Steel Toe Review publishes a (roughly) quarterly online issue and an annual print issue (except that one year when we didn’t). We publish mainly literary short stories and poetry, but also essays, creative non-fiction, one-act plays, and visual art. We favor Southern writers and Southern themes, but we are willing to consider any writing of quality. What we really enjoy doing is connecting writers from the South and writers from elsewhere, and we hope that the writers we publish will read each other’s work and follow up on those connections. We are also very interested in tradition and the myriad ways writers push boundaries of tradition while still recognizing where they come from.

Tradition means something more than just doing the same things that people before you did with slight variations. Tradition provides a set of conventions and a set of expectations, and all of these can be reinterpreted and remolded and put to new uses. At Steel Toe Review, we strive to find literary and multimedia art that challenges and re-invents traditions.

We are based in Birmingham, Alabama, and we believe that this is a natural home for such work. Anyone with knowledge of Birmingham’s history knows that it is in many ways not at all a traditional Southern city, and yet it has stubbornly held onto Southern traditions perhaps more than any other comparable city. As far as the name is concerned, we won’t pretend that Steel Toe has deep significance. Everything has to have a name. But Birmingham was founded as a steel mill town. And the idea of a steel toe appeals to our aging punk rocker sensibilities on several levels. It made sense to us at the time, and we’ve come too far to change it now. Another thing we learned, being from Birmingham sometimes means embracing your scars.

See submission guidelines for more information.

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