Between the covers of a literary magazine which has, at the very most, a circulation of a few thousand, a writer earns a first writing credit. Beyond mom and dad, adoring friends, a nosy aunt, a devoted yet literature--adverse sibling, a fiction writer’s first audience is comprised of--not exactly the readers and subscribers of the literary magazine who come later--but an editor who mined the short story from the slush pile of submissions by way of her staff, read it, then read it again, then read it a third time, and with each read became more convinced that ...
December 3, 2014 | Jenn Scheck-Kahn
I still remember that summer afternoon when my mother came upstairs to find me weeping into my pillow. I was 20 years old, and I had just discovered that my boyfriend had been cheating on me. Of course, I told my mother the edited version of the story, omitting that part about me walking into his apartment to find him in bed with his ex-girlfriend.
I also remember my mother’s advice: “You should be choosier about the company you keep,” she said. “Pick men who actually deserve you.”
November 17, 2014 | Aine Greaney
Since I began submitting stories and essays to literary journals four years ago, I’ve felt scattered.
I’m not talking “scatterbrained,” though I often forget my keys, and I’ve mis-loaded the coffeemaker and flooded the countertop more than once. I mean something more existential, a feeling that because my writing is pending judgment in places around the country—sandwiched in two-foot stacks of manuscripts on editors’ desks, passing under the skimming eyes of undergrad readers, languishing in bloated Submittable queues—my identity, to some extent, is also tied up in those places, parceled out and spread paper-thin, too contingent on ...
June 9, 2014 | Dorian Fox
By Alexandra Grabbe
Let me share something brilliant that recently occurred to me: literary magazines matter in the effort to publish a first book. Why? Literary agents prefer them to slush. I’m not sure when this realization hit, but it happened during the spring, perhaps at the conclusion of Masters Fiction, hearing the most gracious Ladette Randolph describe her role as editor of Ploughshares or during Becky Tuch’s a la carte session at the Muse and particularly after her statement that nine literary agents had contacted the author of one short story in Crab Orchard (!) or recently ...