September 10, 2013 § 3 Comments
In tandem with the launch of the new anthology, Paper Dreams: Writers and Editors on the American Literary Magazine, compiled and Edited by Travis Kurowski, Atticus Books has hosted a discussion with Richard Peabody, Steve Himmer, Roxane Gay, Dave Housley, Kelly Forsythe, Jen Michalski, and Jessica Poli on the subject of what lit mags can be and how they can prosper.
We think it is an excellent discussion (and not just because they are kind enough to mention Brevity.) Here is an excerpt followed by a full link:
Dave Housley: As a writer, I think you need to curate your own career, meaning you should be looking at the magazines that are publishing the writing you’re interested in. Where is that conversation happening? That’s where I think you want to be focused.
That might be Asimov’s or Ellery Queen or PANK or Diagram or Smokelong or Brevity. Wherever that conversation is, those are the top whatever number magazines for you at that particular moment. That’s what I always tell people in my writing workshops, at least: you can send your stuff out to The New Yorker, but especially if you’re just starting out, you should probably be looking in different places. The community you’re looking to join isn’t the Jonathan Franzen/Joyce Carol Oates community. It’s one that’s happening in a lot of different places, depending on where you are in your writing. I think if you’re smart, and really engaged and looking at this in the best possible way, then finding these places is like a life raft and it can really help carry you along.The New Yorker is not going to be your life raft, but maybe Atticus or PANK or Barrelhouse can be.
I used to play basketball, and I think about writing in the same way: if I’m looking to improve my game, I’m not hoping to hop in and play with LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, or anybody in the best possible league in the world. I want to find people who are working at the same things I’m working at, who are maybe a little further along and better than me, and that’s the game I’m going to try to join.