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SubTropics B-Side

subtropicsI’ve noticed lately that print literary journals take a variety of approaches to how they use the back cover of their publication. Their backsides might be completely blank, carry over the cover art from the front, feature a separate artwork, be a money-making ad spot for anything from creative writing programs to publishing to chocolates, list contributors – and perhaps even include a tag line for the works inside.

The newest issue of SubTropics caught my eye for something quite different: Using the back cover to publish a contributor’s piece. I’ve seen snippets on the back cover before, but not a whole work. Seeing Amy Hempel’s name in table of contents, I went to the end of the magazine to find her work. Not there. I checked the contents again and saw “back cover” where the page number should have been. No kidding. What a great way to both include and feature a writer, and a great way to allow readers to do what we do naturally – look at the cover then flip to the back to get a quick “free” sample.

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