Announcement: New Editors

We are pleased to introduce our new staff members: Poetry Editor Alisha Crump and Fiction Editor Justin Rose. Crump and Rose will aid our team in reviewing and selecting submissions for the Torrid Literature Journal. Continue reading


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TL Open Mic Show: The Anniversary Edition

TL Publishing Group’s first open mic of 2017 will take place this Saturday, January 28th from 8-11 PM at The Bunker in Tampa, Florida. This show will mark our five year anniversary for both our open mic show and the Torrid Literature Journal.


Our show: All artists (singers, musicians, bands, poets, storytellers, spoken word artists, comedians, etc.) are welcome to perform!

We love the diverse level of creativity that spills forth from our performers. We welcome seasoned and emerging artists. As a publisher of literature, our team will be providing information about our journals including our submission guidelines. If you are interested in submitting unpublished material our way, stop by and have a look at one of our publications! We will have copies available for sale.

If you’ve never performed in front of a live audience before then our show is a great way to dive in. Check out videos of past performances.

Our feature: We have Walter “Wally B.” Jennings as our featured artist for this event!


Bio: Walter “Wally B.” Jennings is a poet-turned-performer, who just happens to have been blessed with the gift of public speaking. He was born in Tampa, FL to Edward and Frances Jennings on December 30, 1976. Walter is the youngest of 3 children and is a proud product of the neighborhood of West Tampa. Wally B. began writing poetry in 1989 as an 8th grade student in response to an English assignment. His poems share and discuss common experiences from everyday life, ranging from: diabetes, marriage and fatherhood, youth empowerment, and self-determination. Wally does not use profanity or vulgarity in his work to ensure his messages can be communicated in all mediums.

Wally B.’s poetical talents have allowed him to conduct over 1000 performances, workshops and mentorship sessions in the national spoken word community over his 16 year career. He is an award winning, 4-Time Finalist of the Southern Fried Regional Poetry Competition. Wally currently serves as a Poet Artist in Residence for Hillsborough County Schools and the Arts Council of Hillsborough County Poetry Jam Program-reaching over 500 students and teachers per year.

Wally B. is the co-founder of “Black on Black Rhyme-Tampa”, one of the Central Florida’s largest and longest running open-mic poetry shows since September 2001.

Also, he is the founder of “Heard ‘Em Say Youth Arts Collective”. “Heard ‘Em Say”, founded in May 2007 was established to provide our community’s youth with a healthy social outlet and platform to express themselves and promote growth in the areas of: self-esteem, written and oral communication, networking, social tolerance and cultural understanding through the art of spoken word poetry. In addition to this, Wally has served as youth director and coach of 3 Semi-Finalist youth poetry slam teams for the Brave New Voices International spoken word competition.

He was honored by Creative Loafing in their 2011 Best of Bay publication as the area’s “Best Spoken Word Artist”.

Walter was educated in the Hillsborough County Public School system and graduated from Hillsborough High School in 1994. He graduated from Florida A&M University (Cum Laude) in 1998 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Economics.

Walter served as the Facilities Manager of the University of South Florida Sam and Martha Gibbons Alumni Center for 15 years. He supervised all physical operations of this 40,000 square foot building in addition to marketing and promoting 9 public spaces that are available for rental. On August 28, 2015 he resigned from USF to pursue his passion of artistic education on a full-time basis.

He has been married to his wife, Charmaine for 16 years and they have two children: Charmione-13 and Simone-8.

His latest spoken word album, “The Influence of Estrogen”, is available for purchase on CDBaby.

Our host: We have the amazingly talented R.J. Kerker as our special host for this event!


R.J. is a long time supporter of the arts community in Tampa, Florida. He co-hosted open mic nights at Café Kili for several years before retiring to focus on musical projects.

He is a member of the American Song Box band. They have a wonderful acoustic rock sound that is original and unique. They have performed at various venues across the Tampa Bay area with more shows forthcoming. They have upcoming shows scheduled at the Windmill Taphouse and the Gators Café & Saloon.


Visit their page on Facebook and Reverbnation for more information about their upcoming shows.

