“If you stop for one second and do something, everyone is happy. You pay it forward and it comes back to you twelve-fold.”
-Mariska Hargitay

Welcome to the fifth installment of the #PayItForward series. This one is a special edition of online publications that have not only inspired me but have set new standards for contemporary literature, especially by independent writers.

Elephants Never: A disclaimer here is necessary. Elephants Never has given me the highest point of my journey as a writer via a Pushcart Nomination and hence many might feel that there is a bias here. However, whatever I write about them are thoughts and opinions formed way before I was published by them. On the contrary, I was such a huge fan of this publication that I resisted submitting anything for the longest time because I didn’t think I could match the esteemed level of emotions their content provides. Each piece they put out, be it fiction, creative non-fiction or poetry, give the reader the most powerful and emotional jolts ever. It was nearly nine months of reading, soaking in and living vicariously through their content before I finally bit the bullet and, rather reluctantly, decided to submit something. And regular readers of the Daily Wisdom Words site might appreciate the fact that many a times, I’ve used their creative non-fiction articles as a reference point for articles I’ve written here. Give them a follow on Twitter @AnElephantNever and on http://ElephantsNever.com.

Rhythm & Bones: It was Independence Day 2018 when I got one of the most pleasant surprises ever; an email from R&B informing me that they liked a flash fiction story I had sent in and would publish it in their third issue. I was ecstatic because it was the first acceptance email I ever got since I started submitting. It was only when their first issue went live that I got apprehensive. The standards of poetry and fiction were so high that I immediately thought they had made a mistake and would rescind their offer to me because my level of writing was nowhere near the work they featured. For the next few months, I was a bundle of nerves anticipating the worst but thankfully, no such thing happened. On the contrary, they subsequently ended up publishing my photography, another short story and an advanced book review in the following months. Since then, R&B has grown to be one of the most powerful independent presses ever, publishing chapbooks, anthologies, memoirs, short story collections and so much more. As I’ve always believed, they’re not just a publication. I call them a literature lounge that serves the most succulent cocktail of contemporary literature and catharsis, both for writers as well as readers. Check them out on @RhythmBonesLit and http://RhythmNBone.com.

Dodging The Rain: Being published by Dodging The Rain (DTR) marked an important transition in my writing career. Before submitting to them, my writing style was more dark and gritty. When I submitted to DTR a couple of years back, it was a straight-up dramatic tale with emotional punches as per the requirements of the submission. When that got accepted, I learned and successfully added another genre to my arsenal of writing styles. By accepting my story, they provided me a tremendous amount of growth and for that, I’ll always be indebted to them. Since then, they too have grown and became a first-class poetry journal. They used to put out issues every second month but now, they also publish fabulous weekly content. Read them at @dodgingtherain and on http://dodgingtherain.wordpress.com.

What online or independent publications are your favorites and why? Are there any independent presses you think deserve more attention? Share your thoughts and experiences by commenting below on our secure servers.

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