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Published September 29, 2009
The Iowa Review will enter its 40th year of publication in 2010. To mark this milestone, they are holding a competition to redesign their cover. The new look will be implemented beginning with the April 2010 issue. The winning entry will receive $1,000, as well as acknowledgement in every issue in which the designer’s work is used. The new print design will be coordinated with the redesign of The Iowa Review’s website, which also will launch in April 2010. Full contest details here. Deadline: October 19
Published September 28, 2009
David Biespiel leaves Poetry Northwest after five years as Editor. His farewell commentary in issue eight is titled: "A Sense of Form and a Sense of Life: Here’s hoping it’s not too late to finally answer the question, 'What is it you’re looking for in a poem?'" It's worth a read by us all - editors, writers and readers.
Published September 28, 2009
Versal, the internationally acclaimed literary annual published in Amsterdam, announces the start of its eighth reading period and welcomes four new editors to its team:

"Jennifer K. Dick, the author of Fluorescence (Univ. of Georgia Press, 2004) and Enclosures (Blazevox, 2007), joins the poetry team, along with Matthew Sadler, whose first chapbook is to be published with Flying Guillotine Press in Brooklyn. BJ Hollars is the newest member of the fiction team. He edited the recently released anthology You Must Be This Tall To Ride: Contemporary Writers Take You Inside The Story from Writer's Digest Books. Finally, Shayna Schapp is Versal's new assistant art editor. She teaches at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague."

Versal is currently accepting submissions of poetry, prose, and art for the eighth issue due out in May 2010.
Published September 24, 2009
Here's a byline I can get behind: right hand pointing - "an online literary journal of very brief pieces for smart people with short attention spans." Finally. I also appreciate the Submissions Slide Show and Hate Mail page.
Published September 20, 2009
A recent issue of interest has been the growing number of editors and publishers of online and print magazines keeping themselves "anonymous."

Quite frankly, we’re finding this to be a more disturbing trend than not for a number of reasons.

One of the first is that blatant anonymity makes us suspect of the publication, of its validity and credibility.

When considering publications to list on NewPages, one of our minimal requirements is that there has to be an identifiable person who is willing to take responsibility for the finished product. Not being able to know the name of someone to contact if there is a problem, a question, or a concern makes the whole venture seem shady and fly-by-nightish. It’s one thing when no one identifies themselves on the web site, but when we write and ask for a contact, purely for our in-house information, and are denied this – we don’t feel this is a publication NewPages can recommend to our readers.

In the past, our readers have turned to us for help when they had concerns about such matters as how a contest was being run, when they could not get a reply on submissions, or even when their subscription stropped showing up and they could not contact the publisher. In these situations, we have contacted the publication and in most all cases, helped to resolve the situation. Not knowing who someone is does not help to create a working relationship, nor does it seem terribly collegial in the sense of literary community. In fact, it seems quite the opposite, which is exactly what it seems some publications mean to project.

If I had a dime for every time lit mags professed “we don’t want names to matter” and “we’re out to be different from the establishment”... Really, this is a highly cynical position to take against the many good, decent publications out there that indeed have had and currently have people working for them who are ethical, respectful, and concerned about the welfare of literature and publishing. This idea that keeping editors anonymous is the more ethical and just way to run a publication seems to call a lot of great work done by others corrupt.

Checking the backgrounds of those associated with the numerous new publications that crop up weekly is an effort that we make on behalf of our readers. Of course, as the saying goes, anyone can be a dog on the Internet, but we do look at names and attempt to verify these for any publications we list in our guides. We have always attempted to run NewPages as a site which recommends quality publications; we are not a clearinghouse of anything and everything out there – and our readers tell us they appreciate this about our site. If anything, anonymity in publications that claim high ethical standards give us an opposite opinion and raise many other questions: Are the editors publishing themselves? Are they publishing their friends? Honestly, how are we to know?

In terms of editorial credibility, it is helpful for writers as they are looking for places to submit their work to know the background of the people not only making the selections of the work, but who might also be editing their words. Certainly, there will be some people so eager for publication that it doesn’t matter to them, but I would like to know that my work will be given critical consideration – not turned away because it might have been too obscure for Mr. Smith’s eleventh grade class to understand, or, worse yet, published with errors I may have missed and Bill & Ted on their excellent publishing adventure really didn’t know enough to correct. I think most writers consider editors their “peers” in some way – at least in the sense that they will help a writer to grow through both acceptance and rejection and not allow their writing to make a fool of either writer or publication once it's published.

At the professional level, the anonymous stance seems an immature one. I don’t know of any anonymous publication that has had any longevity. I can’t help but say it seems like a “youthful” attitude of self-righteousness and indignation – and one that won’t last long for any publication. Though I could be wrong – I’ll check back with some of you anonymous folks ten years from now – heck, five years from now, and we’ll see if you’re still around – or rather, if your publication is still around.

