Special Topics in Literary Magazines

This edition of Toyon has Environmental Justice as a special topic. However, not all of the pieces within the journal are related to Environmental Justice. Upon doing a little bit of research on how literary magazines approach special topics and themes, I learned that this is not the norm. I had trouble even finding one other journal like our’s. A majority of the magazines with special topics center their entire production around that topic. I also found a few magazines that had a different topic for each edition; but still, every piece in the edition was focused on that topic. Below, I’ve listed a variety of special topics magazines. Future Toyon staff can use this finding and the magazines to determine how they would like to approach special topics, whether they keep the magazine as it is now or make alterations.

African American Review

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The African American Review publishes scholarly essays focused on African American arts including written, visual, and performing arts and culture. The magazine has published work from renowned writers such as Toni Morrison and Rita Dove.

The Awakenings Review


The Awakenings Review publishes work written by those who have been affected by mental illness. The writers either struggle with mental illness themselves or have friends or family members who do. They focus on using art and creativity as a form of healing.

Brilliant Corners


Brilliant Corners publishes jazz-focused writings from many genres and styles. The Lycoming College based literary magazine hosts poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, They have featured writers such as Philip Levine and Billy Collins.

Fairy Tale Review


The Fairy Tale Review publishes modern fairy tales in a variety of styles. The magazine is edited by MFA students at the University of Arizona and is published by Wayne State University Press. Each issue is named after a color. The most recent issue, 2015, is the Ochre Issue.

The Healing Muse


The Healing Muse publishes written and visual arts that focus on healing and medicine. The Upstate Medical University based magazine launched their sixteenth edition this last October.


On Spec


On Spec is a Fantasy-focused Canadian literary magazine. They publish short works of Fantasy, Science Fiction, Horror, and Magic Realism. They pride themselves in their unique and obscure content.



Each edition of THEMA contains a different theme. Previous themes have included Eureka!, Written in Stone, Renaissance Child, and many more. The magazine presents the theme when they call for submissions and see how writers respond to the quirky statement.


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