Start The Presses: Harvard Published Itself

Tired of writing poems and stories for the pure joy of it? Check out Harvard's growing family of highly-selective literary mags.

So you wanna be a writer? If not, skip to the next paragraph--don't read this one! If so, please continue. Does it seem as if all your fellow aspiring poets and writers are on their way to literary stardom, while you still churn out poetry that belongs in your eighth grade writing workshop class? Or worse yet, your creative genius doesn't conform to what those mainstream people can tolerate. Fear not! Those talented and creative Harvard kids run/start up so many different publications, focusing on anything and everything and whatever might fall in between that you'd have to try really hard to not find the forum you're looking for. While we can't help you with your prose or verse, we can help you find inspiration and figure out where you want to be read. And you know what they always tell you in the admissions office propaganda--if it doesn't exist, you can start it yourself! (And that is actually very true, as demonstrated by some of the recently-founded publications listed below.) Please proceed directly to our literary listings below. Whatever you do, do NOT read the next paragraph.

Leave it to all those suffering literary souls on campus to labor away over their novels and sonnets. All you have to do is find what you like to read, and ignore what you don't. Now pay attention: in addition to the focus-specific publications (in which the content in every issue relates to the theme or idea), we have web-based publications (some pretty awesome ones, at that), and some types of literary magazines unique to Harvard. If Harvard truly had any smart people, there would be one central location where you could pick up a copy of all these goodies. Unfortunately, you'll have to wait for them to be door-dropped or run around trying to find them, like I did. Guess maybe we're not all that intelligent, but we sure do write some fine fiction. Now read it, please. Some of it might even inspire you to write; then you'd have to go back and read the first paragraph, wouldn't you?

The Harvard Advocate

Quarterly; one special issue, Spring 2000


Next Deadline: December 8

Contact: see website,

Harvard's oldest and most prestigious literary publication, the Advocate is always a reliable place to look for on-campus talent. Although the Advocate plays an active role in fostering Harvard's artistic community, text is still its primary focus. A special Black Arts issue, commemorating the 30th anniversary of the founding of Harvard's Afro-American Studies Department will supplement the usual four issues per year, which includes the popular Annual Contest Issue in the spring. For "The Last Issue," a look at beginnings, endings, new starts and redemption, to be published in December, submissions will still be considered based on quality, but with an eye to how well work fits this theme. The Advocate publishes fiction, poetry, art, and photography, as well as an increasingly healthy features section. Writers must be enrolled in a degree program at Harvard in order to submit. Consult the Advocate website for submission details.

The Gamut


Deadline: December (before winter break)

Contact: Michelle Rhee (mrhee@fas)

Harvard's only all-poetry review, The Gamut's goal is to provide "an open poetic forum" for the enormous amount of poetry that is submited to Harvard's student publications. Poetry of any length, style or form is welcome; there is no specific focus on content. Translations are also published. The openess of the review process produces a collection remarkable for its variety and quality of style and substance. The Gamut accepts work from the Harvard undergrads, grad students, and faculty. Submissions are accepted at the Woodberry Poetry Room or via email (mrhee@fas).

Recommended Articles