About Us

“There are syllables of olive oil.”    ~ Pablo Neruda

MORIA is a national literary magazine with an all-student editorial board, based at Woodbury University in the hills just north of downtown Los Angeles. We accept poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction from emerging and established writers in the United States and across the world. The undergraduates who serve as editors and managers of the magazine participate in an official course on campus, during which they learn the fundamentals of producing an online literary journal with a professional focus. We publish twice-a-year, in late spring and in late fall.

At one time, an olive grove stood on the land that is now Woodbury University, and many of the old trees still grow on campus today. The name MORIA is taken from that context, as it refers to a special type of olive tree in ancient Greece that is protected by the government. As a tree sacred to Athena, the goddess of wisdom, the original “Moria” was believed to have been planted by her at the Parthenon and includes the meaning “to be part of” something larger than itself. Here at the literary magazine, we recognize and celebrate that Woodbury University is a part of a tradition of learning that is larger than itself, just as literature and the writers who make it are part of a tradition of creative engagement and cultural production that is larger than any one individual alone.


Here at MORIA, we are thinking about food, animals, nature, Tinder and HER break-ups, families, the food trucks in L.A. that are owned by the prince of Venice (Italy, not California), homelessness, DTLA, the LAX immigration line, LGBTQ, the women’s marches, “Hollyweird,” Lyft and Uber drivers who are one step away from making their big break, Clifton’s Cafeteria, Pasta Sisters, name-dropping, the Dodgers, the Santa Monica Pier, whether the Broad Museum really looks like a cheese grater, beach days in winter, Planned Parenthood, sitting in traffic with a foot cramp, Paul Smith, Colette Miller, #metoo, SpaceX, and current theories surrounding the origins of curiosity.

Good examples of the type of poems we’re looking for:

My Mother and MLK” by Beverly Lafontaine (Issue One, Fall 2017)

When You Can Get It” by Brendan Constantine (Issue Two, Fall 2018)

Miss Sahar Listens to Fairuz Sing ‘Take Me’” by Lena Khalaf Tuffaha (Issue Three, Spring 2019)

Good examples of the type of fiction we’re looking for:

Carousel” by Genelle Chaconas (Issue Three, Spring 2019)

Where the Rest Went” by Corinne Leong (Issue Three, Spring 2019)

Being the Murdered Student” by Cathy Ulrich (Issue Three, Spring 2019)

A word about reading us on various screen widths: MORIA is formatted for a typical laptop or desktop computer monitor and is best read — meaning, we are always accurate to the authors’ intended formatting — on that standard screen size. We strive for perfect copyediting. When reading on smaller screen sizes, including tablets and especially mobile phones, the formatting may or may not appear accurately. We would suggest reading in landscape orientation (turning your phone to the horizontal), which will help in most cases. In order to accommodate some of the more irregular poems’ forms, we will sometimes upload a poem as an image instead of typesetting directly onto the blog page, in an attempt to preserve the work’s intended appearance. However, due to the technological limitations of reading literature with hard line breaks and irregular formatting on small screens, we can not guarantee a perfect reading experience in every case. In some cases, a reader’s computer may not have our font available, and the minute a device converts our website into a different font, the formatting suffers. We remain sensitive to the expectations of both authors and their readers for accuracy and would encourage those with concerns to read us via larger screens until such time as the technology catches up to the artistic vision.


                              AHDENAE KHODAVERDIAN
Managing Editor                            EVELYNA NAZARI
DESIGN / Production Editor            ALYSSA TRAPERo
Program Manager                           JAY MCPHERSON
Social Media Curator                     OWEN ROBERTS

Submissions Review Staff          Justin Bertolami
Tricia Lopez

Faculty Editor                               Linda Dove, Ph.D.