A sketched heart.

the Lit Mag Love Course

Get a big “YES” for your writing from journals you love.

Next Session: Jan 18–Feb 22, 2021

A Five-Week Guided Course

Get a big “YES” for your writing from literary journals you love. ​Learn how to submit writing more effectively and to kick-start your writing career​​, while you find and connect with your readers.

LitMagLove Course

Registration is Currently Closed

Early registration will open in January. Join the waitlist below and get a lovely early-registration discount.

Not having much luck publishing in lit mags?

Does this sound familiar?

  • You feel overwhelmed about sending your writing to journals. (Some of it has been languishing in drawers for years!)

  • You submit to lit mags, but get frustrated with the long waits, followed by the heartbreaking sting of rejection. (What do editors want!?)

  • You wish you could find a community of writers to support you and your dreams of getting published.
A woman in glasses reading a magazine and a person's hand with a pen writing in a notebook..

Publish & Shine!

A sketched heart.

after Lit Mag Love...

  • Know the steps you must take to publish your work and take those steps with lots of support!
  • Get a big “YES” for your writing from a dream journal—​and then another, and another.
  • Have a warm community of writers at your fingertips, with helpful advice and support when you need it.

      If you are ready to set some big goals for your writing this year, I’m here to help you reach them.

    Rachel Thompson

    Hi, I'm rachel Thompson

    I am a literary magazine editor (with Room), a published author, and the host of the Lit Mag Love Podcast (For Creative Writers Who Want to Publish). 

    I am here to help ​you publish​ your ​most luminous work.

    Lit Mags Published

    Course Alumni Have Published in Over 200 Journals and Anthologies!

    Click for a partial list of Journals my students have published with after taking the Lit Mag love course...

     

    50 Word Stories

    Angry Old Man Magazine  

    Anti-Heroin Chic

    Apparition Literary Magazine

    Askance Journal

    Atlas and Alice

    Augur Magazine

    Automata Review

    Baltimore Review

    Barren Magazine

    Belletrist Magazine

    Better Than Starbucks

    Black Dandy

    Blank Spaces Magazine

    Broken Pencil

    Bywords.ca

    Canthius

    carte blanche

    Carve Literary Magazine

    Catapult

    CBC

    Chaudiere Books

    Cleaver Magazine

    CNFC

    Cold Creek Review

    Contemporary Verse 2

    Contrary Magazine

    County Lines: A Literary Journal

    Crab Fat Magazine

    Crack The Spine

    CutBank

    Cypress: A Poetry Journal

    Dappled Things

    Door is a Jar Magazine

    Drunk Monkeys

    Entropy

    Escape Pod’s Artemis Rising 4

    Ethel

    EVENT Magazine

    Filling Station

    Flash Fiction Magazine

    Forge Magazine

    Freeze Frame Fiction

    Fustion Fragment

    Geez Magazine

    Geist

    Glint Literary Journal

    Gone Lawn

    Grain Magazine

    Hamilton Arts & Letters

    Hart House Review

    Hippocampus Magazine

    Hobart

    Humber Lit Review

    Imprint Anthology

    In/Words Magazine

    Invisiblog

    JMWW

    Journal of Compressed Arts

    Joyland Magazine

    Juncture Workshops

    Kissing Dynamite Poetry

    Light and Dark Magazine

    Literary Mama

    Little Fiction Big Truths

    LooseLeaf Magazine

    Madcap Review

    Maisonneuve

    Marías at Sampaguitas

    Memoir Magazine

    Minola Review

    Nailed Magazine

    Neworld Review

    OPEN: Journal of Arts & Letters (O:JA&L)  

    Oyster River Pages

    Panorama Journal

    Plenitude Magazine

    Porcupine Literary

    Prairie Fire

    PRISM international

    ProximityPseudoPodPulp Literature

    QWF Writes

    Red Alder Review

    Red Eft Review

    revue

    PØST poésie contemporaine

    Ricepaper

    Riddled With Arrows

    River Teeth Journal

    ​Room

    Rust + Moth

    Sabr Literary Magazine

    Santa Fe Writers Project Quarterly

    SAVVYMOM

    She Writes Press

    Silver Birch Press​

    Six Hens

    Sky Island Journal

    Small Beer Press Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet

    SubTerrain Magazine

    Synth

    Tales To Terrify

    The /tƐmz/ Review

    The Antigonish Review

    The Arcanist

    The Brevity Blog

    The Cabinet of Heed

    The Common

    The Dalhousie Review

    The Doctor T.J. Eckleburg Review

    The Ekphrastic Review

    The Feathertale Review

    The Fiddlehead

    The Foundationalist Journal

    The Globe and Mail

    The Loyalhanna Review

    The Lyre

    The Malahat Review

    The Maynard

    The Nasiona

    The New Quarterly

    The Puritan

    The Rumpus

    The Walrus

    The Wicked Library

    The Writer Magazine

    The Writing Disorder

    This Magazine

    Thread

    Three Drops from a Cauldron

    Tiny Essays

    Train Journal

    ​Understory Magazine

    Unlost Journal

    Vallum Magazine

    Vastarien: A Literary Journal

    Watch Your Head

    Wild Musette Journal

    WordWorks

    X-R-A-Y

    Lit Mag Love taught me to be more professional in terms of the writing practice. Getting published isn’t just throwing your work into the dark. You have to be strategic about it. I really liked that Lit Mag Love broke it down into specific goals.

