Literary fiction websites and blogs aren’t only for bookish types and lovers of literature looking for their next book recommendation. They can also be an extremely useful tool for writers and aspiring authors looking to get published, spread the word on their latest novel, or just as a remedy for writers’ block. After all, reading about reading or writing about reading can pump those creative juices in unexpected ways.
Finding literary fiction websites to pitch
Getting a byline on a well-known literary site can add real clout, especially if you have a book coming out, and you have an article published on a related theme. Think about it as yet another cross-promotional opportunity to get a link to your author website and/or book, or for a potential reader to stumble upon your article, like what you have to say, and buy your book. Most of these sites require an email pitch to the editors on the what, the why now, and why you are the perfect person to write the article or essay. If you are traditionally published, your publisher will likely pitch the bigger outlets on your behalf ahead of your book coming out, but you can try all the others yourself, too. And regardless of where you are in your publishing journey, you should always be actively advocating for yourself and trying to get your name in print to enhance your author bio.
Finding literary fiction websites to submit
Other websites and blogs, especially if they are more akin to literary magazines, have a submissions portal or are hooked up to Submittable. In this case, you can submit either a fully finished article, essay, or even your entire book or an extract for consideration (to sites like Book of the Month or Debutiful, for example).
Finding literary fiction websites to inspire
Sometimes, though, it’s just good to read about other people’s books! The writing process. The craft. Your favorite (or an undiscovered) author’s point of view on the plight of the mountain gorilla. Maybe it’s a short story. Or maybe it’s a personal essay where you discover a connection to an author’s childhood or culture. Personally, I love reading about immigration stories and the outsider’s narrative on literary fiction websites. “Literary” doesn’t have to mean limited.
Literary fiction websites: Top 30 publications
Below are 30 publications that you can pitch, submit to, or just use as a source of inspiration. As always, this list is not exhaustive; it is an aggregation of the top spots in alphabetical order (I don’t play favorites). I will periodically be updating this list, so please let me know if you would like your site to be included:
1. 3:AM Magazine
Running strong for over 20 years, 3:AM’s contrary tagline is: “Whatever it is, we’re against it.” It publishes literary criticism (as well as fiction and poetry), with a heavy lean on modernist and postmodern literature. They accept email pitches and recommend you research which editor to submit to first, rather than pitching blindly.
While BookBub looks like an ecommerce site, it’s actually an aggregated resource for readers, providing handpicked recommendations and author updates. As a BookBub author, you can set up your author profile, use their marketing tools, or simply get your book listed. As an aspiring author, it’s another great inspirational resource for you to add to your list.
Bookforum’s reviews have been about in various forms since 1994, but these days it also offers “syllabi,” author interviews, and more. It features a conveyor belt of contributors; pitches can be emailed to the editors.
4. Book of the Month
Readers subscribe to BOTM and receive a hand-curated box of books every month. As an author, it will be to your (huge) advantage to make this list, plus you get a little badge to add to your book cover. Looking for inspiration? Become a member and get a box of literary goodies delivered to your door.
5. Book Riot
One of the largest book sites in the U.S., Book Riot hits that sweet spot between literary and commercial i.e. unlike some of its competitors, it is not in the least bit pretentious. It also claims to be “always on the prowl for new contributors,” like a sexy, literary lion. If accepted onto their roster, you’ll have the opportunity to pitch your ideas monthly.
6. Brittle Paper
Brittle Paper offers a platform for African literature and culture. They publish fiction, poetry, book reviews, and essays on their beautifully designed website. Pitch or submit via email.
7. BuzzFeed Books
OK, OK, I realize that BuzzFeed doesn’t exactly scream high-brow literary, but you’d be surprised how much great literary fiction they feature alongside humorous memes and gifs. Plus, their website traffic is astronomical, so if you do get featured, you’re golden.
Comprising a book publishing house, magazine, and writing program, Catapult publishes almost everything that is even vaguely to do with storytelling, literature, and the arts. Submit via Submittable (their submit website page was broken at the time of writing).
9. Chicago Review of Books
The Chicago Review of Books is one of the better known book review websites. It is a publication of StoryStudio Chicago, and focuses on elevating diverse voices in the Midwest and beyond. You don’t have to hail from Chicago to get featured, but it helps.
Debutiful only featured works by debut authors and has an accompanying podcast. For consideration, ensure you submit your book four months ahead of publication.
11. Electric Literature
Alongside Lit Hub (and no wonder since they share the same founders), Electric Literature is probably the best known on this list for the “literary,” filled with recommended reading lists, op eds, bookish culture, and more. They accept email pitches for nonfiction, and Submittable for fiction.
12. Full Stop
Full Stop publishes some great book reviews, with a focus on debuts, works in translation, and books published by small presses. They accept email pitches, as long as you target specific editors.
