4 Reasons You Should Submit to Literary Magazines

Some mornings I wake up channeling my favorite movie or book characters. This morning, I woke up feeling very Voila Davis’s character, Aibileen, from The Help. And when I allowed my imagination free reign, this is the message she gave me, as Blue Mesa Review’s poetry editor, to give to you:

4 Reasons You Should Submit to Literary Magazines

1. You is brilliant.

Some of my favorite poets are rarely published because they don’t submit. They hide their brilliance from the world. Accept it. Embrace it!  You are brilliant, and you deserve public recognition for that brilliance.

2. You is diverse.

For hundreds of years the literary scene has been dominated by one kind of writer. The first step in solving a problem is acknowledging its existence.  There are systematic issues with the industry, but let’s change that. Help us publish diverse work. We need to hear from diverse writers!

3. You is important.

No one has lived through your experiences and can write about them with the style, grace, and beauty or starkness, darkness and terseness––or however you write––that you can. Your voice matters. We need to hear it. I believe that a story, a poem, or an essay can change everything. What if that essay is just sitting on your hard drive when it could be making the world a better place? You are an important part of the literary landscape. We need you.

4. You is loved.

We love you! As editors of literary magazines, we love each and every one of our submitters and contributors. We can’t publish everyone, but we want to. We get sucked into your stories. We are enthralled by your poetry. We are amazed at your nonfiction. We are your biggest fans, cheering you on. We believe in you, in your work, in your future. We love you.

So send us a little love back. Blue Mesa Review’s summer contest is in full swing. Start there.  We can’t wait to read your submissions!


Crystal J. Zanders is a writer, teacher, and pug-owner who lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She is the current poetry editor of Blue Mesa Review and a second-year MFA student.

Crystal Zanders