    Angela Wright

    Writer, historian, and political analyst

    Lit Mag Love was the impetus I needed to get serious and motivated about my submissions.

    Rachel was a luminous guide offering equal parts gentle prompts and discerning truths.

    Deborah Johnstone

    Pushcart Prize Nominee

    My writing life has exploded since taking the Lit Mag Love course! I’ve had five short stories accepted in the space of a few months (along with some inevitable rejections) and I feel I’m really on the right track. 

    Julia Molloy

    Being part of Lit Mag Love and working with Rachel Thompson transformed my writing by opening avenues to publications, developing community, and furthering my commitment to craft.

    Rachel is a fantastic mentor and I highly recommend this course.

    Rowan McCandless

    Journey Prize Finalist

     I highly recommend this course to anyone who wants to publish in literary magazines, but really any writer who is interested in joining a community and honing their craft.

    Heather Ringo

    I think Lit Mag Love is a winner because it gives practical help for those writers who are ready to leap and just don’t know how. Doing this with a group made it “fun” in a way and it didn’t feel as if I were drudging along in my “room of one’s own.”

    Rhonda Mitchell

    Registration is Currently Closed

    Early registration will open in January. Join the waitlist below and get a lovely discount when the course opens again.

    Lit Mag Love Student Stories

    How Gwen went from never daring to publish to publishing and persisting to submit her writing.

    Gwen Martin tilts her head and looks at the camera with a slight smile. She has light, windswept hair and stands in a snowy, treed area, wearing a jacket and green and orange scarf.

    ”Gwen Martin freelanced as an editor for decades but had drawers filled with short stories and essays she never dared to think of publishing.

    “It felt easier and more permissible to support other people’s creativity through editing their writing than to allow myself the same encouragement. Occasionally, I tried to organize writing sessions once a week with friends, hoping the accountability factor would kick in, but those attempts fizzled.”

     

    Even when she sought inspiration in lit mags, she felt discouraged.

    ”I discovered so much fantastic writing that I felt, ‘What’s the point? Everyone’s light-years ahead of anything I could do.’ Besides, I was nearing 65 and believed my stories might be too … traditional. They’d never find a home in today’s lit mag scene. I knew – or thought I knew – that most mags’ first readers were younger writers who favoured edgy and experimental work. Besides, my brain shorted out trying to process the hundreds of literary magazines on the market.”

     

    It took a health scare for her to break this cycle of thought.

    “Fearing your life might end in a year is a gauntlet hurled to the ground. Serendipitously, I heard of the Lit Mag Love course and signed up immediately before I could invent One. More. Excuse.”

     

    She says signing up for the course was the best writerly move she ever made.

    “The Lit Mag Love course brought my writing intentions to life. Lesson after lesson, module after module, it gently but firmly encouraged a systematic approach that cut through the chaos of my earlier efforts. It made me take one tiny step after another until, almost without realizing it, I’d submitted stories to thirteen literary magazines.”

     

    Learning about all the factors that influence an editor’s decision was a most helpful part of the course for Gwen.

    “These sessions revealed the many factors (beyond writing quality) that affect editorial decisions. The more I learned about the realities of lit mag production, the more I came to view a story’s rejection as a step along its journey, not as an endpoint. One editor’s reject can become another editor’s gem. I’ll never look at writerly rejection again in the same way.”

     

    But the best aspect of the course for her was the “community generous supportive souls who cheered each other on through every confusion question and rejection note.”

    “Our Zoom meetings became the highlight of those early-Covid months. They offered a sense of writing positivity that lasted long after the course ended. I truly miss those meetings and my fellow participants, some of whom have become e-friends. Our group became more than the sum of our writerly selves, and I will carry the warmth, humour, and encouragement of those connections into my future writing life.”

     

    She’s now enthusiastically fulfilling a promise to herself.

    ”I’m now solidly on the road to doing what I promised myself I would do, which is to keep writing with a view to publication. So far, I have three more stories in the hopper, almost ready to submit.

