The unique thing about Jacar Press’ gorgeous online magazine One, is that they read until they find the 21 poems they really love, and those poems then make up the next issue. So submit early for your best chances to be published!
Jacar Press “believes that writing still matters. . . . Although at times we seem to be living in a post-print era, the need for the written word, the ideas, emotions, and beauty only a poem, story, essay, or novel can convey, is greater than ever. We seek to support writers who offer their unflinching vision of the world.”
For more info on how to submit to literary magazine and journals, read my Submission Tips here.
I wondered how and why this lit mag came to be, so I asked Jacar Press publisher Richard Krawiec a few questions to find out. See my interview with Krawiec and a link to their submission guidelines below.
HOPKINSON: Tell me a little bit about One.
KRAWIEC: We think of One as a small, elegant magazine that includes, in each issue, 21 poems by poets operating at the top of their game – winners of the Pulitzer Prize, Macarthur Genius Grant, National Book Award finalists – as well as new voices. We have also published a fair amount of poetry from people living in various African countries, Ireland, India, the Middle East and elsewhere. Which has been very exciting, and a learning experience for us.
HOPKINSON: How/why was One originally started?
KRAWIEC: Jacar Press started One with the idea we wanted to publish an elegant, diverse magazine. One of the problems we saw with some literary magazines is that they were too long, which made them hard to read in their entirety. So we decided we wanted a magazine the size of a chapbook, around 21 poems, that you could read at one sitting. We wanted to organize the poems, too, so each issue is purposely designed to be read start to finish.
Another problem we’d heard consistently from other readers and editors is that it was difficult for them to read and give thoughtful consideration to all the submissions. Think about it. If 100 people submit 5 poems each that’s a lot of reading for unpaid editors who work full time, often have families, and need their own writing time. The volume of submissions can make it difficult to spend much time with each poem. And let’s be honest, very few of us submit 5 poems that are equally skilled. We know some of our poems are better than others, but if a mag wants to see 5, we send five.
So we determined poets could only submit one poem at a time. That allowed our 8 editors, who read every submission, to spend more time with the submissions, reading, rereading, discussing poems sent to us. Because we only look at one poem at a time, and each issue follows within a month of its completion, we ask writers not to simultaneously submit.
HOPKINSON: What type of work are you looking for?
KRAWIEC: We are looking for your best work. Don’t send us a poem you think is pretty good. You can only submit one poem, so give us the one you secretly hoped would be published in The New Yorker. Stylistically we think our selections are wide-ranging. We don’t subscribe to any particular aesthetic. That said, it does seem we like poems that have an emotional component while at the same time show skill with the music and meter of language. We want poems that are going to stand up to multiple readings, and will last over time–commentaries on contemporary events often seem dated a year after they were composed. Make sure what you have to say isn’t narrowly rooted in its time. We like poems that matter, poems that delight the tongue and ear, engage the mind, move the heart.
HOPKINSON: What are some of your favorite lit mags/journals?
KRAWIEC: There are so many–I hesitate to name any. Let me skip the well-known magazines that all your readers would know and focus on a couple that I think are publishing top quality work but may not get as much attention. I do like Plume a lot, and look forward to each issue. Blue Fifth Review publishes a lot of interesting work. Levure littéraire is an amazing international, multi-lingual journal. Light, Dublin Review. I apologize for not naming more.
HOPKINSON: Where can folks send submissions?
KRAWIEC: They can submit here: http://one.jacarpress.com/ I am giving the general link, because the biggest problem I see is that writers submit without reading the magazines they’re submitting to. And by reading, I mean actually reading, start to finish, at least a dozen poems the mag you want to submit to has published. If you don’t have the time to read that minimal amount you shouldn’t be sending your poems out. While we publish a range of styles, by reading a dozen examples you can get a sense of what we like within that range.
KRAWIEC: Email is best: email@example.com
DEADLINE: Always Open
SUBMISSION FEE: None
NOTES: No simultaneous subs, submit one poem.
PAYMENT: One will pay a small stipend to the poem our editors vote as their favorite of the issue.