Users go to Goodreads for one thing, and one thing only: books. In other words, you have a captive audience of engaged users ready and willing to buy your book. It’s Amazon’s answer to a specific community for authors, bookworms, and lovers of literature; writers love to read, and readers love to see what their favorite writers are reading, recommending, and reviewing. Set up your Goodreads profile, and be a good literary citizen.
As well as being a highly competitive literary magazines to get published in, Granta regularly features author interviews and essays. They have set reading periods and you can pitch or submit via Submittable. But, as above: competitive.
15. The Guardian Books Blog
This U.K. news site offers top-quality editorials on a range of arts and culture. Their books blog is always smart, timely, and relevant. Writing for The Guardian is a huge coup; if you can get a writing gig, great, but don’t expect one. Still, 100% worth a browse.
Dubbing itself “A Magazine of Art & Politics,” Guernica is an award-winning online magazine that regularly features author interviews and fantastic fiction. They don’t accept pitches, only finished works via Submittable.
Owned by Big Five publisher, Penguin Random House, Hazlitt is committed to publishing diverse stories, author interviews, and fiction. If your publisher is PRH: congrats! This online publication is a shoo-in. If not, there doesn’t seem to be an easy way to pitch on their website, but you can try their Twitter.
18. Literary Hub
The holy grail of literary fiction websites, Lit Hub is the go-to for all-things books. Its features include editorials, daily newsletters (which are GREAT), conversations, lists, excepts, fiction, literary criticism, and more. They accept email pitches and read everything they receive. If you have a book coming out, your publisher will no-doubt target Lit Hub as a key publication.
19. Literary Mama
“Writing about the many faces of motherhood,” Literary Mama has been celebrating mothers, women, and literature for over 20 years. You can submit (via email) book reviews, creative nonfiction, fiction, literary reflections, poetry, and writer profiles and interviews.
20. London Review of Books
Another U.K.-based outlet, the London Review of Books claims to be “Europe’s leading magazine of ideas,” and it’s published twice a month. With over 2,000 contributors, you can email them to contribute book reviews, essays, reportage, memoir, articles for their Short Cuts and Diary slots, and blog posts.
21. The Los Angeles Review of Books
Yet another Review of Books (noticing a theme?), this time for LA. The LARB was launched over 10 years ago on Tumblr, and has gone on to elevate the West Coast literary scene to great heights. Its impressive list of editors and contributors means that it can be tough to secure an editorial gig, but it encourages writers to email one of the editors on the masthead.
22. The Margins
Since 2012, the Asian American Writers’ Workshop (AAWW) has been publishing The Margins, an award-winning literary website uplifting Asian American voices. It features all sorts of fiction and nonfiction, and regularly sends out calls for submissions on specific topics.
23. The Millions
While only 10 years old (a relative baby on this literary fiction websites list), The Millions is a gorgeous resource of book reviews, think pieces, essays, and reading lists. Their editors are so lovely and get back to you extremely quickly (yes, I’ve pitched them before). A plus.
24. The New Inquiry
The New Inquiry offers a heady mix of literature, politics, and pop culture. There are free and paid versions, but you’ll find a wealth of entertaining content on the free site. TNI features accepts email pitches for essays, book reviews, and solicited topics for themed issues.
25. The New Yorker: Page Turner
Another pie-in-the-sky dream publication, but always worth a look. Once you have The New Yorker in your author bio, you are pretty much set for the rest of your sweet, literary life. Page-Turner is The New Yorker’s book blog, and posts news, reviews, essays, and is accompanied by a monthly podcast. You can email ideas and pitches, it’s free, and what’s more, they always respond!
26. The Paris Review: The Daily
The Daily is The Paris Review’s blog. Offering a daily dose of literary culture, news, essays, interviews, TPR is notorious in literary circles, and is perhaps the most revered of all the literary fiction websites. It opens for submissions via Submittable at only a few short windows throughout the year.
27. Publishers Weekly
Publishers Weekly is the go-trade magazine for all things book publishing, bookselling, reviews, commentaries, opinions, and more. While not exactly like the other literary fiction websites on this list, PW is still a great place to get a feature. You or your publisher can also submit a print galley of your book for consideration.
28. The Rumpus
Also featured on round-up of humor writing submissions, The Rumpus is a 15-year-old literary community that features daily cultural content, interviews, reviews, and essays. Send your work for consideration via Submittable.
29. TLS: The Times Literary Supplement
Another European entry (can you guess that I’m originally from the U.K.?), The Times Literary Supplement, or TLS, covers a broad range of literature and accompanying topics including culture, arts, linguistics, politics, science, and more. You can submit your book to be considered for review, letters to the editor, but book reviews are mostly on a commission basis and cannot be pitched.
30. Vol.1 Brooklyn
You know that trendy New York borough, Brooklyn? Well, meet trendy Brooklyn, but in its literary website form. Connecting the “literary-minded from Brooklyn and beyond,” this fashionable cultural hot spot encourages submissions via Submittable.
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