Better is a magazine of culture and literature featuring articles, interviews, essays, artwork, stories, poems, and reviews by (and about) some of the best creative-types in the world today. Our goal is not to be the most prestigious, the most experimental, or even necessarily the best—we just want to be better. We think it’s time to raise the bar on what an online magazine can be and do, by featuring audio and video of as many contributors as possible, and by privileging art, writing, and other media that couldn’t be presented as effectively in a traditional paper-magazine format.
Better is on hiatus while we do a little re-imagining of our publishing and editorial structures; issue 7 will be launched Fall 2015. Check back soon to see what's happening. When we do re-open the transom, you can send us anything, so long as it hasn’t been published previously: articles, reviews, interviews, artwork, video, essays, stories, poems, songs, lists, manifestos, tirades, games, your new fashion statement, a detailed photo-catalog of your collection of vintage corkscrews, your pitches for post-apocalyptically marketed breakfast cereals—whatever you’re proud of or excited about: We’ll consider it. We have no length limits, but if that makes you uncomfortable, you can read suggestions on our submissions manager page. Simultaneous submissions are always acceptable, as long as you let us know if a submission has been taken elsewhere. We do ask, however, that you only submit one collection of work at a time, and that you wait until you receive a response before submitting again. Generally speaking, you should submit no more than once every six months. If you have work to submit to our Wish List, however (see below), we’ll allow you to submit up to two collections of work at any given time. You can submit to us here. Full withdrawals can be made through Submittable, and partial withdrawals can be made by appending a note to your Submittable submission. If we select your work for publication, we will request First North American Serial rights, Electronic rights, and Online Archival rights, as well as the rights to republish the accepted work in a future print anthology. Despite being a free-to-read startup magazine staffed and edited entirely by volunteers, with no grant funding or institutional support of any kind, Better is nevertheless striving toward a day when we can pay all contributors for their work. However, that goal won’t be reached all at once. At the moment, Better can sometimes (but not always) offer a limited honorarium (no more than $50) for fiction and creative nonfiction. We hope to be able to offer some form of compensation to poets in the near future, as well, but unfortunately we do not have the budget at this time.
Better maintains two “wish lists”—one for under-represented submissions, and one for donations of resources and production support. On the submissions side, note first that it is always always always in your interest to submit your best work, no matter what we say we want. Often even we don’t know what we want, so just give us your absolute best work, whatever that is. That said, eligible Wish List submissions include cultural criticism and mixed-media work of any kind—particularly audio/video essays or interactive works that could not be published in anything other than an online format (e.g. nonlinear fiction or poetry, essays that require audio or video interludes, This-American-Life-style audio journalism, etc.) If you send work that fits our Wish List requests, you're permitted to submit to us in another genre at the same time.
In 2014, we launched a YouTube channel, and we are currently working to archive every video we’ve ever produced for the magazine. In addition to the YouTube channel (to which we think you should subscribe immediately), we plan to launch a weekly podcast in the coming year. We know it’s not always easy or convenient to sit still and read a thirty-page story on your little laptop screen, which is why we want to give you a regular dose of Better in your ear-holes, and to provide a (slightly) more educated alternative to those late-night viral kitten videos.
