We continue our “Best of 2018″ series curated by the entire Entropy community and present some of our favorite selections as nominated by the diverse staff and team here at Entropy, as well as nominations from our readers.
This list brings together some of our favorite presses, publishers, magazines, literary journals, and other literary / publishing projects that were doing phenomenal work in 2018. This doesn’t mean necessarily those that were founded or started this year, just those we thought were doing particularly exciting & cool things this year and deserve a little bit of extra attention.
In no particular order…
Recently named one of five small presses “slyly changing the industry for the better” (flavorwire), Dorothy, a publishing project is dedicated to works of fiction or near fiction or about fiction, mostly by women.
Dorothy books emerge each October like ringing endorsements of writers you’ve never heard of by a friend whose taste you can absolutely trust. –The Atlantic
Belladonna* is committed to building publication and literary community between women-identified and genderqueer writers who write off-center—poetry and prose that is political and critical, that is situational rather than plot-driven, that is inter-subjective or performative or witnessing rather than personally revelatory, that reaches across the boundaries and binaries of literary genre and artistic fields, and that questions the gender binary.
Belladonna* is a feminist avant-garde collective, founded in 1999 by Rachel Levitsky. Belladonna* started as a reading and salon series at Bluestocking’s Women’s Bookstore on New York City’s Lower East Side. In June 2000, in collaboration with Boog Literature, Belladonna* began to publish commemorative “chaplets” (defined as short chapbooks of immediate writing or work-in-progress) of the readers’ work.
3. Peach Mag
Peach Mag is a literature and arts magazine based in Buffalo, New York.
Our flagship publication is our website, where we publish a new creative writing or visual art feature every Tuesday and Friday (MAG). We also produce in-print anthologies (BOOKS), present a seasonal reading series (EPISODES), sponsor an annual poetry award with iconic guest judges (GOLD), and host an annual apprenticeship for emerging teen editors (SEEDS).
NDR is an online literary and arts journal produced by graduate students in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Louisiana State University. Since 1984, NDR has published the work of emerging and established writers. Each issue includes original fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, reviews, interviews, and artwork. In our 30 years of publication, authors of international renown — Anne Carson, Billy Collins, Robert Olen Butler, J. Robert Lennon and Alissa Nutting, to name a few — have shared our pages with tomorrow’s literary stars. Our contributors are regularly included in anthologies such as Best American Short Stories, New Stories from the South, and Best American Poetry.
Established in 2016, Gramma is an independent poetry press based in Seattle. Gramma is an offshoot of Western Bridge, a contemporary exhibition space, which existed in Seattle’s SODO District from 2004 to 2012.
In addition to our full-length titles, Gramma produces Weekly Gramma, an online zine; Monthly Gramma, a Risograph newsletter printed with Cold Cube Press; and the Reading Series, a quarterly arts and literary event.
Omnidawn Publishing, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, seeks to support and expand our community of writers and readers through the work we choose to publish, which questions, in both form and content, the prevailing limits of convention. Our intent is to explore internal and external boundaries and push, with compassionate insight, the limits of risk.
Just as our name suggests—“omni” (in all ways and places) and “dawn” (the first appearance of light)—we publish creative works that open readers anew to the myriad ways that language may bring new light, insight, awareness, as well as a heightened respect for and appreciation of differences.
THIS is not a fixed entity. It is an ongoing experiment in resilient creative practice which necessarily morphs as its conditions and collaborators change. It is not a magazine, or a website, but rather an ongoing dialogue ABOUT the act of publishing on and offline: it is an exercise in the use and design of both of these things and their role in our shifting cultural landscape, explored THROUGH these things.
Whether on or offline, all publishing produced by the The OS can be most accurately described as documentation: an archive of creative production and process. But… WHY PUBLISH? to exemplify a belief that people everywhere can train themselves to use self(or community)-documentation as the lifeblood of a resilient, independent, successful creative practice.
If you pay attention to the entrepreneurial winds that blow, you may have noticed that “storytelling” has stopped whispering in the sidelines, from TED and The Moth and all the outlier early social media folk, coming front and center to bellow that it is the NEXT BIG THING in …marketing and business.
Founded in March 2015, Jack Jones Literary Arts’s mission is to provide publicity services and support for writers who are unafraid. We work diligently to announce book projects to audiences who seek literary art that is unorthodox, underappreciated, and unparalleled.
Jack Jones Literary Arts is changing the way we talk about literature. It is no mistake that Jack Jones’s roster is 98% black women and women of color. Jack Jones is shifting how literature by women—queer, feminist, of color, of a certain age—is reviewed and discussed by broadening the conversation and opening avenues formerly closed by mainstream outlets.
