While the notability of literary powerhouses such as Granta, Edinburgh Review or the London Magazine is undisputed, there are countless lesser known literary platforms that highlight diverse voices in Europe without compromising quality.
I don't often see smaller European literary magazines represented in submission calls, so I've assembled a list of seven remarkable literary outlets from different countries in Europe that accept English-language submissions. This list may be of particular interest for those who don't want to limit themselves to US journals and those with an interest in foreign literary scenes.
It should be noted that Visions and Lunate are currently closed for general submissions. In addition, Panel Magazine, Przekroj and Northwords Now prefer submissions or submitters with links to the respective regions. Aside from Lunate Magazine's flash fiction contest, all the literary outlets are free to submit to.
Northwords Now is a print and online magazine that highlights diverse voices from the Highlands. They publish a variety of works, including plays, short stories, poetry and artwork. Audio and video submissions are accepted as well. The spring 2020 issue features a mesmerizing, folklore-inspired artwork and candid words with a strong sense of place. To get an idea of the type of work published, read Jennifer Morag Henderson's article on contemporary women crime writers and their approaches to weave identities and landscapes of the Highlands to authentic narratives.
Writer's Block is a print and online magazine run out of the University of Amsterdam's English Department. In-between issues, Writer's Block features artist profiles, pop-culture musings and city guides, among others. The most recent issue displays exquisite black and white visual treats against captivating words. From Simon Perchkik's reimagining of Cinderella, to Steve Denehan's walk through memory lane, this issue offers a beautiful reading experience.
This Budapest-based magazine publishes essays, visual art short stories, book reviews, literary translations and more, with a focus on Eastern and Central European topics. The latest issues are digitally available for 1 Euro, while the first two issues can be downloaded for free. Featuring nuanced works that cover a broad range of styles and themes, there truly is something for every taste. Additionally, the bi-weekly column´Faces of Budapest´ highlights the artistic community in Budapest.
Przekroj (pronounced 'p-SHEH-crooy') provides a refreshing blend of works in the realms of science, culture, society and literature. They accept translations, prose and poetry with a focus on Central and Eastern Europe. Recent publications of note include an ode to Eastern-European women filmmakers – Our Favourite Films by Female Directors from the 'New East by Agata Pyzik and an evocative personal essay Winter Camp by Tania Skarynkina (translated by Jim Dingley). The latter details the writer's recollections of winter camp in Crimea: "In Artek lots of things happened to me for the first time. For example, I found a boy I liked, in white trainers. All my life I've been fond of white trainers in honour of that lad." All in all, Przekroj offers a compelling reading experience.
If you enjoy science fiction and beautifully curated writing, you will love London-based Visions Magazine. Building every issue around a different theme, Visions aims ‘to paint a provocative landscape of the future.' With a retro-futurist aesthetic, the two issues published so far offer a broad range of enrapturing writing, accompanied by stunning editorial illustrations. The result is an incredibly compelling reading experience that might even appeal to those readers who usually stay clear of science-fiction. While they are currently closed for submissions, keep your eyes open for the next submission cycle.
Lotus-Eater publishes fiction, poetry and and writing in the liminal space. The editors are based in Rome, but the magazine welcomes submissions from across the globe. True to its tagline – we are interested in daring, unusual writing and striking images – the latest issues reflects the editors’ preference for experimental, offbeat pieces. Filled with writing that surprises, Lotus-Eater is well worth reading and submitting to.
Manchester-based Lunate Magazine showcases quality poetry and fiction, as well as book reviews. The richly textured writing is presented on a clean layout, with minimal typography. If you love flash-fiction, have a read of the winning pieces of the Lunate 500 competition, selected by accomplished writer Helen McClory. Lunate is closed for general submissions at the moment (June 2020).
For more international lit mags, see my list: