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Published August 07, 2008
What's the issue with CUTTHROAT's online only issue? I posed a few questions to Pamela Uschuk, editor-in-chief, about why, the decision-making behind this, and what it might indicate for the future of CUTTHROAT (does going online mean no more print?). Her resonse gives some great insight into how a magazine is run and all the behind-the-scenes people and work required to maintain a quality publication. Here's her response:

"I can tell you why we made the decision to publish one online edition and one print edition per year. The reason is mainly monetary, but there are side issues worth discussing.

CUTTHROAT is largely unfunded, so Bill Root and I pay to publish this magazine. We receive so many worthy submissions in poetry and short fiction, we felt that printing one issue a year didn't allow us to publish enough of these wonderful submissions.

CUTTHROAT is truly a labor of love.

None of our editors/staff is paid - except for the judges we hire to judge our national literary prizes. All work is volunteer, and our editors work hard, reading through a mountain of material for each issue.

For the present, we decided that the best option for us is to publish one print edition (this past year's issue ran to 180 pages!), and to publish one online edition per year. Because we don't have to pay for reproduction of art work inside the magazine, this online edition allows us to feature visual artists as well as writers.

We choose one guest fiction editor each year to edit the online fiction submissions. This year's guest editor was William Luvaas. Our poetry editor, William Pitt Root, edits for both online and print editions each year.

The future of CUTTHROAT is bright. We are all committed to publishing this magazine for the long term. We are old-fashioned and love the feel of the print edition in our hands, so we have no plans to to to an entirely online format. We are lucky, each year, to have interns to help us out with logging in submissions, creating data bases, mailings, etc. We also have two terrific web designers, Laura Prendergast and Kevin Watson, who help me maintain our website and set up the magazines."

Volumes 3 and 5 of CUTTHROAT are available online in PDF format.
Published July 29, 2008
From Editor Andrei Guruianu: "The Broome Review is a new national literary magazine that seeks to bring further local and national exposure to the Broome County, NY arts community by attracting writers and artists of many genres from across the country and across the world. The journal promotes cultural development in and outside the immediate area through the creation of a wider audience for the works of established and emerging artists."

The annual publication accepts submissions of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction and art July-November of each year and currently is accepting works through November for the Stephen Dunn Prize in Poetry.

Authors included in Issue Number 1 whose works can also be found on The Broome Review website include Stephen Dunn, Timothy Liu, Katharyn Howd Machan, Carmen Firan, and Katherine Lien Chariott. Also available on the website is an artist gallery of works not found in the publication.

The Broome Review is also active in their community, in cooperation with The Center for Gender, Art & Culture, sponsoring several series of free creative writing workshops through the end of 2008. The workshops are led by magazine editors, and participants' works will be considered for possible inclusion in a perfect-bound collection, titled Our Voices, to be published December 2008.

The Broome Review has really hit the ground running - c'mon everyone, catch up!
Published July 25, 2008
Martone Fan Alert, from the upstreet blog: "upstreet number four, which is now on sale, features a 24-page interview with Michael Martone, the Indiana-born author of Michael Martone, Racing in Place, and many other works of experimental fiction and nonfiction."

Read more about upstreet here.
Published July 23, 2008
EBay, Half.com - but never have I known anyone to offer a virtual Yard Sale - now, that's creative!

Creative Nonfiction
First-Ever Yard Sale
July 21 - 28
Save up to 80% on back issues, books, merchandise, subscriptions, and more!
Published July 21, 2008
From Kenyon Review Editor David Lynn:

Kenyon Review Online will be a lively and innovative bridge between the world of the very best print literature and the emerging potential of the electronic universe. We’ll be offering innovative and delightful stories, poems, essays, memoirs, and reviews online. They will be renewed and refreshed regularly and then collected into electronic “issues” over time.

By and large, pieces appearing electronically will be distinct from work in the printed version of The Kenyon Review. I like to think of those pages as timeless. After all, readers turn to them for pleasure and enlightenment years and even decades after they first appear.

KR Online, however, will definitely be more timely, published more quickly than we’re able to do with print. And the pieces here will also be a little more experimental, a little more “out there.” Who knows?—maybe a little sassier too.

Of course, despite a new flavor, all the great writing on KRO will be held to the same high standards and expectations as The Kenyon Review. They’ll be considered as carefully, copyedited to our exacting standards. This will truly be the best writing from around the world, brought to you in this exciting new medium. After all, it’s our name, our tradition, our reputation on the line as well.

Online now: Read Bonnie Jo Campbell's "Boar Taint" and Kevin Young's "I Shall be Released" from the Summer 2008 issue of KR. Read new poetry from Christian Ward, an essay on poet Thom Gunn by Alfred Corn, a review of Daniel Hall's Under Sleep by Janet Chalmers, and a review of Sarah Manguso's The Two Kinds of Decay: A Memoir by Daniel Torday.
Published July 20, 2008
Susan of Rock and Sling recently wrote to inform me that they will be suspending publication of the magazine due to funding issues. As an independent non-profit, Rock and Sling is not alone in this struggle.