    I’ve also gained the gumption to continue my formerly half-baked plans to write a mystery series. In fact, several lessons from the Lit Mag Love course have helped me to systematically design a database of potential characters, murder motives, and plot scenarios.

    Meanwhile, as of two months after the course ended, I’ve received five rejections and one acceptance from those original thirteen magazines. I’m cheerfully prepped for another seven rejections, but you never know!”

     

    Would she recommend the course to her friends? Yes!

    “I’d tell that friend to make the leap and sign up. Period. The excellent course structure keeps you accountable, diligent, and productive. Learning how to research and create a customized, detailed submission list of literary magazines is worth the entire course alone.

    The attentive community of participants – including the course leader, Rachel – offers the gift of regular feedback and support, which helps to reinforce the habit of writing daily and doing the work.

    I’ve taken many writing workshops over the years. This is the first one that stuck.

    How Tamara went from the heartbreak of rejection to saying “yes” to her writing.

    Gwen Martin tilts her head and looks at the camera with a slight smile. She has light, windswept hair and stands in a snowy, treed area, wearing a jacket and green and orange scarf.

    Before taking Lit Mag Love, Tamara had just heard back from a big MFA program with a big “NO!” (That’s how she says it felt to her. Written in all caps and with an exclamation mark.) 

    This big NO! shook her. She stopped writing for a month, and was “wrapped in a cocoon of self-doubt.” But a little voice inside her still wanted to be a writer. The spark was still alive.Tamara decided to try Lit Mag Love in the hopes of finding her way back to writing.  

    Through Lit Mag Love, Tamara learned to focus on her own motivations for sharing and submitting her writing and to build a plan that suits her true goals for her writing career.She worked with a renewed passion through the lessons, polished up her writing, and started sending out her work with a clear strategy tailored to her aspirations. Tamara shared encouragement with her peers in the Lit Mag Love community, and they shared the same with her. 

    “I had new energy for pieces that I dreaded revising and I submitted more work in a few months than the year before.” Tamara had come back to writing​. While in the course, Tamara decided to apply for another writing program—this time she got a big “YES!”“I would not have been able to do all this if I hadn’t taken the course which helped me be more intentional with my submissions, deal with rejection (because it’s part of the writer’s deal), make some great new supportive writer friends (who totally get the writing ups and downs).”She says my course helped her focus on what really matters—the writing. (So true.)“I am indebted to Rachel and this wonderful course and recommend any of her courses. Rachel is a writer who gets writing.”

    ===

    Since taking Lit Mag Love, Tamara has published her writing in the anthology Body & Soul: Stories for Skeptics and Seekers, Room, and Carte Blanche.

    Gwen Martin tilts her head and looks at the camera with a slight smile. She has light, windswept hair and stands in a snowy, treed area, wearing a jacket and green and orange scarf.

    “I had a weird thing happen,” Anne’s message opened.

    It turns out, Anne had submitted a piece to ten lit mags and a lower-tier place accepted her work right away. The “weird” thing was when she withdrew from the higher-tier places, two got back to her telling her they were moved by her work and one said they would have published her piece had she not withdrawn it.Getting such positive response all at once from lit mags was not how things were for Anne before she joined Lit Mag Love.

    Anne enrolled in Lit Mag Love because she was frustrated with the submission process. Up to that point, most of her work was getting rejected and she wouldn’t hear back from most literary magazines for many months.

    “Getting published seemed nearly impossible,” Anne said.

    Anne had gone from months and months of waiting—with many rejections—to having journals fighting to publish her work!Lit Mag Love showed her how she had been going at submitting “all wrong.”

    “As soon as I took Rachel’s advice, I started to get acceptance letters in my email. (I just wish I had listened to her about submitting to my tier-one magazines first!)”

    “I highly recommend Rachel’s lit mag publishing course. It really fuels you to get published and makes the process easy. The best thing is you will see results!”

    How Rowan built her writing network with no “writing establishment” connections.

    Gwen Martin tilts her head and looks at the camera with a slight smile. She has light, windswept hair and stands in a snowy, treed area, wearing a jacket and green and orange scarf.

    Rowan McCandless’s self-taught approach to the craft helped her garner some success, including award wins in prestigious journals. 

    “I had some success with pieces that I’d submitted to contests, but I didn’t really know how to develop my network of where I would submit from there,” Rowan says.Rowan joined Lit Mag Love because she lacked a writing network and connections to editors.

    The guest editors who answered her questions in the course helped her do the networking she needed. “Those experiences were so informative,” she says. “They were just like little gifts, little writerly gifts.”“Rachel created this online community of writers where we can meet and talk about our submissions successes and struggles and questions and comments.”

    ===

    Since taking Lit Mag Love, Rowan won the Constance Rooke CNF Prize, published with The Fiddlehead, The Malahat Review, and Prairie Fire. Her first collection of essays, Persephone’s Children will be published by Dundurn Press in October 2021.

