It’s the last full month of summer, and we’re shining our Lit Mag Spotlight on the renowned Nimrod International Journal. Run out of the University of Tulsa and in print since 1956 (!!), Nimrod aims to publish new and well-known writers alike from all walks of life and all corners of the globe. Read a little about their mission, what makes them cringe, and why you should subscribe (or keep subscribing)! Enjoy!
CONTEST: Leave a comment on this blog post by September 3 to enter to win a one-year subscription to Nimrod! This contest is now closed. Congratulations to our winner, Rafaela! Thank you to all who participated.
Give us the lowdown on your journal’s mission.
Nimrod’s mission is, first and foremost, the discovery of new writers. While we enjoy publishing well-known writers like Ted Kooser and Linda Pastan, we are dedicated to discovering new writers and helping them break into the publishing world. Additionally, we strive to bring the work of writers from abroad to the attention of U.S. readers. We’ve published issues focusing on Arabic, Indian, Native American, Chinese, and Australian writing, just to name a few.
Describe your ideal submission in 15 words or less.
One that is both universal and unique—and that surprises us.
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?
In our fall 2013 issue, we published a story called “Angel in Glasgow” by Sandra Hunter. It follows a displaced young immigrant living on the streets in Glasgow. It’s a complex story, both in its subject matter and also in its style—definitely among the more unique fiction pieces we’ve received recently. And though it plays with style, it never feels overblown. The style feels organic to the main character and the strange twists her life has taken.
Regarding submissions: What’s the most common turnoff that you encounter (in terms of craft)?
For poetry: Pretension. We get many poems that feel overly self-important, which takes our attention away from good language, interesting subjects, etc.
For fiction: Not knowing where to start a story. We see many stories that don’t really get off the ground until page seven or eight, and by then it is too late to engage the reader.
What’s the most common oversight (in terms of submission guidelines)?
We get two quite commonly—writers living in the U.S. sending in their work by email (we only accept e-submissions from writers outside the country) and writers sending in previously published work (we only print unpublished work). Basically, make sure that you read all the submission guidelines of a journal before sending out work. Journals do their best to be clear about what they want, and not following the rules just wastes your time and theirs.
Why is your journal awesome?
Since Nimrod’s beginning, we’ve published writers at the start of their careers who have gone on to become household names: Sue Monk Kidd, S. E. Hinton, Linda Pastan, and William Stafford, just to name a few. In other words, we have a great track record of discovering amazing writers! Additionally, our spring thematic issues ensure that we’re constantly showcasing unique, thought-provoking, and fun poetry and fiction on a variety of subjects: from retellings of myths and fairy tales, to work by writers aged 57 and over, to sports in literature.
Where can readers find your submission guidelines?
What’s an often overlooked piece of advice to writers wanting to be published in literary magazines?
Read a copy of the magazine before you submit. If possible, purchase a copy before you submit your work. That will help you determine if the journal is a good fit for your work and it will support the journal, most of which are run on shoestring budgets. Submitting aimlessly may be less work, but it’s not nearly as effective—and without support, literary magazines fail, leading to fewer places to publish your work overall.
Follow Nimrod on Facebook!
CONTEST: Leave a comment on this blog post by September 3 to enter to win a one-year subscription to Nimrod! This contest is now closed.
NIMROD sounds like a really good journal, I’ll have to hop on over and check it out.
I have to admit that I don’t recognize writers relief, but I’m glad to find it through Nimrod. I follow Nimrod on Facebook and frequently visit there site. I plan on submitting some of my own work when they have openings again.
Very, very interesting. I enjoyed reading the interview and will now explore Nimrod’s website base to see if perhaps my stories could be suitable.
What a great interview. The people at Nimrod clearly have a passion for both previously unheard and excellent work (as their record demonstrates). I’d love to hear more on the poetry evaluation process too.
Here’s to hoping my story starts at the right point.
Any help with publishing hints and tips is good with me. Thanks for getting me onto this Writer’s Relief. Need as much help as I can get
I haven’t heard of Nimrod before, but thanks to Writer’s Relief, you’re on my radar now. It’s appreciated that you look to support new Writer’s as well as established Writer’s and I will definitely be looking into your magazine! Many thanks for being a publication with integrity.
Great interview and excellent advice!
I checked out your website and note that you’ve got a lot of good stuff there, including information about the writer’s conference in October as well as excerpts from your journal. (I especially liked Cathryn Essinger’s “Deconstructing the Moon.”)
Interesting idea that ‘pretension’ is a problem in poetry submissions, as a quality just short of pretension would seem to be necessary to all poets.
NIMROD really feels to be the best journal and suits out to be on an International path.I’ll surely try my best to read the full website details and will be happy to be a part of it.
Wow, it is always nice to learn about journals and other publications that welcome submissions from new writers. I am very interested in perusing some issues of this literary magazine!
“aged 57 and over” — What a curious and arbitrary(?) demarcation!
This journal looks amazing! I’d love to win a subscription to give as a gift to one of my fledgling writers who is just discovering how to embrace herself as a writer and the community of creatives out there just like her!
Nimrod is a good pen name too 🙂