Seth Abramson; Samuel Amadon; Cynda Collins Arsenault; Claire Askew; Jia Oak Baker; Hannah Baker-Siroty; Melissa Barrett; Zack Bean & Michelle Miley; Sarah Beil; Oliver Bendorf & Coco O’Connor; Lillian-Yvonne Bertram; Barbara Bishop; Seth Bishop; Sarah Blake; Jaz Blakeston-Petch; Bloof Books; Blue Bicycle Books; Paula Bomer; Jenn Brehm; Willam Brewer; Andrew Brininstool; Jeremy Bronaugh; Amelia Bucek; MaryAnn Bucek-Kenny; Rowan Hisayo Buchanan; E. S. Bumas; Jess Burgess; David Alan Butler; Tina V. Cabrera; Haley Campbell; Canarium Books; Kara Candito; Rachel Cann; Elisabeth Carter; Brittany Cavallaro; Laurie Ann Cedilnik; Michael Cherry; Andrew Cohen; Callie Collins; Lydia Conklin; Judy Coombs; Brandon Courtney; Katie Cortese; Wayne Cresser; Sara Crosby; Jennine Capó Crucet; Jesse Damiani; Stephen Danos; Kavita Das; Justin Lawrence Daugherty; Rachel Day; Sion Dayson; Jaquira Díaz; Michael Dickes; G Dietz; Will Donnelly; Michelle Dove; Ryler Dustin; Laura Eve Engel; Sandy Ewen; Jessica Farquhar; Raina L. Fields; Tamara Fish; Lydia Fitzpatrick; John Henry Fleming; Stephanie Ford; Graham Foust; Kit Frick; Philip Fried; Celeste Gainey; Christina Garofalo; Roxane Gay; Luke Gnadinger; Kevin Gonzalez; Lynn Goode; Kathy Goodkin; Benjamin Goodney; Deborah Gorlin; Lauren Gottlieb-Miller; Marcos B. Gouvea; Barry Grass; Keith W. Hagel; Liz Windhorst Harmer; Eli Hastings; Alison Hathaway; Rebecca Hazelton; Carolyn Roch & Matt Henneman; Chrissy Hennessey; Carolivia Herron; Chloe Honum; Robert Houghton; Missy & Peter Hyland; John James; Terrell James; Jay, Cait, and Finn; Kirby Johnson; Sara Eliza Johnson; Michael Jones; Skip Jones; Janine Joseph; Anna Journey; Cynthia Kane; Maya Kanwal; Jesse Lee Kercheval; John Kilduff; Kristin Kiser; Jen Knox; Loren Kwan; Linda Ledford-Miller; Jill Leininger; Eric & Kristin LeMay; Roxanne Leino; Shara Lessley; Line Assembly; Matthew Lippman; Brandon Lopez; Patrick Lucy; Kerb Lydick; Tony Mancus; Bronwyn Mahoney; Manor House Quarterly; Surena & Misty Matin; Toni Matlock; Matt Mauch; Nina McConigley; Molly McCracken; Shane McCrae; Edward McFadden; Kimberley McGill; Jenna McGuiggan; Leslie Anne Mcilroy; Jill Meyers; Joe Milazzo; Rebecca Miles; Andrew R. Missel; Judith Claire Mitchell; Christopher Mohar; Rachael Morrison; Mark A. Nakamura; Willy Nast; Denise Newman; Brian Nicolet; Matthew Nienow; Judy Nyquist; Dan O’Brien; Paul Otremba; Marian Palaia; John Bradley Peele; Adam Peterson; Emilia Phillips; Jessica Piazza; Jason Polan; Sarah Pollard; Niina Pollari; Justine Post; Lise M. Quintana; Michal Rosenn; Laura L. Runge; Benjamin Rybeck; Anjali Sachdeva; Matt Sailor; Yuko Sakata; Sarabande Books; Michael Schmeltzer; Rob Schlegel; Kate Schmitt; Andrew Scott; Chaiti Sen; Rinku Sen; Shifra Sharlin; Chris Shaw; G David Shaw; Matthew Siegel; Brian Simoneau; Chad Simpson; Jacob Singer; Eric Smith; Nancy Smith; S. E. Smith; Angela So; Mark Nathan Stafford; Jodee Stanley; Elizabeth Ames Staudt; Submittable; Austin Tremblay; Brian Trimboli; Kathryn & Josh Turner; Peter Van Hyning; Vanessa Angelica Villarreal; Coert Voorhees; Susan Vorkoper; Becca Wadlinger; Ron Wallace; Wave Books; Michael West & Mary West; Sasha West & Charlie Clark; Adrienne Westall; Christopher Weston; Valerie Wetlaufer; Jessica Wilbanks; Patrick Williams; Steven Wolfe; Lesley Wolff; Michael Wright; Steven Wright; Maybritt Rose Young; Laurie Saurborn Young