Our interns write and report on literary journals and their time working here, and we thought it’d be nice to give them a voice.

The best part about the Gulf Coast journal is that it features its contest winners. The fact that it even has a contest gives it validity as an authoritative and respected literary journal in my eyes; that a journal could have enough confidence to call all poets and writers to test their prose and poetry against the best, builds my trust.

It makes me want to read the contest winners first. The risk of failure is greater with a contest, which makes the reward better. And better than that, they are spared the rejection letter.

Contest winners must have stacks of rejection letters documenting their hard fought battle to the position of honor in a literary journal. The best story. The best poem. The best nonfiction. I want to read those.