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SWC Recommends: Scottish Literary Magazines and Journals

By 23/10/2017December 11th, 2018One Comment

Looking forward to tomorrow’s event ‘How to Get Published?’ Hosted by SWC Director Andrew Smith, our event – in association with Red Squirrel Press – features a number of industry professionals, including Sheila Wakefield, Colin Will, Gerry Cambridge and Sheila Templeton. A mixture of poets, publishers and editors, our event is perfect for writers looking to crack the publishing industry and to learn the answer to that all important question: ‘how do I get published?’ To get you in the mood for tomorrow, SWC’s Literary Editor Rachel Walker has rounded up some of our favourite Scottish literary journals and magazines – brilliant publications that both readers and writers alike will definitely enjoy!


Gutter Mag

Ask people about the best literary magazine in Scotland, and it’s likely the response will be Gutter Mag. It’s the first literary publication I’d ever heard of in Scotland, and the first one I’d ever perused. Gutter, which is published by award-winning Freight Books, showcases the best in contemporary Scottish creative writing, they’re particularly invested in submissions that challenge the status quo. If you haven’t picked it up yet, now is definitely the time!

Glasgow Review of Books

Although predominantly review-focused, Glasgow Review of Books also publishes fiction, poetry, visual art and translations of all kinds. It describes itself as a ‘proud resident of Glasgow’ with an internationalist bent and it definitely shows: the reviews are broad in scope, covering areas as fascinating (and as broad-ranging) as imaginative poetry collections, a recent translation of the Bulgakov classic The Master and Margarita, and contemporary re-readings of surrealist texts in the light of current American politics.

The Dark Horse

Founded in 1995 by poet Gerry Cambridge – one of our panelists for tomorrow – The Dark Horse is a transatlantic literary treat. Committed to British, Irish and American poetry, this magazine has featured weighty Scottish poets such as Edwin Morgan, but also loves to publish unknown and undiscovered writers. The perfect journal for the poet in all of us.

Northwords Now

The resident literary magazine of the Highlands and Islands, Northwords Now aims to give a voice to new writing from the Highlands. It seeks to redefine the idea that the North of Scotland is isolated and bereft, in some way, and achieves this through the multi-varied medium of poetry, short fiction, reviews, essays… The list goes on. Oh, and it’s completely free. You can pick up copies from all over Scotland – check the website for more details!


Although Quotidian isn’t currently accepting submissions, this beautifully designed magazine is ideal for students and recent graduates. They publish short fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry under the theme of the ‘everyday’ written by students (and those of us who have just given up our student card for good) across Scotland. To paraphrase their rather eloquent website, although these pieces might be quotidian in theme (and short in length), they most definitely carry weight.

Words by Rachel Walker

Image credit: Gutter Mag, The Dark Horse and Quotidian Magazine


One Comment

  • jack Duffy says:

    Having enjoyed some small successes with ‘The Scots Magazine’, the sadly now defunct ‘Leopard’ mag, and my university’s ‘New Writing in the North’ publications, I find myself with several short stories I don’t know whom to offer to. Now nearing 92 (!) I would very much appreciate your help in identifying possible outlets for them.


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