9. The Rumpus
The Rumpus is a place where people come to be themselves through their writing, to tell their stories or speak their minds in the most artful and authentic way they know how. We strive to be a platform for marginalized voices and writing that might not find a home elsewhere. We want to shine a light on stories that build bridges, tear down walls, and speak truth to power. What we have in common is a passion for fantastic writing that’s brave, passionate, and true (and sometimes very, very funny).
Ugly Duckling Presse is a nonprofit publisher for poetry, translation, experimental nonfiction, performance texts, and books by artists. UDP was transformed from a 1990s zine into a Brooklyn-based small press by a volunteer editorial collective that has published more than 200 titles to date. UDP favors emerging, international, and “forgotten” writers, and its books, chapbooks, artist’s books, broadsides, and periodicals often contain handmade elements, calling attention to the labor and history of bookmaking. UDP is committed to keeping its publications in circulation with our online archive of out-of-print chapbooks and our digital proofs program. In all of its activities, UDP endeavors to create an experience of art free of expectation, coercion, and utility.
11. Cartridge Lit
Cartridge Lit is an online literature mag dedicated to showcasing the best lit – fiction, nonfiction, poetry – inspired by video games. We believe video games are important and vital to [pop] culture. Why shouldn’t there be a lit mag dedicated to showcasing Lit + Games? We don’t know why not, either, so, here we are.
We want games-inspired lit that takes risks and tempts edges, that sparks and burns. Send us your Uncharted prose poems. Final Fantasy VI flash fiction. Segmented essays on transformation and mutation in games. Chrono Trigger. Donkey Kong. Minecraft. The Last of Us. Games new and old.
The Margins, the flagship editorial platform of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, is a bold new online magazine dedicated to inventing the Asian American creative culture of tomorrow. In an age when Asian Americans are relegated to sidekicks, whether in sitcoms or the corridors of power, we believe it’s time to bring Asian Americans into the conversations that matter. We’re thinking about Asian American identity in a way totally different from anyone else for a pan-racial, trans-cultural, truly world-spanning audience.
wildness is an online literary journal that publishes contemporary fiction, poetry and non-fiction. Founded in 2015, each thoughtfully compiled issue strives to unearth new work from both established and up-and-coming writers.
Moss is a literary journal of writing from the Pacific Northwest. Published annually, Moss is dedicated to exploring the intersection of place and creative expression, while exposing the region’s outstanding writers to a broad audience of readers, critics, and publishers. Since its debut issue in the summer of 2014, Moss has received praise for its sharp design, strong editorial hand, and its commitment to supporting new and emerging writers.
The Adroit Journal was founded in November 2010 by poet Peter LaBerge. At its foundation, the journal has its eyes focused ahead, seeking to showcase what its global staff of emerging writers sees as the future of poetry, prose, and art.
“The Adroit Journal is where I go when I want to know what the kids are reading.”
—Julia Berick, The Paris Review.
16. Two Dollar Radio
Two Dollar Radio is a family-run outfit founded in 2005 with the mission to reaffirm the cultural and artistic spirit of the publishing industry.
We aim to do this by presenting bold works of literary merit, each book, individually and collectively, providing a sonic progression that we believe to be too loud to ignore.
Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs publishes poetic works: subtle and intense forms of public exchange and autonomous expressions—dynamic in awareness—luminous in form.
Emphasis: diversity and interconnection—social, cultural, environmental and aesthetic.
18. Noemi Press
Founded in 2002, Noemi Press is a 501(c)(3) literary arts organization based in Blacksburg, Virginia, dedicated to publishing and promoting the work of emerging and established authors and artists. Noemi is housed at Virginia Tech University.
Luna Luna is an online diary and community dedicated to personal essay, poetry, idea, magical living, exploration of shadow and truth. At Luna Luna, you’ll find everything from DIY rituals and interviews with filmmakers to poetry and personal essays. We are a space for women, queer people, non-binary folks, and POC. We are a space for witches, dreamers and creators.
Our goal is to explore the space between darkness and light (not to be confused with ‘good’ or ‘bad’), and between dream and reality. The shadow is our home.
De-Canon: A Visibility Project is a “pop-up library” and web resource project that will showcase literary art by writers/artists of color. Our goal is to put forth an alternative literary “canon” — or multiple canons — that are inclusive, diverse, and multi-storied in their approach to representation. De-Canon wishes to challenge existing ideas of what constitutes the North American literary canon, especially in our current culture.
The De-Canon will consist of, in truth, multiple mini-canons with no central reference point —except that all works we talk about will be by artists and writers of color. It will include poetry, prose, hybrid forms, theory, criticism, and texts of literary-visual nature. These lists of works will be crowdsourced from writers, artists and readers of color, locally and nationally. Our goal is to create a forum in which many voices contribute to the defining–or un-defining–of the literary canon: this is in effect our de-canonizing experiment.