Lit Mag Reading Club...is...ON!
So it begins...
Friends, it’s been just a few days since I shared my idea for a Lit Mag Reading Club. I’ve heard from hundreds of people, dozens of editors, and readers all over the world. I’m overwhelmed, ecstatic, sleep-deprived and really truly ridiculously excited.
So, are you with me? Let’s get to it!
What will this be?
Lit Mag Reading Club will be a club where we read lit mags each month and talk about them. At the end of the month, magazine editors will come and answer questions about the issue. Think of it like a book club where the author shows up once everyone has read the book. Readers will get to talk about the work with the editor, ask questions, and learn about what went into selecting (and rejecting) pieces for the particular issue.
Who can participate?
Lit Mag Reading Club will be open to all paying subscribers to this newsletter. So if you aren’t yet a paying subscriber, now is the time to sign up!
(As a paying subscriber you will also have access to this site’s full archive, subscriber-only posts and discussion threads, as well as monthly Submissions Q & A and Study Hall sessions.)
Participants of LMRC will also receive discounts on the featured magazines!
Beyond that, LMRC is open to people with all levels of reading, writing and lit-magging experience. There is no need to have an MFA. There is no need to know anything at all about literary magazines. Whether you have a PhD in Comparative Literature or you dropped out of high school, whether you’re eighty years old or twenty years old, whether you write and submit your work regularly or you have never submitted a thing…Come as you are. There is room for you here.
How will this operate? Where will we meet?
Each month will be dedicated to 1-2 magazines. Near the end of the month, I’ll do a little write-up, sharing my thoughts on the issue. Others will then be invited to discuss the works in the comments. I invite all comments, so long as they are respectful, constructive and good-faith engagements with the material.
Later in the month, the editor of the issue will visit.
We can also have a zoom conversation among ourselves to discuss the issue, if people are interested. Right now I am thinking it might be best to do this in combo with the editor visit. (We’ll meet and talk amongst ourselves for about 45 minutes, then take a break, then bring in the editor. Something like that.)
All editor talks will be recorded. They will be posted and available for participants to view at their convenience.
Which journals are participating?
I have been floored to hear from so many editors over the past few days. I will be updating this post with an official schedule asap. For now I can confirm the following:
October: Story Magazine and Cleaver Magazine
Subsequent months will feature Harvard Review, Indiana Review, The Sun, Pacifica, Cincinnati Review, Iowa Review, Conjunctions, One Story, Southern Review, museum of americana, Pleiades, and more!
Please stand by as I post the exact schedule of editor visits, the full list of magazines, and information on how to purchase discounted issues and subscriptions.
How were the participating magazines chosen?
I’ve tried to balance print and online magazines. I am also trying to offer a blend of well-known magazines with smaller magazines that have been around for several years and are worthy of a larger readership. With a few exceptions, I also focused on magazines that publish all genres. And for the most part I tried to include magazines that don’t focus on one specific subject, theme, location or demographic.
There are many—thousands—of magazines that are not on this list. Obviously, I just cannot include them all. However, I hope that LMRC will stick around for a long while yet, and over time we will be able to include many more journals.
How much reading will we all have to do?
Look, we’re all busy. The idea here is to integrate literary magazines into your life in a way that is pleasing, edifying and realistic. If you want to read every issue cover to cover, go for it! If time runs away from you and you only get to a handful of stories and poems for each issue, that’s fine. Come as you are!
All I ask is that there is some attempt to explore the magazine(s) of your choosing, be open-minded, and that discussion participants engage with both the material and one another respectfully.
Is it necessary to buy the print issues of the magazines?
I’ve tried to include online magazines so as many people as possible may participate. Most print magazines also offer at least some content online.
So, in some instances, no, you won’t need to buy hard copy issues.
Personally, wherever possible, I will be buying the hard copies. Obviously, I want to support the magazines. But also I plan to take notes, doggy-ear pages, tear out artwork that I love, highlight passages, carry the journals into the bath and onto the bus, and otherwise maul these magazines like a ravenous lion.
Because that’s just what I am.
I hope you will join me.