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Lit Mag Spotlight: Carve Magazine

This month’s Lit Mag Spotlight is honored to shed some light on Carve Magazine! This is a lit journal that truly gives back to the writing community. They’ll not only offer feedback on submissions (something we all could use!), but their issues are packed with contributors’ interviews, a look at some of the stories they’ve rejected, and much more. As writers, we all know how much we need literary journals, and Carve recognizes how much literary journals need us. What goes around, comes around! Enjoy.

CONTEST: Leave a comment on this blog post by November 29 to enter to win a copy of Carve’s very first print edition and a picture of their 2011 anthology (featured to the left). This contest is now closed. Congratulations to Katy, our winner. Thank you to all who participated!

Give us the lowdown on your journal’s mission.

We’re a different kind of lit mag that does more than publish short stories. We try as best we can to offer feedback to our submitters, and our print edition—featuring interviews with our contributors, a “Reader’s Voice” section, and a look at stories we’ve rejected—is designed to give insight into the publishing and writing world.

Describe your ideal submission in 15 words or less.

An honest story that we obsess about because it’s so damn good.

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?

We really loved “The Eternal Youth of Everyone Else” by Adrienne Celt in our Summer 2012 issue. It’s about a nine-year-old girl that never ages. She’s been “passed on” from family to family for generations to hide her true nature, but the story doesn’t delve into the how or why. We really enjoyed the magical realism aspect of it, and the ending is heartbreaking but perfect—you know it couldn’t have ended any other way.

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

Stories that aren’t tight. We don’t want to meander; we want every word to count. 

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

I don’t know if it’s the most common, but it’s certainly the most perplexing: We’ll often get submissions that are poetry, creative nonfiction, or something else entirely. We’ve been a short story-only mag since we started!

Why is your journal awesome?

Because we have an awesome track record of publishing exciting fiction from new voices. We consistently publish writers that have never had a fiction piece published before. Two of this year’s winners in the Raymond Carver contest are first-time fiction publications!

Where can readers find your submission guidelines?


What else would you like to say?

Why are we expanding into print?

Because print isn’t dead. It’s just becoming a different kind of experience. You can take your time with print, which is free from distractions of Twitter, Facebook, email. Settle in and enjoy our Print Edition. Then go online and share your comments and see everyone else’s about the stories. It’s the best of both worlds.

Contest: Leave a comment by November 29 to win a copy of Carve‘s first edition and a picture of the 2011 anthology! This contest is now closed.

Keep in touch with Carve Magazine on Twitter @carvezine and Facebook.

16 Responses to Lit Mag Spotlight: Carve Magazine

  1. This is a great article. I like the idea of your “Reader’s Voice” section. I find it helpful to get feedback and know why a story was rejected. It helps with revisions and future stories.

  2. I’m impressed! It’s good to know we can submit both ways; that up to 15% of us will get rejection feedback; submission withdrawal notification form; fair reading fees — you just made life easer for us all! Thanks Carve.

  3. I like the part about “print’s not dead.” Love this feature/interview … feedback is always helpful.

  4. Very helpful. I haven’t read this journal before, Seems great though, Maybe I’ll buy an issue in 2013.

  5. Carve are doing an excellent thing; they took one of the first stories I sent out and published it online – despite my having tried to enter their contest using cash dollars (a no-no). These small successes mean so much to new authors, and (ten years later!) I’ve published a novel with Penguin – thanks to Carve and other magazines who gave me encouragement. Go them!

  6. Just read “The Eternal Youth of Everyone Else” by Adrienne Celt – great piece of writing; caught me off guard at the end. Would love to see more of your mag. (Oh, and nice cover & graphics, too.)

  7. I love the idea of both a print and online presence. The Internet is great for a quick, accessible read, but nothing still quite beats the feel of bound paper and ink in your hands as you pour through the pages. Also, I think any writer would appreciate the time you take to reply to people who’ve sent you pieces. Many other magazines simply reject without a word, and we’re left on our own to figure out what didn’t work. It’s nice to have the creative guidance you appear to offer. Good luck in putting out the first print issue of your magazine!

  8. I think it’s admirable that this magazine offers feedback to writers. Anything that helps a writer to improve is awesome.

  9. Yeah. Good to hear that print isn’t dead. Glad to know I don’t have to relegate myself to a dusty library where an equally antiquated librarian keeps perpetual quiet. :) Best of luck in an honorable venture.

  10. This sounds so exciting! I love the idea of a lit magazine offering feedback, a reader’s ‘voice’ and information on why stories are accepted or rejected – I call that added value! I’m off to check out the link, thank you so much. ~ Julie :)

  11. Carve offers two positive (out of many) things that jumped out at me: (1) They provide feedback and (2) They’re expanding into print. I’ve only known one other publication that provided serious feedback. Also, I simply appreciate print publications in a world gone digital. Having the best of both worlds is, of course, ideal. Carve has piqued my interest as a writer, for sure!

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