»

| Give a Gift |

  • Digital Edition

Literary MagNet

A decade ago media critic Eric Alterman observed in his Full-Court Press column for the Nation that a “quiet renaissance in independent literary magazines” was afoot despite the challenge to book culture brought on by the mounting distraction of the day, the Internet. What some had considered literature’s greatest rival was proving to be one of its readiest supporters, providing novel platforms, design possibilities, connection-building potential, and access to a wider range of audiences. By some counts, the number of literary magazines in production has doubled since Alterman’s observation. The vetted database maintained by Poets & Writers, Inc., which contains 775 titles and counting (of which only a few remain unhitched to the web), saw a 36 percent increase in titles just last year.

Web-driven, cutting-edge publishing technologies, increasingly accessible to would-be editors and readers, are, of course, partially responsible for any flourishing of the lit mag world. Digital Americana, launched by Tony Fasciano in 2010 and originally formatted only for the iPad, promotes itself as “the world’s first literary magazine made exclusively for tablets.” Publishing poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, Digital Americana also plans to move onto digital platforms for the Kindle and Android later this year. Last April the editors took advantage of another contemporary publishing development, print-on-demand technology, and began offering paper issues for a penny south of ten bucks apiece. Editors are currently accepting new work via the online submission management system Submittable (formerly known as Submishmash).

Another venture straddling the print-digital divide is Typecast Publishing, founded in 2008 by former Sarabande Books associate editor Jen Woods and her brother, Eric Woods. The press employs the best of new and old-school print technologies to produce a biannual letterpress poetry journal, the Lumberyard and a recently redesigned online magazine, Sawmill. Sawmill will begin accepting poetry submissions in May, and the reading period for winter-edition fiction begins on June 1. Submissions to the Lumberyard open this month; poets can keep tabs on calls for work by joining the magazine’s open group on Facebook.

Coeditors Mark Polanzak and Rachel Yoder of draft: a journal of process are also gearing up for a website relaunch that will expand the reach of their year-old project, which takes aspects of the writing workshop out of the academy (both are graduates of the University of Arizona’s MFA program in fiction) and places them in the journal’s pages. Each issue of draft features rough and final versions of stories presented side by side, providing additional context in the form of author interviews. While the journal isn’t yet accepting story-and-process submissions for print, the forthcoming website redesign will bring with it a literary “covers” feature—writers will be invited to submit revisions of excerpts from canonical fiction—as well as a blog, for which the journal is currently seeking submissions of narratives that concern rewriting, editing, teaching writing, and so on. Visit the website for guidelines and contact information.

Providing the bedrock for this broadly accessible village of new publications, some old standards are still going strong—across platforms. Established in 1912 by Harriet Monroe, Poetry celebrates its centennial this year. The magazine recently put its entire archive online and will feature some retrospective coverage in its pages, but readers shouldn’t expect to be overwhelmed with anniversary-related content. “Our goal is to mark the occasion with a few well-chosen pieces and portfolios,” reads the editors’ note in the January 2012 issue, “and to get on with our main business of discovery.” The magazine, which maintains the “open door” policy laid out in its first volume, “to print the best poetry written today, in whatever style, genre, or approach,” accepts submissions year-round via regular mail and its online submission manager.                        

Travis Kurowski is completing a book on the literary magazine, due out from Atticus Books in 2013. His website is traviskurowski.com.

Reader Comments

close
Article Permissions
Literary MagNet (March/April 2012)
http://www.pw.org/content/literary_magnet_64

In the details box below, please include information about the reprint permissions you'd like granted.

Thank you for your permissions request. We do our best to respond immediately, but it may take up to three business days.

City Guide

by Jen Michalski

Author Jen Michalski takes us on a tour of the many literary sites writers should visit while strolling the gritty streets of Baltimore.

Upcoming Events
Poetry
Reading
University of Chicago Logan Center, Seminar Terrace 801
October 30, 2014 - 4:30pm
Creative Nonfiction
Reading/Talk
Wayne State University
October 30, 2014 - 6:00pm
Creative Nonfiction
Reading
Encinitas Library
October 30, 2014 - 6:30pm
Fiction
Reading/Talk
Lillian Vernon Creative Writers House
October 30, 2014 - 7:00pm
Poetry
Reading
Berl's Poetry Shop
October 30, 2014 - 7:00pm
Conferences & Residencies
Conference
Salt Cay, Bahamas
Residency
West Cork, Ireland
Residency
Riga, Latvia
Writing Contests
Provincetown OuterMost Community Radio
American Library Association
Asheville Poetry Review
Magazine Articles

by Staff

November/December 2014

Artist and architect Matteo Pericoli pairs drawings of views from the desks of writers around the world with essays by those writers about where they write, what they see, and how their view informs their work

by Mira Ptacin

November/December 2014

Despite struggles, libraries are learning to navigate the ever-changing, and often cost-prohibitive, landscape of digital lending.

 

Directory of Writers
Poet, Fiction Writer
Katonah, NY
Poet

Subscribe to P&W Magazine | Donate Now | Advertise | Sign up for E-Newsletter | Help | About Us | Contact Us | View Mobile Site

© Copyright Poets & Writers 2014. All Rights Reserved