I definitely think this would help, as would some form of search based on the topics the publications cover (e.g. The Billfold — money, The Rabbit Is In — weird). I also think it would help let people know which publication cover fiction, non-fiction, or both. You should really place yourself in the shoes of the writers and what kind of publication would they want to find. I am a writer and I have a hard time scrolling down and trying to figure out what publications are all about. I get tired after so and so many looks and I simply stop scrolling. Infinite scroll is definitely NOT something I would do indefinitely when I have to check everything I want to know in the process.
It is time consuming to have to open each and every one of the publications to find out what they are about and that’s why I think the scroll list doesn’t work well or equally well for all unless the publication already heavily promotes your app — interestingly enough, the publications you mentioned as an example of the ones that had a lot of applicants do just that. But guess what — I do not need your app to generate response from the writers that way and I had a much stronger response when I posted the invite to writers and promoted it on Facebook and Linkedin without even mentioning your app.
I also do not see why it would make sense not to get an email whenever someone applies? I really don’t get your reasoning for this and that’s one of reasons I stop caring about using your app. A short notification is not a newsletter, those can be annoying if sent too often, it is about getting the information you want to get asap, since this information is the sole reason why someone would use your app in the first place.