editors had already selected two funny, quirky, dialogue-heavy fiction pieces for the issue—both on the longer side—when they stumbled upon this story in our slush pile. Coming in at a tight four pages, the story nevertheless is able to build a great deal of pathos and a complex character sketch of a first-generation Iranian immigrant woman cooking dinner for her visiting adult children. The language is so delicate—simple yet poetic—that we selected a quote from this piece to feature on the back cover. A sample of the first page can be viewed here.

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4. Regarding submissions: What’s the most common turn-off that you encounter (in terms of craft)?

Poems in the second person are prevalent and rarely done well.

5. What’s the most common oversight (in terms of submission guidelines)?

Our writers have been good about conforming to guidelines lately. Online submissions should be sent with each poem in an individual Word file. This differs from other online submission managers and sometimes causes consternation for our submitters.

6. Why is your journal awesome? 

It is entirely student-run, eclectic, and evolving, with a literary heritage stretching back over 60 years (160 years if you count previous incarnations of the journal under a different name).

7. Where can readers find your submission guidelines?


8. How can readers connect personally with The Carolina Quarterly 

With a revamped website, a new Twitter and Facebook account, a great new electronic submission manager, and an ever-increasing amount of online-only content, The Carolina Quarterly is swiftly embracing the 21st century. We invite you to help us in this endeavor by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook, and visiting our CafePress site.

Writer QuestionsLeave a comment by November 17 to enter the contest to win a FREE one-year subscription to The Carolina Quarterly and one historic back issue! Don’t forget to tweet, facebook, and tell your friends! (This contest is now closed.)

36 Responses to Lit Mag Spotlight! Meet The Carolina Quarterly—A Great Market For New Writers

  1. I would like to get my work published so that I can be wellknow by my family and friends too as a good writer, and even in School pupil can read my work one day and appreciate it.

    I believe that such initiative can open chance for me to reach my goal of becoming a well know Author.
    I’m exited about this but some publishers charge too high prices for authors like me who are unemployed to afford their publishing fees.

    God Bless you all.

  2. I am so encouraged to find a quality publication that champions new writers and a fresh, eclectic approach. I wish you all the best with your quarterly.

  3. I love journals that are open to new writers, and I especially love the editor’s description of the ideal submission: It should begin with the pleasure of novelty and end with the ache of recognition. Perfect description of what I love most to read!

  4. Great Q&A, great journal. A beginning writer, I’ve submitted to Carolina Quarterly before, and while they didn’t accept my story, the rejection wasn’t the typical, depressing form letter. I appreciate that. And, wow, would I appreciate the Raymond Carver issue!

  5. It’s wonderful to see a place for new writers to get much-needed exposure. I love seeing such a forward thinking magazine, especially one so willing to take chances. Thanks for the spotlight!

  6. I am ready to read cutting edge fiction that will help me inspire the students I teach to reach higher.

  7. As a fellow North Carolinian (via California) I am proud of the rich talent and openness found in this state. Whether or not I win the subscription, I plan on becoming a regular reader of your review. I’m very happy that you are giving new writers a chance to be published.

  8. I like how you make reading a poem sound like a love-affair -“It should begin with the pleasure of novelty and end with the ache of recognition” – except remembrance would be the better word for love’s end (or perhaps the recognition that one will remember).

  9. The excerpt provided above was breathtaking. I would love to read more from a magazine that publishes such excellent work!

  10. I will definitely submit to you, have already published a chapbook of poetry but want to do more. Bravo to your publication! Thank you for all that you do in the literary world!

  11. The Carolina Quarterly sounds like the journal I’d most likely want to read by the fireside on a cold winter’s night, wrapped in a warm blanket, a cup of hot chocolate on the table beside me. I can only imagine how wonderful it would be to win a subscription.

    Thanks for the contest.

  12. “It should begin with the pleasure of novelty and end with the ache of recognition.” Excellent advice for any writer of any genre, including playwriting (my own). Lovely words, words to write by. Please include me in the contest!

  13. I love The Carolina Quarterly’s description of their ideal submission. For that alone I’d love to win the free subscription! Thanks for running this great contest!

  14. Wow! I’d love a free subscription to Carolina Quarterly; they sound like an awesome journal! Kudos, guys!

  15. Fantastic! A quality literary mag that isn’t afraid to publish work from new writers! I would very much like to be a part of this contest as well.

  16. Please count me in on the contest! I would love to win a free subscript to this mag and I would read it with pleasure!

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