A Few Notes of Randomness
As an editor, sometimes the way writers value an acceptance into the print issue over an acceptance into the online version of the magazine is frustrating. As an academic, I understand why many writers value print publications. I also respect the desire for a physical artifact, something you can hold in your hands and leave on your coffee table and pass around with friends and loved ones. For many readers, longer work translates better on the page. I respect print. I get it. I also respect online publishing. I find it as valuable as print publication, I love the exposure it provides as well as the accessibility. We print 750 copies of our print issue. Our online magazine gets 7,500 or more unique visitors a month. Now, there are all sorts of factors that will dilute online traffic figures but I know without a doubt that more people can and do read the magazine online than the print version. This week a writer stated in his cover letter, “This story is only for print consideration.” I advised him we consider all work for both print and online publication and if that were a problem, he should withdraw his submission. He withdrew his submission. Sometimes when writers learn their work has been accepted for online publication they express disappointment, ask if there’s something they can do to get their story into the print version like it’s a back room casino in Manhattan. Twice, writers have declined publication. That is their right.
I am on a mission to eliminate the word that, whenever possible, from my writing. It is such an empty word. More often than not the that is not needed. I’m also getting ruthless with just and the excessive use of it as an empty signifier. I keep telling myself, say what something really is. Are there little words you try to eliminate from your writing or tics you try to overcome?
The Rumpus is doing a one off book club for Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom. I signed up for it.
The literary magazine club is actually going to happen! I will pull together some more coherent details early next week for you all. If you would like to join you can watch this space where many of the discussions will take place or you can join the Google Group I’ve created for other discussions and top secret club communiques. NY Tyrant sells out so you might want to get your copy of NY Tyrant 8 (Vol. 3.2) pretty soon!
Have you read the new issue of The Collagist? Mary Miller, who never ever disappoints, has a story called The Cedars of Lebanon that I just love.
Here is a pretty thorough story on the very sad affairs at VQR.
I have an extra copy of Mary Hamilton’s We Know What We Are. If you’re interested, comment with a little story about what you know you are. I’ll pick my favorite on Friday at 5 and you’ll get this book and some other good reads.