A call for stories and poems

I hope it isn’t inappropriate to ask visitors to By Common Consent to recommend to their friends who write fiction and poetry to consider submitting their work to Dialogue. An interdisciplinary journal, Dialogue has always been open to fiction and poetry. However, it has done so with some irregularity, owing, perhaps, to a dearth of submissions. During my editorship, we have published stories and poems with considerable consistency. Unfortunately, we have not had as large an inventory of them as I could wish for.

We do not have a similar dearth in documented articles and personal essays. No one doubts the importance of Dialogue as an outlet for expository writing of that sort. Am I naive in believing from a long time ago that Dialogue is a premier outlet for Mormon creative writing as well? I have held that belief from before the time I had my first story accepted by Dialogue in 1978. Though not a poet, I felt the same for poetry. It is no small thing for a story or poem to appear in Dialogue.

If you write stories or poems, consider sending them to us. If you have friends who write them, urge them to submit them. Submission is easy. Simply send an e-mail attachment in Word, WordPerfect, or rich text format to dialoguemss@aol.com. For further options and for our publication policy, consult the Submissions link on the Dialogue home page.


  1. Steve Evans says:

    May I add, however humbly, that those who feel they’d like to experiment a bit with their work prior to formal publication can also consider submission to Popcorn Popping.

  2. Kevin Barney says:

    I was going to suggest that some of the material already on Popcorn Popping might be appropriate for more formal publication in Dialogue, and their authors should consider submitting them.

    While I admit to not spending much time with poetry myself, I have always enjoyed Dialogue’s fiction offerings, so I hope the writers among us will take Levi up on his invitation to submit their manuscripts.

  3. Levi — Does Dialogue see creative writing as dialogue or as monologue?

  4. Levi Peterson says:

    Steve and Kevin, thanks for the lead to Popcorn Popping. We would be pleased to have submissions that have first appeared there.

    Cetti, I hope that with time the fiction in Dialogue amounts to a dialogue over Mormon values.

  5. A high hope. May I ask a few other questions?

    What is Dialogue’s policy on erotic content?

    What about violent images?

    Would Dialogue readers be able to access surrealist forms?

    What reasons can you give why I as a new writer should submit to Dialogue over Irreantum or non-LDS literary journals?

    Can you assuage my fears that Dialogue readers are primarily left-brain analytical types for whom a story or poem only makes sense literally, as a political statement or as idle entertainment — in other words, what do you estimate the aesthetic IQ to be?

    What percentage of your readers are women, and how do women’s themes fly?

    What is Dialogue’s policy on the use of pseudonyms?

  6. Levi Peterson says:


    Dialogue’s policy on erotic content is cautious, generally avoiding it. The same may be said for violent images. We publish scholarly discussions of the erotic or the violent.

    Our readers are unlikely to encounter surrealist forms in our fiction. I can’t think of any fiction of that sort during my editorship. Some of our poetry strikes me as surrealist. I don’t know whether others would agree. There are surrealist images in some of the paintings we have reproduced, most notably some of the seventeen paintings by Richard Van Wagoner that we published in the summer 2006 issue.

    I don’t know how to judge how many of our readers might be right brain or left brain in their thought and emotions. I am reluctant to believe that right brain/left brain patterns define an asethetic IQ. The more character traits that one associates with either a right brain or left brain pattern, the less I am inclined to believe in its validity.

    We don’t know the precise number of women who read Dialogue. Our subscription list shows many women as head of a household. Undoubtedly, there are many more who read Dialogue in a subscription with a patrilinear head of household. A substantial number of our published pieces are authored by women. Dialogue has published numerous articles and essays about women and their relationship to the Church.

    Dialogue policy allows for pseudonyms or the withholding of a name. As editor, I expect to be informed that an author is using a pseudonym.

  7. What about strong language?

  8. “Left brain,” however inaccurate, has become a common catch phrase for those people who tend more towards analysis than image, symbol, and metaphor. For instance, it tells a lot about Dialogue readers if they can coldly analyze sex and violence but can’t with equal facility and clarity approach sexual and violent symbolism in a story or poem. I’m just trying to get a sense of the audience.

    This is why I ask what incentive you can give for writers to submit to Dialogue as opposed to literary journals, whose readers one may assume are much more conversant in the language of the imagination.

    Another question about your readers – what percentage originate outside the Utah USA quadrant?

    Does Dialogue advertise outside that quadrant?

    How open is Dialogue to writing that portrays the LDS experience as a broad archetypal-mythical-religious experience as opposed to a closed regional-historical-cultural experience?

    What about fiction and poetry that celebrates the Restoration from a totally believing standpoint rather than dissects and analyzes it from a doubting standpoint?

    A true dialogue requires that each side entertain at least momentarily the possibility that the other side’s view is better or more accurate. Is Dialogue willing to print fiction and poetry that bears strong testimony to the truthfulness of the LDS faith?

  9. Cetti, this isn’t Twenty Questions! If you have stuff to submit, then just do it and move on. I doubt that any author needs the level of information you’re requesting in order to decide on submission.

  10. Cetti, I would recommend going to the Dialogue website and read the results of the reader survey (on the left sidebar).

  11. Levi Peterson says:

    I don’t mind Cetti’s questions. I don’t know how to answer some of them. They are the kind of questions that the participants in the LDS-Phil e-mail list would respond to more capably.

    Cetti and I go back a while in our correspondence. Dialogue will be publishing her two part treatise on theology in the spring and summer 2007 issues.

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