Saturday, February 14, 2009

More discussions on literary pubs

I decided to sit on the next lit mag discussion "The future and present of the Literary Magazine."

The discussion talked a lot about creating a unique identity.

Ditto, dude.

Diversity not for diversity's sake but because it is important for the publication. Ditto again, dude.

Some journals feel they are committed to Emerging Writers but still publish the best of the nation. Hmmm.

We publish emerging writers but actually give feedback to everyone who is a writer. He, former editor of Golf Coast, said that many journals don't understand what their voice--projected by the editorial board.

Next point, the one thing that all journals have in common--no matter the size--is editorial boards.

Huh?

Anyone else confused? I thought we all had people who are submitters as well?? I mean boards are cool and all because they "run" a journal but don't we all have a commitment to the writers?

I guess we make a distinction at Our Stories. We are not only interested in the audience that reads the 5 or so stories we publish but we are interested in the 200 writers who we don't publish in a given quarter.

The next speaker arose and gave a speech about the history of editing and most of it was over my head. He was a poet what can I say. He read his speech directly from the podium and quoted Coleridge a lot.
The editor of Literary Imagination sat down and Willard Spieglman strode up to the podium.

Another poet!! They're taking over! He is also the editor of the Southwest Review.

He was hilarious, great guy. Congenial, riffing on Dallas, editors and the culture of writing.

Main points:

Nothing is new with literary journals being poor.

Not everyone wants their work online or read electronically. They would rather that it only appears in print.

Literary journals has no statistical importance in society but a great importance for cultural importance. So, do the best you can with what you have.

Our journals are patrons for writers. It does not work the othe way. A warm feeling hits me as I think about this. I feel a great kinship with those we do publish and it makes me so happy to push their work to an audience. AND I love the work of those who we don't publish just as much and feel that one day those stories will come back-or-to someone else.

Willard ended his discussion and the floor was open for questions.

I started to fade a bit in my interest and the editors riffed on podcasting and maketing.

I decide to hit the exhibit hall.

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