My main questions of evaluation are:  (a) Is the writing intense, (b) does it offer hope, (c) and does it advance literary art? - Robert Stewart, editor of New Letters
The Review Review
Greetings Lit Magophiliacs,

This week's news in lit mags is all about good guides and hilarious how-to's.  In "A Guide to Interpreting Literary Journal Submission Guidelines," 
John Fox offers these nuggets of wisdom: If a lit mag has zero reading fee it means "We really like you and respect you." By contrast, a $2 fee means "We really hate having to charge for this" and a reading fee of $5-$20 means "We are a small clan, but take great pleasure in economically raping vulnerable writers. After...making snow angels in piles of money, we drink the blood of children."

Writer's Relief has posted "How to be an Annoying Author." Advice includes "Call on a daily basis soon after your submission has been sent to see if it was received" and "Complain vociferously." And at Tin House, Seth Fried explains "How to Interpret Your Rejection Letter": "Try to imagine a giraffe on roller skates slowly rolling toward the edge of a cliff...Your writing is the giraffe, the cliff is the journal you sent it to, and the giraffe’s beer helmet is every nice thing your mother has ever said about you." 

Brandon Tietz offers some controversial advice in "Authors Beware: New Lit Mags": "How can publication be a bad idea? Let’s count the red flags...'New' doesn’t equate to good or better or even acceptable. It usually means: 'we’re still figuring things out' and 'expect missteps.' A large percentage of new businesses fail within the first year, and lit mags are no different." On Twitter, Blackberry responded by saying "As a New Lit Mag myself, I am somewhat offended by the author's points."

In other news, here in Boston we are getting super duper excited as AWP 2013 comes rolling in. As Paul Revere famously said at the start of the American Revolution, "The lit mags are coming!" 

If you are brand new to the conference, the web abounds with helpful advice for getting through AWP with your sanity intact. Ploughshares' "The AWP Post You've Been Waiting For" features helpful advice from editors and writers. Writer Brian Oliu has responded to the Ploughshares article with his own "AWP 13 Tips & Trix!" (We especially liked tip #2: "Share a room with a famous writer!") And writer/editor Kate Gate offers her own "AWP Boston Survival Guide." Says Gate, "Try not to bring your baby. It’s like bringing a baby to Vegas."

In her "AWP Survival Guide: Don't Merely Endure, Prevail," writer Leslie Pietrzyk advises "First, figure out where to eat." (FYI, there's a Trader Joe's on Boylston Street, not far from the conference center.) And in her "AWP Boston: My Plans for Survival (And Even Enjoyment)", Los Angeles Review editor Kelly Davio provides us with a list of things that have happened to her at the bookfair: "1. A man I’ve never met handed me a baby dressed in a bear suit, and the baby vomited on me....2. A stranger grabbed me by my stomach fat."

On a more serious note, John Warner says in his essay, "In Which I Complain About the AWP Conference," "When it comes to this annual gathering, for the most part, I am not a fan...I can’t help but see a good portion of the activities as a waste of time, human capital, and money, or if not a waste, exactly, a non-ideal distribution of these finite resources."

If you are attending the conference and think you might want to connect with the editors of Virginia Quarterly Review, their new online editor Jane Friedman is "actively seeking online contributors in 2013 and would love to meet writers, editors, and other creative people who have pitches for online content." Writers should click here to sign up for a ten-minute appointment with the editor on Friday or Saturday.

And once you finish all your fancy-pants networking, do come to The Review Review table! We would love to shake your hand, pat your back, ruffle your hair, and in all ways celebrate your wonderful and magnificent presence. We will be at table J14. 

For those of you nearby but not attending the conference, worry not! There are a gazillion offsite activities including parties, readings, lectures, and all manner of things literary  and splendid. We are particularly excited about 
"Get Lit", a party hosted by Grub Street and Small Demons press at Storyville on Thursday evening. 

Meanwhile, when we're not wondering if we should start actually planning for the conference (probably) or if we will have enough time to get everything done beforehand (probably not), we are all tangled up in literary magazines. This week's reviews look at apt ("155 pages of goldenly rectangular goodness"), Twenty-Four Hours ("definitely leans towards the experimental and anything that lies 'outside the system'"), and Salmagundi ("one of the most well-respected publications around.") Our interview is with New Letters editor Robert Stewart (that cool dude up there to your right.) And our publishing tip comes from novelist Randy Susan Meyers, "To Blog or Not to Blog: Authors Online."

Also, our lit mag trivia contest will be open just til the end of this week, so if you want to win a subscription to the amazing Journal of the Month club, enter now! And the same for our classifieds, folks, just a few more days to view many of these great contests and calls for submissions. All new classifieds will be posted on Friday.

And that, you loveable lubbies, you cuddly cubbles, you sweet sweebies and silly sibblies, is the news in literary magazines. 

Yes, half those words are made up. Yes, we are using them anyway.

Have a great week everyone, and for those of you coming to AWP from afar, we wish you safe and happy travels. We can't wait to welcome you in Boston!


Interview with Robert Stewart—Editor of New Letters

Robert Stewart is editor of New Letters magazine, New Letters on the Air, a nationally syndicated literary radio program, and BkMk Press at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where he also teaches writing, magazine nonfiction writing, and magazine editing.  His books include Outside Language: Essays (Helicon Nine Editions, a finalist in the PEN Center USA Literary Awards for 2004; and winner of the 2004 Thorpe Menn Award), Plumbers (poems, BkMk Press), and others.  His essays on travel and language have appeared in The North American Review, Borderline and elsewhere; magazine feature articles have appeared in Ingram’s, The Kansas City Star, The New Art Examiner, E: The Environmental Magazine and other places.  Poems have appeared in Denver Quarterly, Poetry Northwest, Prairie Schooner, Mangrove, Stand, Notre Dame Review, Literary Review and other magazines. Anthology editorships include Spud Songs: An Anthology of Potato Poems (benefit for hunger relief),Voices From the Interior: Missouri Poets, and Decade: Modern American Poets. 

Interview by Valerie McDonnell

Review of Twenty-four Hours, Winter 
2012 by 
Oindrila Mukherjee 
Conventional (i.e. not experimental), 
Cultural focus, 
Music focus, 

Review of apt, Winter 2013
by Tripp Reade 
Conventional (i.e. not experimental), 

By Randy Susan Meyers

Keeping up a blog, if one is a writer, would seem a no-brainer, right? I mean after all, you are a writer, so wouldn’t it seem obvious that you’d be the perfect person to dash off 300-800 words a day?...

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