[Georgia State University]



Now welcoming submissions from undergrads currently enrolled in any college or university in the country!***

We’re hoping to expand our readership and extend our reach to include exciting student voices outside of Georgia State University.

We will consider original art, poetry, and prose for our Spring 2017 issue.

We are also interested in work by international students, and by undergrads enrolled in colleges and universities outside of the United States.  If you have any questions regarding eligibility, please email our Editor-in-Chief at underground.journal@gmail.com

***Please be aware that the submission process for non-GSU students is different from the process for students currently attending Georgia State University.***

Submissions close on 3/19/17, at 11:59 p.m.

Underground Art/Lit Mag at Georgia State University, National Undergrad Submission Guidelines (2017):

  1. Submissions should be sent via email to gsuunderground@gmail.com
  2. Please attach each piece you’d like us to consider as a separate file.  It’s okay to send us multiple attachments in a single email.  All files should be standard formats, such as .doc, .docx, .jpg, or .eps.
  3. Each file you attach should include your name (as you’d like it to appear, if selected for publication), and the name of the college or university you currently attend.  You must be currently enrolled as an undergraduate student in order to be eligible to submit.  The best way to help us verify your status is by submitting your work using your current student email.  We will verify that you are currently enrolled as an undergraduate student.   
  4. Please use 12-pt. Times New Roman or similar font.
  5. Limit word counts to approximately 2,500 words.  Preference will be given to shorter pieces.  We’re all busy undergrads, too!  
  6. Attention: Additionally, you must provide all of the following information in the body of your email.  We will not be able to consider your work unless you do so.
  1. Full Name
  2. Mailing Address
  3. Phone Number
  4. Email
  5. School
  6. Title(s) and genre(s) (art, poetry, or prose) of pieces submitted
  7. Media used (if applicable)

If your work is selected for publication in our upcoming issue, you will receive two complimentary copies of the journal, which will be sent to the mailing address you include in the submission email.

Get in touch!  We want to hear from other undergrads and undergrad literary journals around the country (and the world).  Let’s start a conversation, swap subscriptions, swap ads, compare notes, etc.

Thanks for taking the time to submit your work to Underground.  Our mission is to give you a platform with which to reach a wider audience.  We can’t wait to hear from you!  Get heard!

Spring ’17 submissions now open!

We want your work.  You have until SUNDAY, MARCH 19 at 11:59 p.m. to submit your art, poetry, and prose for consideration in Underground issue 7.2.


The sooner you submit, the sooner we will review your work and give you feedback. Remember, we’re committed to working with contributors to revise and edit the pieces we publish.  While this is a great opportunity to make sure we’re printing the most polished work, it is a time-consuming process.

As always, we want to hear from you.  Without your hard work, what would we print?! So, keep creating and please contact us along the way.  Feel free to reach out through social media, or shoot us an email at underground.journal@gmail.com.  Hope to hear from you soon!

From the Archives: David Revzin on Camille Harper’s “The Potter’s Wife”


On Camille Harper’s “The Potter’s Wife”

By David Revzin


“The Potter’s Wife,” by Camille Harper, is the portrait of an artist as an old man, presented by his wife, who is watching his slow demise.  Here is a snapshot of a life in decline and of love overshadowed by sorrow and tragedy.  There are no more Muses.


“My husband keeps up the charade well, just as I do,” says the wife.  “He hasn’t had a show in years.”  The subtle absurdities of this deteriorating home are soon replaced by a devastating realism embodied by tragedy.  While the potter’s wife searches for signs of artistic life in her husband’s clay-covered hands (“hands that paid for this house”), “it is impossible to not notice the shaking.”


Harper’s story is both beautiful and bleak.  It is a reminder of the intersections of art, the body, and life.  Creation and destruction coexist.  When we learn of the source of the potter’s sorrow, we start to sense the strength of his wife.  She, too, has suffered.  She, too, searches for signs of hope.  We, too, see the shadows of the past.


“The Potter’s Wife,” by Camille Harper, appears in Volume 2, Issue 1 of Underground (2011).

