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Moss Puppy Magazine is a new online and print publisher of fiction, creative nonfiction, flash writing, and poetry. Right now through April 1 they’re seeking submissions for their upcoming edition themed “Puppy Love.” They’re looking for writing about romance and, “what makes your heart howl.”

In general, Moss Puppy is looking for unexpected and thoroughly creative writing. They want, “your weird, muddy, and messy—the turtles without shells, boiled frogs, & mushroom-capped fairies.” They emphasize, “Show us what’s in your swamp.”

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Many creatives lament not having time to “create” and the nagging feeling of void it wedges into our daily lives. No longer willing to suffer the absence, Melissa Martini founded Moss Puppy Magazine, an open-access online and print-on-demand biannual of poetry, prose, and artwork.

The name is unique, but indicative of Martini’s joyful approach, “The Moss Puppy is a creature I imagined many moons ago with the intention of creating my own vivid world of critters similar to Neopets or Pokemon. Moss Puppy has stuck with me through the years, and when I decided I wanted to start my own literary magazine, it only seemed fitting to name the magazine after her. She has a few other friends who may make appearances within the magazine’s lore in the future, too!” If it’s difficult to imagine what a Moss Puppy might look like, the publication ran a fanart contest this year asking readers to spark their imaginations. The resulting gallery is a fun stop on the site to visit.

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SQF: Why did you start this magazine?

Melissa Martini: After graduating, I dove right into full-time work. I was a project coordinator for an executive search firm for two years. I was making good money, but I found myself craving creativity. After studying creative writing for four years in undergrad and then two more years in graduate school, I wasn't used to my life lacking literature like that.

I was volunteering for indie lit mags, writing on the side, and submitting my work, but I missed my entire life revolving around creative writing. It didn't help that my full-time job was bordering on abusing me and the pandemic left me ambitious and looking for more out of life than just waking up, working, and then going back to bed. So, I quit my full-time job and started Moss Puppy Magazine.

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