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Lit Mag Spotlight: North Dakota Quarterly

North Dakota Quarterly

Happy (almost) Spring, writers! March’s Lit Mag Spotlight is shining on North Dakota Quarterly, the University of North Dakota’s renowned literary journal. Publishing since 1911, NDQ strives to publish compelling content from all over the globe. Find out why they’re unique, why they’re sometimes grumpy, and what YOU can do to be published in their wonderful magazine. Enjoy!

CONTEST: Leave a comment on this blog post by March 25 to enter to win a custom-designed poster from the University of North Dakota 45th Writer’s Conference, designed by Joel Jonientz (pictured below). This contest is now closed. Congratulations to our winner Bobbi! Thank you to all who participated!

PLUS: NDQ is offering a special discount code to anyone reading this interview: The discount code is ndqsuper and is valid until July 31, 2015.

Give us the lowdown on your journal’s mission.

North Dakota Quarterly wants to publish compelling writing in a variety of styles. That’s it. A typical issue has a mix of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and scholarly articles from all over the world.

Describe your ideal submission in 15 words or less.

Something fresh and exciting that doesn’t stray too far from the foundations of good literature. Is that 15?

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?

The last issue (80.1) opened with an essay by Dee Redfearn called “Paper Cut.” It describes—in horrifying detail—the author’s bout with a flesh-eating bacteria that stemmed from, you guessed it, a paper cut. Redfearn’s descriptions of the disease, along with the scientific details to back them up, had the entire staff washing their hands repeatedly for a couple weeks. I think what made it so freaky is that we have all had at least one paper cut, but we often don’t see them as life-threatening. We know better now.

Regarding submissions: What’s the most common turnoff that you encounter?

Sometimes we’ll get submissions that don’t really have a point. They may be eloquent and grammatically error-free, but without some sort of narrative or point to them, it’s hard to put them alongside more thoughtful and meaningful pieces.

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

We only have two submission guidelines right now: We only accept hard-copy submissions, and we ask that everything is in MLA format. So if either of these are overlooked, the author has ignored half of our guidelines.

Why is your journal awesome?

Our journal is awesome because we’re unique in a state that’s otherwise underrepresented when it comes to this type of publication. We’re awesome because we’re taking some of the things that have worked for us in the past and building off of them with new ideas. The future is bright for North Dakota Quarterly.

Where can readers find your submission guidelines?

They can be found online at this link.

What else would you like to say?

We really appreciate those who, through subscriptions, keep the tradition of print journals alive. We plan to have a more prominent digital presence alongside our print version in the future, but that won’t be possible without the old-school subscribers out there.

Like NDQ on Facebook!

CONTEST: Leave a comment on this blog post by March 25 to enter to win a free UND Writer’s Conference poster. This contest is now closed. Congratulations to our winner Bobbi! Thank you to all who participated!

3 Responses to Lit Mag Spotlight: North Dakota Quarterly

  1. Thanks for the opportunity to support a journal in North Dakota. I have close cousins there who have filled me in totally on life in a small town. They keep waiting for me to arrive (from New Jersey) on their train one day to finish my second novel, or maybe begin a new one on small towns. Since I’m from a big city, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, it would be a great trip. However, being in college at my age is enough of a trip. But, we never know what the future brings.

    Best wishes, Gippy

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