From the Archives: Rachel Ponce de Leon on “trick or treat” by j. adam white

transparentghost-1halloween is my favorite month of the year, as they say. every time it rolls around, i know that october in atlanta is a special time: the wind picks up, possessing leaves to slap people on the ankles. the temperature cools from sweaty 86 to brisk 68. the persimmons drop fatly to the pavement, orange on black. the night begins to come on sooner and sooner as the evening of eerie abandon approaches.

even if they stop fearing the monsters that emblemize hallowe’en, those who continue to face the night past the years of tricks and treats cannot deny that on the 31st, the outside world still manages to carry a mysterious air. is there anything out there but the wind? one can only guess.

this piece from the spring 2012 issue is full to bursting with treats and tricks, which in poetry mean the same. white’s winding, loping piece reads breathlessly, and i appreciate his attentive use of punctuation. this is a poem with a motor. it hiccups to a windy start, winds through the confusion of an anxious liminal space, and chugs to a halt on a glaring sense of doubt.

speaking of, another thing i like about halloween is that it really is a threshold of thresholds and this dark, sweet little piece treats the night just so. trick or treating is a fleeting ritual, one that always rests on a double-edged sword of freedom: wandering the neighborhood could result in either joy or terror. not to mention, it takes place on the border between months in the witching hours of night, when the borders between material and conceptual realms alike are supposedly more apt to disintegrate. say, for example, the realms of desire and action; of sense and nonsense; even of subject and object.

white navigates the confusion of being young and hormonal in the internet age, reflecting on isolation and temporality along the way. halloween night is a fertile, fertile landscape in which to situate these issues. after all, what drives young adults, lovers, and children of the night alike but the allure of exploring shadowed territory?

-r. ponce de leon
Poetry Editor


“trick or treat” by J. Adam White

volume 2, issue 2

spring 2012

wind came like ghosts
against this house, howling
for their or our loneliness
with more tricks than treats
and your bag light with candy
and your skin hot with darkness
there’s no google translate
from boy to girl or
monster to midnight or
street to streetlight
only carved guesses out of
pumpkin flesh saying yes,
this candle’s lit but
who knows for how long


Is Rejection the Worst Thing Ever?

Post by: Lindsey Baker (Prose Editor)


Rejection sucks. No doubt about it, being rejected in any context is not a fun time.

Writers, however, get to have a very fickle relationship with rejection. Ask anyone who has tried to get their work published and they will tell you the old adage of the famous authors who pinned thousands of rejection letters to their walls to look at as they swatted away at their typewriters, or the story of Stephen King working at an industrial washer with maggot-infested sheets during the day while cranking out bestsellers in the laundry room/office of his family trailer at night, constantly being told that his fiction wouldn’t sell. These stories are gratifying in the same ways that they are frustrating. We, as writers, love to hear them and sometimes repeat them to ourselves like mantras or prayers, especially each time the email comes in and we get another “REJECTED” mark pinned on Submittable. These are the stories that give us hope that if we just keep working and keep submitting, eventually something must happen. Each rejection must, so help us, bring us one step closer to literary royalty.
If this empowers us, then the stories of struggle and endurance are worth repetition. However, we must remember why we write in the first place. No writer (at least, no one who writes well) sat down one day and said to herself, “Well, gee, I bet I could make a lot of money writing a bestseller. Bet I’d get really famous too!” and started furiously typing. Okay, well, there are probably plenty of people who believe that, although hopefully she didn’t say that aloud around any literary folks. We all know that this isn’t a job that will bring us money effortlessly, and unless we’re very lucky, it isn’t likely to bring fame either. But if our work connects with even a handful of people—if it is inspiring and thoughtful, if it sticks around in our reader’s head—then haven’t we done our job as writers?
Not to say that writing for money or building a completely livable career out of writing is impossible or somehow less noble than being a literary wonderkid. But it requires stamina, the type of stamina that can’t be deterred by a few silly ol’ rejections. It’s up to us as writers to take our rejections in as fuel, as ladder rungs to some greater level, as another step on a long journey; pick your cliché metaphor, it’s up to us to persevere. And, in the meantime, we must remember why we write and take joy in the sharing and growth of our work.


10 Reasons to Submit to Underground!

10 Reasonsto

10. The glory of being published- There’s a certain feeling you get when you open up a book or magazine and see the words you’ve written. It’s the final step. It’s what you dreamed of. Now you can say, “I’ve been published.”

9. Fame- We know, you’re tired of going home and always getting asked, “What’s going on in your life?” Now, instead of mumbling, “Not much, Aunt Tabitha,” you might mention that you are a published author/artist. NBD!

8. Immortality- For generations to come your name and work will be in the Underground archives for future students look back on and be inspired by.

7. Bragging Rights- Put it on your CV, your resume, your Linked In, your Facebook, your Twitter, your Tumblr, your professional website–you can even put it on your My Space if you’re feeling nostalgic!

6. Being a Part of Something- Underground is not just a publication, but a family. When you become a part of our creative community, you meet other people who know what you’re going through and a door opens to a whole new world. Who knows what you’ll find?!

