If you’re a bibliophile who is not reading literary magazines (or journals, etc) then you’re absolutely missing out! The fun of books and reading is devouring story after story, and typically in most books you only get one long (often fabulous- I am not discrediting novels) story. Don’t you want more!?
Literary journals offer collections of various short stories, poems, plays, excerpts, articles, interviews, essays, and sometimes art, comics, and lyrics as well. There’s so many options and so many different stories and art available when you pick up a literarly journal or magazine.
Personally, I had NO idea what literary journals were until I saw postings for volunteers to work on the journal at my college (OAR!) which I then ended up working on throughout this past semester. While that might have given me some sort of bias, I’m still so glad I was introduced to these journals.
I was involved with the journal at my school through an Editing and Publishing (the title of this class spoke to my soul) class which required all the participants to purchase and read four different literary journals that the professor selected.
The class started with a quirky journal published by Butler University, called Booth. It’s probably my favorite just because of the weird vibe and the odd stories it contained. We read Booth 7 in my class, and I just ordered a one-year subsciption on their website and a copy of Booth 8 (which I’m excited to review soon)! (P.S. Booth is probably one of the cheaper journals, with one journal being $8 and a subscription being $15!)
We also read an issue of The Pinch, Ploughshares (which took itself a bit too seriously, I thought), and Tin House. Ploughshares was prestigious, but it was also more bland. It had very little art, but I suppose the work and authors it featured are renowned enough to stand on its own. Ploughshares is a bit more expensive at $14 but that’s the average price for a novel, so it’s well worth it!
Tin House was almost as quirky as Booth, but heavier on the art and design. The Pinch and Tin House were probably the least memorable for me personally, but a lot of the other students in my class really enjoyed them. Which only furthers my point that there’s a journal to fit almost everyone’s taste!
With a magazine, you don’t just get a short story, but something much more personal. When you find a magazine you really love, you stick with it, issue after issue. – Max Booth III on Lit Reactor
Have you read any literary magazines lately? Tell me what you think!