Susan writes: "Over the last few months we have been trying not to make the hard decision to suspend publication of Rock & Sling — pending procurement of long-term sustainable funding (tell me there is such a thing!). The problem of finances for independent presses runs deep. Without university backing to absorb some of the costs, the independent press must put an inordinate amount of time and energy into finding funding. We have found ourselves without sufficient partners and subscriptions alone haven't proved to be enough. Suspending publication will allow our (all volunteer) staff to spend their time in the donations, grants, and endowments world more effectively.

"It seems a shame to have gotten this far and feel like we have established a niche for ourselves, only to have to stop production and turn all attention to finding support. I suppose any business major would have seen it coming from the get-go. Perhaps on your blog you can throw out the question of how independent presses can maintain financial stability. Where they can find funding—is govt. funding the answer? How does a journal like Rock & Sling (with a Christian bent to its content) get past the hyper vigilance of separation of church and state? Clearly we don’t want to be under any denomination—so church monies are not to be had."

Susan also humorously added that it should be the law that writers who submit to lit mags should have to subscribe to at least one (another ongoing issue...). But, are subscriptions even enough in this day of increased postal rates and overall higher costs?

Any comments/advice? I'm sure this is an issue of concern for many. And, I already know what some will say - that even publications with university affiliation are not guarnteed funding. So, where does the money come from?
Published July 17, 2008
After a couple weeks of "host issues," I am finally able to update the site!

Stop by NewPages Magazine Stand to find publisher descriptions and cover art from our sponsor magazines, and a list of all new issues of other literary magazines received here at NewPages World Headquarters.

Trying something new once again, this page will combine print and online lit mags.

The alternative magazines page has also been recently updated, but as we aren't getting a lot of these coming through NPWHQ, and visitor traffic to this page is discouraging low, this may be the last time this page is updated. (Unless there's some huge public outcry opposed to its elimination...)

If you'd like to be listed, as well as considered for review, be sure we get a copy of your publication (see our FAQ page for more information). For online lit mags, you only need to e-mail notification of when you have a new issue posted online: denisehill-at-newpages.com
Published July 09, 2008
To celebrate Indiana Review 30.1 (summer 2008) - The Funk Feature - Associate Editor Nina Mamikunian let me know about the "Five Hump Days of Funk" going on at Under the Blue Light, IR's blog.

"Here's how it's going to work: on Wednesday, we'll ask a question, you'll answer it an an e-mail to us, and we'll select a winner based on response accuracy first, and then on response speed. The following Monday, we'll announce who gets the copy of the issue."

Click quickly, and get your free issue - it's a dandy!
Published July 01, 2008
The Oval is a brand new literary magazine from the University of Montana published by undergraduate students.

Oval's website says they are "devoted to the publishing of writing and artwork from the University of Montana," and the first issue features UofM students exclusively. However, future issues are open to submissions from undergraduate college and university students in the U.S. Their mission: "to provide a fresh outlet for new and young artists to express themselves, their ideas and passions to the world through the medium of print."

Oval accepts e-mail submissions year-round: poetry (translations welcome), short stories, creative nonfiction, short plays, interviews, and visual art (such as photography, paintings, drawings, prints, cartoons, and graphic literature).

The Spring 2008 inagural issue is available online (pdf) and includes "Buss, Buss" by poet Laura Anne Nicole Foster, "Just Fine" by author Crystal Corrigan, and "Wolverine and Rabbitt" by artist Eli Suzukovich III.
Published June 30, 2008
The Summer 2008 issue of Thema is the second of this quarterly's celebration of 20 years in print. With the ongoing cycle of lit mags folding and new ones beginning, such anniversaries as this are indeed cause for celebration. It is also cause for curiosity: What does it take for a lit mag to survive?

One of the features in Thema are letters to the editor run at the end of the publication. I was particularly drawn to these, the first from Tina M. Klimas, whose work was actually rejected, but her letter is in praise of Thema's process: "Although you were writing to decline my piece, I appreciated knowing that my work came close... I wanted you to know that your encouragement is valued...getting the poem back gave me an opportunity to improve it... So, thank you for giving me the chance to make a better poem."

The second letter is from Matthew Petti, who writes about leaving his job as a clinical psychologist to pursue his writing: "I gave myself five years to get something published; if I didn't get a bite in five years, I told myself, I'd give up."

It was Thema that published Petti's first short story back in 2000 ("Toby Came Today"). This encouraged his pursuit, leading to an MFA, an Assistant Professorship teaching writing and literature, and more publishing. He sums up the whole of this experience: "I've loved this part of my life's journey, and your thumbs-up was the encouragement I needed to begin."

Looking back on the question of how lit mags survive, it would seem one way would be in treating prospective writers and their submissions with respect, whether accepted or rejected, and offering the opportunity for new and developing writers to be given the chance with a poem or a story - whether it be their only one or the first of many. When we talk about the "community" of writers and publications, there are many facets involved. Reading these letters and taking a look at the long history of Thema, community seems apt to describe what they have built, and a viable one at that.
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