5. Deadlines- We’ve all been there. You’re workshopping tomorrow, but that poem isn’t finished. For some reason your story is in Kansas when it should be London. You load up on candy, energy drinks, and memes to pull an all nighter.  It all works out and you come out with a great piece. Deadlines can help push you to create. Knowing our submissions are not open forever might just be the push you need.

4. It’s Addictive- Once you submit to Underground you’ll be familiar with the process, the butterflies will be gone, your adrenaline will kick in and you’ll be wishing submissions for the next issue were open already. Who knows? Maybe  you’ll gain the confidence to submit to one of the big literary journals…and get accepted!

3. We Love Your Writing- We love hearing what you have to say. Through exchanging our works we inspire each other and build off the momentum of creative energy. Join the conversation!

2.Them Feels- There’s nothing better than checking your email and instead of being told your library book is over due (again), you’ve got an acceptance letter in your box! It’s a rush of adrenaline every time, followed by a warm fuzzy feeling of pride and joy. It’s definitely something to celebrate.

1. Underground will soon be in the New York Public Library archives! The NYPL is our first official subscriber, so your work will be kept safe for years to come! We know your work is special and you worry about submitting to the right place. Underground is proud to be the right place. Let us help spread your word. You deserve to be heard.

Advice from Authors: Top Ten Quotes on Writing


Now that submissions are open, you’re probably trying to scramble to come up with your next amazing poem or write down that short story idea you’ve thought about all summer. Sometimes writing can be difficult and that’s okay, even our literary heroes had their share of trials and tribulations in writing. Here’s some advice for when the words don’t come easy, or sometimes at all.


Top TenQuotes onWriting

  1. “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

—Ernest Hemmingway

2. “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”

—Stephen King

3. “Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.”

—Mark Twain

4. “One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.”

—Jack Kerouac

5. “And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”

—Sylvia Plath

6. “Read, read, read. Read everything — trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.”

—William Faulkner

7. “How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.”

—Henry David Thoreau

8. “A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.”

—Thomas Mann

9. “You must write every single day of your life… You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads… may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.”

—Ray Bradbury

10. “A word after a word after a word is power.”

—Margaret Atwood

And one extra secret bonus track, for when you do write something, and it’s good, and we accept it:

 “The first problem of any kind of even limited success is the unshakable conviction that you are getting away with something, and that any moment now they will discover you. It’s Imposter Syndrome, something my wife Amanda christened the Fraud Police.

In my case, I was convinced that there would be a knock on the door, and a man with a clipboard (I don’t know why he carried a clipboard, in my head, but he did) would be there, to tell me it was all over, and they had caught up with me, and now I would have to go and get a real job, one that didn’t consist of making things up and writing them down, and reading books I wanted to read. And then I would go away quietly and get the kind of job where you don’t have to make things up any more.”

—Neil Gaiman

Meet the new Editor-in-Chief: David Revzin

Meet the... (5)

1. Most interesting class you’ve had at GSU.

Moral Psychology with Dr. Nahmias

2. What are your goals for the Fall edition?

I would like to see Underground expand the range of voices we put forth on our pages. I hope that we can find new and exciting ways to engage with the entire undergraduate population at GSU.

3. What advice do you have to those submitting?

You have something to say that the rest of us should hear. Every day at GSU brings you in contact with an incredible range of personalities and ideas. You are an important part of the conversation on your campus, in your community, and beyond.

Sometimes you need to shout.  Sometimes you don’t.  Whatever you style, Underground offers you a space to take a step back, take a deep breath, and pour your passion into your art. Create something that will outlast your latest Facebook status. Maybe you have a story to tell that’s too long to Tweet. Then again, if you can say it all in a single sentence, you should. Either way, we want to hear from you. Underground is here to help you join the conversation on campus. Underground is a great place to get heard.

4. How can a student make the most of their time at GSU?

Show up. Get involved. Ask questions. Take the time to explore campus. Enjoy being a student. There are many people  who would love to have the opportunities you and I do.  Be curious, get inspired, stay motivated, and make the most of your time.

5. What literary figure would you like to have dinner with? (dead or alive)

Hafiz or Hunter S. Thompson

Interview with Justin Beaudrot: Production Editor

Meet the... (4)

1.What is your goal for Underground this fall?

I would like to see Underground really branch out this fall and be recognized all across the campus.

2.  What journal do you find inspiration from?

The Georgia Review

3. What class are you most excited about this fall?

Intro to political writing and research.

4. What do you think makes GSU students so creative?

The central, urban location and wealth of diversity help GSU students obtain and harness a variety of perspectives,  and I think that is what enables them to be so creative.

5. If you could resurrect any writer to write one more work–who would it be?

Pat Conroy. 😦