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The Common Literary Journal

The Common is an award-winning print and digital literary journal published biannually, in the fall and spring. The Common includes short stories, essays, poems, and images that embody a strong sense of place. The Common Online publishes original content four times per week, including book reviews, interviews, personal essays, short dispatches, poetry, contributor podcasts and recordings, and multimedia features.


To deepen our individual and collective sense of place through bold, engaging literature and art.


To serve as a vibrant common space for the global exchange of ideas and experiences. To be an essential destination for creative work that embodies particular times and places, both real and imagined. To mentor and promote the next generation of writers, editors, and publishers.

Finding the extraordinary in the common has long been the mission of literature. Inspired by this mission and the role of the town common, a public gathering place for the display and exchange of ideas, The Common seeks to recapture an old idea. The Common publishes pieces of literature that embody particular times and places both real and imagined; from deserts to teeming ports; from Winnipeg to Beijing; from Earth to the Moon: literature and art powerful enough to reach from there to here. In short, we seek a modern sense of place.

In our hectic and sometimes alienating world, themes of place provoke us to reflect on our situations and both comfort and fascinate us. Sense of place is not provincial nor old fashioned. It is a characteristic of great literature from all ages around the world. It is, simply, the feeling of being transported, of “being there.”

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