Outlook Springs is a fairly new bi-annual, print and online literary journal “transmitted from the town of Outlook Springs, New Hampshire, which may or may not exist in one or more alternate dimensions.” They don’t charge submission fees and they pay their contributors, $25 fiction/non-fiction and $10 per poem + a contributor copy.
I was honored and pleased to have my poem, “A Way In,” published in the first print issue of Outlook Springs. It just happens to be the opening poem in my just released chapbook Footnote, in which I am proud to give credit to Outlook Springs for the original publication. You can read my poem “A Way In” on their site here.
Their third issue just came out as the “Employee Handbook for Wil-Mert Ventures, Intercorp.” Yeah, these folks are creative, quirky, and fun to follow on social media. Definitely don’t miss their Facebook and Twitter posts. Subscriptions are about $20 for the year and it’s worth it to hold these in your hands. The books are high quality and the artwork is interesting and refreshing.
I wondered how and why this lit mag came to be, so I asked Outlook Springs Editor-in-Chief Andrew Mitchell a few questions to find out. See my interview with Mitchell and a link to their submission guidelines below.
HOPKINSON: Tell me a little bit about Outlook Springs.
MITCHELL: Outlook Springs is a biannual print-and-online literary magazine published in various dimensions and realities (as well as a handful of unrealities.) Each issue features a brand new design and theme. Issue 1 focused on the town of Outlook Springs, New Hampshire. Issue 2 was an in-flight magazine inside a ship fleeing an apocalyptic Earth. Issue 3 was an Employee Handbook for Wil-Mert Ventures, Intercorp., a company that has purchased everything in the known universe. What will our next issue be? Who knows!
HOPKINSON: How/why was Outlook Springs originally started?
MITCHELL: The magazine was started with my friend Nathaniel Parker Raymond in Spring 2015. I’d been reading a lot of literary journals and decided I wanted to really experiment with form, content, and genre of this particular type of magazine. Basically, to treat the genre of LITERARY MAGAZINE as it’s own distinct narrative form. There are many great journals that do this so well–McSweeney’s comes to mind, of course–but part of the allure of starting my own magazine was to build (attempt to, at least) a somewhat cohesive narrative that strings each issue together: callbacks, characters, businesses, advertisements for cucumbers, newspaper articles, choose-your-own-adventures, etc. It also occurred to me that some of the literary magazines and journals I was reading, which were often filled with incredible writing, had begun to look and feel the same. I’d read a story or a poem or an essay and then close the magazine and forgot about it until this next issue came out, and at that point the previous issues had become old news, so to speak. Stale. In Outlook Springs, I hope each issue feels like it’s own distinct art object. Like you could pick it up 14 years from now and flip through the irradiated, poltergeist-infested pages and find a distinct little world.
HOPKINSON: What type of work are you looking for?
MITCHELL: The work we’ve published so far has ranged from strict literary realism to the deeply weird and experimental. We love work tinged with the strange. We’re looking for “the Bigfoot’s heart in conflict with itself,” as Faulkner famously put it. Our emphasis is on language and character rather than cleverness and conceit. Humor is a plus, too. I know it’s cliche, but we often don’t know what we love until we open up the document and read it (and then share it with all the other editors).
HOPKINSON: What are some of your favorite lit mags/journals?
MITCHELL: Oh, so many! Tin House, One Story, McSweeney’s, Barrelhouse, SmokeLong Quarterly, The Normal School, Uncanny Magazine, Conjunctions, Idaho Review, Ploughshares, Hobart, Monkeybicycle. I mean, I could go on and on. There’s so much good writing out there, and so many editors and readers who are working hard to showcase it.
HOPKINSON: Where can folks send submissions?
HOPKINSON: If someone has a question, how can they contact you?
MITCHELL: Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or have the ink-splattered goblin that lives in your desk drawer come track us down!
DEADLINE: January 15, 2019
SUBMISSION FEE: None
PAYMENT: For fiction and non-fiction, contributors will be paid $25 in addition to a contributor’s copy. Poets will be paid $10 per poem in addition to one contributor’s copy total.
FORMS: fiction, non-fiction, poetry