NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: Everyone has faced unprecedented challenges over the past few months, and as VSU’s faculty and students prepare for a semester that will take place mostly online, we have many more challenges to come. For this reason, we have decided to delay our open submission period for our next issue until at least January 2021. We will continue to work on designing and publishing Issue 7 (due out in the spring), and we will keep you updated as we approach the end of the year. Thank you, readers, for your continued support, and we hope that you and yours stay safe.

Welcome to the home of The Virginia Normal, an international literary journal edited by the students and faculty of Virginia State University.

We publish two issues each spring: a print issue featuring literary work submitted from across the world and selected by our staff of students and faculty, and an online issue featuring creative work from VSU students.

We are currently closed for submissions.

Issue 6 is now available online. Please click here or on “Current Issue” to read it.



The Virginia Normal was founded by faculty members of Virginia State University’s Department of Languages and Literature in 2013. Our first issue appeared in Spring 2015.

It is from Virginia State University’s origins as a normal school that its literary journal, The Virginia Normal, finds its name.

Contrary to what the name may imply, “normal” schools were hardly average. Also known as teacher training colleges, normal schools set a standard (or the “norm”) for other schools to model themselves after. They originated in France in 1685 with the founding of the École Normale in Reims and arrived in the United States in the early 1800s. In March of 1882, the Virginia Normal and Collegiate Institute was founded for black teachers in or near the Petersburg area. Over the years, the school would go through several name changes–Virginia Normal and Industrial Institute in 1902, Virginia State College for Negroes in 1930, Virginia State College in 1946–before adopting its current name, Virginia State University, in 1979.