Too often I pick up a novel, dive a few chapters in when I have an hour, then haul it around with me for months on end without making progress. If you’re like me, you know that there are multitude frustrations accompanying this: the plot loses its urgency, characters lose familiarity, details that colored the text fall through the cracks. In short, the whole experience stales.

Literary Journals offer contemporary choices that will host your interest no matter how unpredictable or packed your schedule might be. The average literary journal has well over a dozen authors featuring various genres of both poetry and short fiction. If you’re tempted to refute based on the fact that you typically don’t read these genres, you have one more reason to give a few your time. It is notable that many literary magazines let you peek at their stuff without paying.

You will thank yourself for having something to do that will engage your brain on a far more intellectual level than most anything you’ll find on your phone. I’ve found them the most rewarding for waiting periods—meeting people at restaurants, trips to the DMV, work appointments, etc.—or perhaps for those focus-restoring five minutes you might reward yourself with every twenty-five minutes (of which I am guilty).

Below is a list of several literary journals published locally in Denver; I recommend you give these your support and readership.


Magazine: F(r)iction

You’ll find: short fiction, flash fiction, poetry, and nonfiction, in addition to a selection of graphic stories

A Bit of Background: TBL is a Nonprofit Literary Publisher and Writer’s Resource. They provide several FREE programs open to the public.

How to Read: individual issues $10 or $15 ,$25/1 Year Digital Subscription (3 issues), Regular Subscription $35/year (3 issues),



Magazine: PINYON


You’ll Find: poetry, prose and art, along with the occasional review

A Bit of Background: Published annually at Colorado Mesa University, PINYON is funded primarily by the Department of Languages, Literature and Mass Communications at CMU.

How to Read: $9/Annual subscriptions. $5 for back-copies are available for $5.00, payable by U.S. check only, made out to Pinyon Poetry. See website for details.




Magazine: Bombay Gin


A Bit of Background: “Started in 1974, Bombay Gin is the literary journal of The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics—co-founded by Allen Ginsberg and Anne Waldman—at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. […] Emerging from the Outrider or left-hand lineage, which operates outside the cultural mainstream, Bombay Gin honors a heritage of powerful scholarship and counter-poetics through the publication of work that challenges the boundaries of language, form, and genre.” –Bombay

You’ll Find: innovative poetry, prose, and hybrid texts as well as art, translations, interviews, and online multimedia content

How to Read: 1 year- $10; 3 years-$21; 5 years-$35.



Magazine:  Colorado Review


A Bit of Background: The Colorado Review’s history is remarkable, and impossible to avoid. If you want some indication of what they print, the first issue featured work by Langston Hughes, William Carlos Williams, and E. E. Cummings, to name a few. Not that this means only the big shots are printed in their pages, as this magazine is interested in both new and established writers.

You’ll Find: contemporary fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and book reviews

How to Read: $10 print issues, $5 digital issues



Magazine: Denver Quarterly

A Bit of Background: The esteemed Denver Quarterly is published by Denver University and held in high acclaim nationwide. The avant-garde flourishes here, as the Denver Quarterly celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2015.

You’ll Find: fiction, essays, interviews, reviews, and poetry

How to Read: individual issues $10, $25/annual subscription, $50/two year subscription



Magazine: Think


A Bit of Background: “In Fall 2013, the Graduate Program in Creative Writing at Western State Colorado State University acquired the journal. THINK publishes poems that emphasize craft as well as clear and compelling content. We are looking for metered, rhymed poems, in received or nonce forms, or free verse with a clear organizing principle.”

You’ll Find: poetry, criticism, and reviews

How to Read: $10 per issue, $18/annual subscription (2 issues)


Also Check out: for a complete list of Coloradan literary journals


Bianca Glinskas hails from sunny Southern California, where she studied English and Creative Writing at California State University of Long Beach.  Bianca's work has appeared in literary magazines including Knock Your Socks Off, Ordinary Madness, and Glass Mountain Magazine. Bianca's column arose as a natural attempt to answer the call of Denver's lively, pulsating literary scene. When she isn't reading or writing, Bianca enjoys doing yoga, playing viola, exploring the outdoors, drinking at breweries, and holing up in coffee shops for hours on end. For any inquiries regarding Bianca's coverage of Denver's literary scene, please do not hesitate to contact her directly at