May/June 2009

Jay McInerney on how to write through fame and failure, plus twenty-two lit mags that do more for your work, and as part of our continuing Agents and Editors series, four agents reveal what totally freaks them out about MFA students.


How It Begins: A Profile of Jay McInerney

by Mary Gannon
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Twenty-five years after Bright Lights, Big City, Jay McInerney publishes his second debut.

From the Periphery: A Q&A With Ann Lauterbach

by Celia Bland
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For poet Ann Lauterbach, the clearest and most interesting perspective comes from being on the outside.

Back in the Big Time: A Profile of Joe Meno

by Kevin Nance
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After a slow start with big publishing houses, Joe Meno found redemption with Akashic Books. So why is his new novel being published by Norton?

Literary Magazines

From Page to Pixels: The Evolution of Online Journals

by Sandra Beasley

Creative writers stand at the edge of a digital divide. On one side: the traditions of paper. On the other: the lure of the Internet. As glossy magazines die by the dozen and blogs become increasingly influential, we face the reality that print venues are rapidly ceding ground to Web-based publishing. Yet many of us still hesitate to make the leap.

Rank and Slush Pile: Is There a Literary Magazine Hierarchy?

by Timothy Schaffert
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Do editors, agents, and tenure-granting committees still look to traditional literary journals to legitimize writers?

The Café Review: Publishing Poetry in Portland, Maine

by Joshua Bodwell
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What began as a grass-roots project showcasing the work of Portland poets, the Café Review has grown over the past twenty years to become a highly regarded journal with an international audience.

Editors Publishing Editors: The Truth About Literary Nepotism

by Aaron Gilbreath
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Do journal editors' colleagues and friends have an advantage over the unconnected submitter?

Publish Plus: A Submission Guide to Magazines That Do More for Your Work

by Staff
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A literary magazine map for writers who want their work to make a mark beyond the page—to promote environmental awareness, to fuel social change, to contribute to a larger conversation, or to be read and heard.

News and Trends

Taking Poetry Public

by Kiki Anderson

Adam Robinson started the outdoor journal Is Reads to offer the citizens of Baltimore an unusual venue for poetry—the city itself.

Conferences, Festivals Taking a Hit

by Kevin Nance

Although the current recession is hammering all sectors of the literary economy, including publishers of books and magazines, booksellers, and service organizations—not to mention writers themselves—one of the community's smallest but most important components is proving particularly vulnerable.

Are Authors Who Twitter Any Fitter?

by Sarah Weinman

Many in the publishing industry now consider Twitter—as they do Facebook, MySpace, and YouTube—an essential marketing venue for books and authors. But authors hoping to tweet their way to the social-networking top need more than a Twitter account—they need a game plan.

Literary MagNet

by Kevin Larimer

Literary MagNet chronicles the start-ups and closures, successes and failures, anniversaries and accolades, changes of editorship and special issues—in short, the news and trends—of literary magazines in America. This issue's MagNet features Witness, the Massachusetts Review, Calyx, River Teeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative, and Oxford American.

Small Press Points

by Kevin Larimer

Small Press Points highlights the happenings of the small press players. This issue features New Directions, Burning Deck, Siglio Press, Calyx Books, Fence Books, Hanging Loose Press, Slope Editions, Canarium Books, Octopus Books, Ugly Duckling Presse, Clear Cut Press, Featherproof Books, Paper Egg Books, Soft Skull Press, and Tupelo Press.

Page One: Where New and Noteworthy Books Begin

by Staff

With so many good books being published every month, some literary titles worth exploring can get lost in the stacks. Page One offers the first lines of a dozen recently released books, including Emily Chenoweth's Hello Goodbye and Loree Rackstraw's Love As Always, Kurt: Vonnegut As I Knew Him as the starting point for a closer look at these new and noteworthy titles.

The Practical Writer

Bullseye: How to Submit to Poetry

by Staff
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A guide to submitting writing to Poetry magazine.

Author Economics: How to Survive the Recession

by Steve Almond
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Advice on rethinking the recession for writers, a group uniquely equipped to deal with economic instability.

The Literary Life

The Future of Narrative: Storytelling in the Internet Age

by Ana Menéndez
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New inventions—the alphabet, the printing press—have changed the art of storytelling over time, and now the Internet is revolutionizing the way we imagine narrative.