I have to ask about any writer submitting to an anonymous publication. Is this something to list on your publishing credentials? Is there any scrutiny of that? Again, I certainly do understand that for some people, this is not a concern, but I'm focusing on what we're choosing to list here on NewPages and what our readers expect of what they'll find here (aka our work).

I know at the higher professional levels, to list publications on our accomplishments, those publications have to have a verifiable editorial or peer review process. So, as much as I might admire the work I see on an anonymous publication, I can’t send in my work if I later want it considered for, oh, I don’t know, say a job I’m applying for, or promotion, or tenure. In fact, I recently reviewed an applicant’s resume and called into question two of the publications listed. I don’t think this would necessarily cost the applicant the job, but in some cases where this could make the difference, I think writers need to be careful about using such publications to bolster their credentials. Interestingly enough, in each of the anonymous publications I have seen so far, contributors include bios which list their publishing credentials. Slightly hypocritical, if names don’t matter - ?

Ultimately, it seems to me these spirited, young, anonymous publications are quickly finding their way around – mostly online – and if writers want to submit to them – for fun – they should by all means go ahead and do so. But as quickly as these efforts are sprouting up, they will also find their anonymous editors moving along to greener, more name-worthy publications. Ultimately, this is as any venture in life – user beware. I can’t think of too many situations in which I would engage in a working relationship with someone who insisted on remaining anonymous, though this might just be yet another of the web-future trends of publishing.

As for now – NewPages is not listing publications who insist on remaining anonymous. We have had long discussions about this, both in-house and with publications whose editors both have made themselves known to us and those who refuse to do so. We will continue to attempt to come to some understanding of this new phenomenon, but for now, we've had to make this a deciding factor in listings for our guides.
Published September 16, 2009
It's nice to see a publication find their way back after one of those short breaks that often become permanent. Red Line Blues, a theme-based journal from Brooklyn, NY and Asheville, NC is back from their hiatus.

From the Red Line Blues Crew (Moriah Norris-Hale, Erich Nagler, and Benjamin Yanes): "We've been on hiatus for the past few months (ok, perhaps a year) renovating barns, traveling to Finland and back, and weathering the ole recesh'. We're stoked to be back in the saddle and hope you'll join us for issue #7."

The upcoming theme for the issue is "Lean Times": "Now that a full year's limped by since Lehman went belly up, we're marking the era with the theme 'Lean Times.' We're casting the net for prose, poetry, photos, prints, drawings, and songs that illuminate our recent [in]securities, and tell the tales of staying afloat in the downturn. All submissions are due by Halloween, 2009 (Saturday, October 31st)."

See their website for further details.
Published September 08, 2009
Nothing against poetry, but the newest issue of Alaska Quarterly Review (Fall & Winter 2009) is an all-prose issue - with fiction and nonfiction only. The full table of contents is available on their website.
Published September 04, 2009
A recent note from Rhett Rhett Iseman Trull, Editor of Cave Wall, journal of poetry, is a good reminder of the importance of subscribing to literary magazines as a way to get great reading material in your hands, but also to help support these endeavors. It's a tough time for us all, but collectively, subscriptions really can make a difference in helping mags through the year.

If you don't already, take the step and subscribe to a couple. If you don't "need" or want any more lit mags, then get a subscription for a friend, for your local library, elder care home, domestive violence shelter, juvie detention center, runaway home, high school creative writing class, prison, alternative high school, church - be creative! There are lots of organizations and groups that would probably really appreciate having good reading.

Even better - teachers! - get your students to subscribe as required reading - either to one specific journal for the whole class, or let them browse the NewPages list and pick one of their own choice. There are many creative ways to work with these in the classroom. Ordering a set of backcopies is also a quick and easy way to get the whole class on the same page. I've always had good luck with our bookstore ordering from small lit mags, and sometimes have ordered them myself and collected the money from my students. Do what you can to get students reading and keep these great publications going!

From Rhett: "There has never been a better time to subscribe to Cave Wall than this month, during our September 2009 Back Issue Sale, where current and new subscribers can purchase back issues 1-5 for just $4 each. If you have been wanting to subscribe, or if your subscription has lapsed and you missed a few issues, now is a great time to act. Also, with the holidays approaching, what better gift for a poetry lover than a complete set of Cave Wall back issues? In these difficult economic times, Cave Wall appreciates your support more than ever."
Published August 10, 2009
The Summer 2009 issue of Michigan Quarterly Review welcomes Jonathan Freedman as the new editor, transitioning the close of Laurence Goldstein's thirty-two year career with the publication.
Published July 28, 2009
Absinthe: New European Writing is offering a summer sale now through August 31st. Purchase any back issue (except sold out issue #3) for only $5 (postage included; $10 outside the United States). This is a great opportunity to complete your Absinthe set. Additionally, until August 31st you can order a lifetime subscription to Absinthe for only $100(for international subscribers the lifetime rate is $200).

Absinthe is also looking for writers interested in contributing to their blog. If you’re interested, email the editor: dhayes_at_absinthenew.com
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