Since 1993, students in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of South Carolina have produced Yemassee literary journal.
In little more than a generation, Yemassee has thrust itself into the national spotlight, becoming not only a community anchor by hosting events and readings around the Columbia area, but also establishing a presence at national writing conferences and allowing its students access to literary professionals around the country.
Yemassee runs three annual contests, awarding prizes for the best poem and best short story. The annual Chapbook Contest awards $1,000 and publication to a poetry chapbook.
Published twice a year, one issue is always devoted to the contest winners. The second issue is not themed. Recent authors include a mix of new and established writers.
According to the rag’s Facebook page, “notable writers who have been published in this journal include James Dickey, Susan Ludvigson, Robert Coover, Virgil Suarez, William Price Fox, Kwame Dawes, Ron Rash, Nikky Finney, and many others.”
You can purchase a printed back issue for $5, or subscribe for one year for $10 (two issues) or two years for $18 (four issues).
To purchase an issue or subscribe, click here.
Interested in having your work appear in Yemassee? They accept submissions year ’round. It’s free to submit, or you can pay $3 for an expedited response.
Yemassee accepts flash fiction and nonfiction up to 1,000 words; fiction and nonfiction up to 5,000 words; and 3-5 poems per submission.
There’s no better way to figure out what Yemassee editors like than to read a few back issues. That said, they do offer some general guidelines on their website.
They prefer poems that “give us reason to pause, poems that shake something loose from the ether and ask us to come closer, press against them with a listening ear. Â We want poems that leap somewhere strange and take us along. Â We want lines that strike and flash, that haunt us when weâ€™re alone.”
The editors prefer prose that is “honest, insightful, bold or funny. We look for fiction that asks questions and attempts to navigate the human experience. Prose stands out when it is engaging, both in tone and pace, and when it uses language in a compelling way.”
To submit, click here.