Toasted Cheese is an online literary journal founded in 2001. They publish flash fiction, fiction, creative non-fiction, and poetry. They accept approximately 5% of the submissions they receive and encourage unpublished writers to submit.
I wondered how and why this journal came to be, so I asked Toasted Cheese editor Stephanie Baker a few questions to find out. See my interview with Baker and a link to their submission guidelines below.
HOPKINSON: Tell me a little bit about Toasted Cheese.
BAKER: Toasted Cheese is a literary journal that's exclusively online. We also have a writing community, years of archived articles and exercises, daily prompts, and live Sunday Brunch writing chat.
HOPKINSON: How/why was Toasted Cheese originally started?
BAKER: Most of us met in an online community and we wanted to create a community where writers could trust the curated information, links, and feedback. We also wanted to create a journal that not only accepted but encouraged submissions from emerging writers.
HOPKINSON: What type of work are you looking for?
BAKER: We want writing that is polished, the way that it should appear in the journal when published. We want submissions that have been edited multiple times by the author. First drafts suffer from typographical and grammatical errors. Second drafts arrive with unclear ideas and characterizations. Personally, I like writing that is specific to a moment, place, or character. All of the editors appreciate a distinct voice. Some of us have ideas on our masthead about what we want to read.
HOPKINSON: What do you wish you’d see submitted, but rarely comes in?
BAKER: Work from writers with underrepresented voices. It's not that we rarely get these submissions but we'd like a higher proportion of submissions from women, women of color, people of color, queer people, and others who don't find themselves in fiction, poetry, or other media at the level of other voices.
One thing we've openly requested is resubmissions from female writers whose previous submission has been rejected. Male writers tend to submit to us more than once; we rarely hear from female authors more than once, unless they've received an acceptance.
HOPKINSON: What are some of your favorite lit mags/journals?
BAKER: Brevity is a longtime favorite of mine. Apex Magazine is a reliable read as well; I support them on Patreon. Otherwise I drop in to read journals via journals or authors I follow on Twitter when I see that they have new content that interests me. TC maintains a Twitter list of lit journals recommended by one or more editors.
HOPKINSON: Where can folks send submissions?
BAKER: Submission guidelines: http://tclj.toasted-cheese.com/submission-guidelines/
Be mindful of word count parameters, not attaching your submission (or anything else) to the email, and other guidelines.
HOPKINSON: If someone has a question, how can they contact you?
BAKER: Email is the best way to get an individual editor or the editorial collective. For me, Twitter is the secondary way to get in touch (just ask the other editors).
- March issue: October 1 - December 31
- June issue: January 1 - March 31
- September issue: April 1 - June 30
- December issue: July 1 - September 30
SUBMISSION FEE: None
FORMS: flash fiction, fiction, creative non-fiction, and poetry
NOTES: no simultaneous submissions