    Lit Mag Love Course Details

    WHAT​’S IN THE COURSE?

    Each video lesson in the course comes with concrete, detailed assignment. You will need to have 3-5 hours available per week of the course session to do the assignment, but you set your own schedule. (For example, you could skip one week and double-up the next.)

    Once registered, you will have lifetime access to the lessons.

    During the course we have group office hours where you can come and ask questions live. I aim to set these times for when the current cohort is available, however video replays are available.

    Live Calls & Feedback 

    1) Three Q&A Video Calls
    These calls ​help clarify any questions you have about the lessons and make sure that you have what you need to keep going. Writers often find in the live calls that other writers will ask questions that they didn’t even know they had. Writers tell me the live calls gave them a confidence boost and a lot of warm, helpful support. And, writers who couldn’t make it live to the calls found they benefited by watching the video replays.

    2) Course message board​
    I am available throughout the week in our course community—a secure group in Slack where you can ask questions and get answers, plus interact with other writers.

    Registration is Currently Closed

    Early registration will open in January. Join the waitlist below and get a lovely early-registration discount.

    Need More Info?

    Here is and Outline of the Course Curriculum…

    MODULE 1: TAILOR a LIST OF PUBLICATIONS

    • Get Clear About Why You Want to Publish in Journals
    • Explore the Lit Mag Landscape
    • Pairing Journals to Fit Your Writing Goals

    MODULE 2: PREPARE YOUR SUBMISSION

    • What Do Editors Want?
    • Ready Your Writing
    • Preparing Your Submission

    MODULE 3: BUILD YOUR SUBMISSIONS SYSTEM

    • Goals & Systems
    • Fine-Tune Your Lit Mag List
    • The Cover Letter

    MODULE 4: PREPARE FOR FEEDBACK

    • Rejection and Hyper-Critical Feedback
    • Types of Rejection
    • The Art of Acceptance

    Bonus: Commit to Submit Club

    If you complete all of the course assignments during the live five weeks of the course, you will automatically be able to join our quarterly commit to submit club meetings. These meetings allow you to continue connecting with your writing peers from the course, and get feedback from me on your ongoing submissions strategy.

    Here are Some Frequently Asked Questions About the Course…

    Umm...So, what exactly are lit mags?

    Good question! Lit mags is short for literary magazines, and are also known as literary journals. They typically publish at least one genre of creative writing—nonfiction/essays, fiction, poetry, or mixed-genre forms. (And they may niche-down further into sub-genres of these forms.) For the purposes of this course, we look at any publication online, in e-book, or in print that will publish short fiction, creative nonfiction (essays, memoir), and poetry. The publications many people are familiar with are The New Yorker, or The Paris Review, but there are many, many lit mags out there and part of the course involves getting to know the various and vast lit mag landscape.

    What days and times will Q&A Calls be held?

    I set our office hours at times based on an initial survey of the registered students, and I make sure there’s at least one time per week that will work for everyone. (If that’s impossible, I will set up individual sessions with outliers.) Video replays are also available after each live call.

    What writing do I need to have prepared?

    It is ideal, but not required, that you have a draft submission of creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry, or mixed-genre writing prepared for this course. Don’t worry if it’s not “there” yet—we’re going to work on this in the course.

    Will you provide feedback on my writing?

    Although this is not a course about writing craft, I will provide feedback a short excerpt of your work. And I provide feedback on each and every assignment you complete, and answer any questions you have along the way, in our live video calls and our private community space.

    What are commit to submit meetings?

    If you complete all of the course assignments during the live five-weeks of the course, you will automatically be able to join our quarterly commit to submit club meetings. These meetings allow you to continue connecting with your writing peers from the course, and get feedback from me on your ongoing submissions strategy.

    When does the course start and end?

    The start date for the next session of the course appears at the top of this page and the course runs for five weeks.

    What does the course cost and can I pay in installments?

    The full price for the course is $399, and I offer an early-enrollment discount the month before the course begins. (Everyone on the waitlist will be notified of this.)

    If you prefer to pay in installments, you can choose the option to pay four monthly payments of $100 instead.

    Do you offer scholarships?

    Yes! All of my courses now have a limited number of scholarships available thanks to the generous donations of members in our course community. You’re welcome to apply using this link.

    Two-thirds of all my scholarships are  awarded to BIPOC and trans, non-binary, and Two-Spirit writers.

    If you’d like to help support another writer with a donation to the scholarship fund, please get in touch with me using the form below.

    Am I ready to take this step for my writing?

    You read all the FAQs and made it to the bottom of this LONG page, so I think you answered your own question. (Yes!)

    Still Have Questions? Use this form to ask me!