Literary Journals and Canons


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Literary Journals and Canons

  1. 1. Print Canons and Electronic Literary Journals<br />
  2. 2. Literary Journals:<br />
  3. 3. Literary Journals:<br />“Over the past decade, several magazines known for their stellar short fiction have ceased publication: Story, DoubleTake, and Ontario Review. Others have seen their budgets slashed… Still others, typically high-circulation, general-interest magazines, publish far less short fiction than they used to…<br />“News like this makes me queasy… I read about fifty fewer magazines this year than Katrina Kenison read in 2000, although I suspect that if more online magazines submitted their stories to me, the numbers would be comparable. Still, it is indisputable that American literary journals are in danger”<br /> -Heidi Pitlor , series editor of The Best American Short Stories<br />
  4. 4. Literary Journals:<br />With this in mind, I separated online literary journals from print literary journals because they diverge in questions of circulation, presentation, and how they use online space. <br />
  5. 5. Literary Journals:<br />Still, according to, there are over 3,300 Fiction and Poetry Publications active right now– online and in print!<br />
  6. 6. Online Journals:<br /><ul><li>Circulation can be unlimited; can reach anybody
  7. 7. Often Free!
  8. 8. Presence online is to disseminate the content of their journals
  9. 9. Because they don’t have to print and distribute…</li></ul>Can publish more authors, take greater risks with material, focus closer on specific genres, blur genres, use white space more and can change formats altogether…<br />
  10. 10. Online Journals:<br />The cost of this is that anybody can have an online literary journal. There is much less qualification on who is publishing, and there is little history of these e-zine brands…<br />
  11. 11. Online Journals:<br />The cost of this is that anybody can have an online literary journal. There is much less qualification on who is publishing, and there is little history of these e-zine brands…<br />This means that the prestige of the journal is completely bound up with the featured authors and the quality of the content– two referents back into the print and academic worlds<br />
  12. 12. Examples: <br />
  13. 13. Examples: <br />
  14. 14. Examples: <br />
  15. 15. Examples: <br />
  16. 16. Examples: <br />
  17. 17. Examples: <br />
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  20. 20. Print Journals:<br /><ul><li>Have limited circulations; their readerships depend upon number of magazines they can sell and/or distribute
  21. 21. Primarily use online literary space to reach customers and build buzz. Many journals remain completely in paper (everybody has a website), but the ones that are active on the internet use lots of social media.
  22. 22. Social media helps create literary communities through craft essays, conversations about writing and access to authors.</li></li></ul><li>Print Journals:<br />Print journals can also enjoy a lot of prestige and authority from greater submissions, more notoriety and a large network of awards and compilations– like The Best American series or the Pushcart Prize.<br />
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  28. 28. <ul><li>Featured 5 poets/authors that had previously been published in Ploughshares
  29. 29. Promoted their books and materials while writing articles about the craft.
  30. 30. Implicit in Ploughshares lit-blog was that this journal was the center of a prestigious literary community </li></li></ul><li>Authors and Social Media<br /><ul><li>Found that most authors associated with print literary journals did not use social media to promote themselves as authors.
  31. 31. Some major authors had publishers who maintained their identity on Facebook in a commercial performance
  32. 32. Rather, authors remained decentralized and latched onto online literary spaces like lit-blogs and journals temporarily– usually in the form of publishing.</li></li></ul><li>Conclusions:<br />Literary Magazines that were non-native to the web were more likely to utilize social media well. (TinHouse, Ploughshares, PEN, OneStory, Zoetrope, Paris Review, etc)<br />With the presence of highly successful authors on free electronic fiction journals, it’s probable that the web has displaced a good deal of the traditional literary space of print magazines.<br />Yet, the power of the canon and therefore, the prestige and cultural hegemony has been retained by print magazines through highly visible brand names, connections/access to authors and publishers (like Dzanc Books), an active claim to digital literary communities through social media platforms and reaffirming accolades like The Best American and the Pushcart Prize.<br />