About The Bunker: The Bunker (f.k.a. Tre Amici) is located in the beautiful area of Ybor City. This coffee house offers a delectable menu in a cozy environment with free wifi. The Bunker is a huge supporter of the arts. Their roots run deep in the local Tampa Bay arts community. In addition to our show, they also serve as a venue host to several other artistic shows.

Other shows at The Bunker:

Singer/Songwriter Night

First Friday Open Mic

We Spoke Slam & Open Mic

Third Saturday Open Mic

Visit The Bunker’s website and Facebook page for more information about their venue.

Get Ready! Save the date! We’re excited about our upcoming show at The Bunker. Come ready to experience the diverse beauty of art. Whether you’re looking to perform or simply hang out and have a good time, come enjoy the goodness of The Bunker and possibly win one of our free raffles. We also have a special treat for our attendees.

Visit our website and learn more about us:

Please contact Tiffani Barner at with questions or inquiries.





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Call for Submissions

2016 has been an amazing year! We want to thank everyone for supporting our literary journal, contests, and blog. We know it’s been a while since you’ve heard from us but we are back from our brief hiatus and we are excited to share some great news with our readers. We will be releasing Volume XIX and XX of the Torrid Literature Journal before 2016 is over. Each volume contains fresh new poems, stories, and interviews. In Volume XX, the 2016 winners of our annual literary contest will be revealed.

Additionally, we will begin accepting submissions for another anthology of Christian poetry to be published on August 1, 2017 under our Gateway Literature imprint.

As we wrap up 2016 and prepare for 2017, we are issuing an updated call for submissions. Our first volume of the Torrid Literature Journal in 2017 will be a special five-year anniversary edition. Send us your best work.

Torrid Literature Journal (Published Quarterly)



Interviews & Book Reviews

Christian Anthology (Title TBA)  


Editorial Articles / Guest Posts

Author Spotlight Requests

Interviews & Book Reviews

If you are unfamiliar with our publication, please click here to read a free copy of Volume XIV Chaos before you submit.

Stay in touch. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

All the best,

Alice Saunders | Editor

TL Publishing Group LLC

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Flashback Friday: Circle Circle Dot Dot

National Novel Writing Month is just around the corner. Today we’re sharing Noah R. Sebek’s short story, “Circle Circle Dot Dot”. This story first appeared in the Torrid Literature Journal Vol. X Lost.

Circle Circle Dot Dot

By Noah R. Sebek

“I now pronounce you man and wife.”

“Are you sure that’s right?” she asked meekly.

“I think so,” he responded. “I think that’s all you really need.”

“Oh. Alright then.” She smiled, looking down at the ring on her finger. “I guess that means we’re married, then?”

“Sure looks like it.” I looked at my left hand, and then the ground. “I hope you’re happy with this, Sally.” Continue reading

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Poet Interview: Nikita Hernandez

A while back I had the great pleasure of interviewing Nikita Hernandez.

Born and raised as a military brat, or “professional gypsy” as her mom likes to say, Nikita Hernandez grew up in the Deep South drinking sweet tea and plucking pecans from her next door neighbor’s tree. She spends her time battling wanderlust, daydreaming, and drinking tea. Her poems have appeared in The Perch, Torrid Literature Journal XIV “Chaos,” The Fredericksburg Literary Review and The Gambler Mag, among others. Additionally, Nikita was a 2016 Pushcart Prize nominee.

Check out her inspiring interview below.


Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your work.

My mom was an active duty officer in the Air Force for 20+ years, and we moved around every 2-3 years. We were stationed frequently in the Deep South, mid-West, and abroad only once, in Japan. I despised this rootlessness during my childhood, but now appreciate it for lending me the impeccable ability to adapt to my surroundings and not fear change as strongly. I studied creative writing as an undergrad and graduated a year early. I’m currently struggling with intense wanderlust, which is hard to satiate when I work a full-time job with limited time off.

My writing concentrates on the intricacies of relationships. I explore topics such as family dynamics, romantic blunders, memories, nostalgia, emotional turmoil, and others. My goal has always been to connect with my audience. I want readers to find a piece of themselves in my writing, to know that someone else out there understands and has been through what they’ve been through. We all need someone to relate to. It makes us feel less alone. After all, it’s human nature to seek connection. Continue reading

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