Lit Journals Again

Last week I posted a poll on Does Short Form Memoir Count?

Although the results are limited by the few numbers taking the poll, I was heartened to see that the highest percentage was for people who subscribe to at least one journal. But when you add rarely and never together, you get the same score.

So why don’t more of us read lit mags? And I put myself in that category because I haven’t been consistent. More often than not, I would skim a new magazine and end up not reading it because I turned to a book instead.

Now that I’ve been reading literary journals again, I feel so energized, enthused, and educated. I think my writing will be better for reading them. So I plan to continue.

How about you?


Photo by Marisha

Photo by Marisha

Next Thursday: I (sort of) review an iconic memoir.


Filed under Creative Nonfiction, Literary Journals, Memoir, Memoir writing theory, Nonfiction, Research and prep for writing, Writing

44 responses to “Lit Journals Again

  1. Wow the colors…amazing!

  2. Oh no! You are going to “sort of” review too? Don’t do it! It is a slippery slope from which it is difficult, if not impossible, to escape! One of us has to write the real reviews!

  3. Maybe I should read art magazines. Same thing. I may feel energized too! Good thought, Luanne!

    • That sounds like brilliant, Hollis! Let me know how it works for you! By the way, there is some beautiful art in some of these lit mags.

  4. Cheers to reading more lit journals, Luanne! I’ve made a commitment this year: instead of subscribing to a few different literary journals, which I’ve done in the past, I’m ordering an issue of a journal I’ve never read each month. I thought this would keep the expense down, but so far I’ve ordered at least two or more issues each month because there so many good ones. Some mags are even on Amazon with free shipping or Kindle have versions.

    A gem: I purchased the latest Pushcart Anthology and will do this again every year. This 3″ paperback book showcases some of the best work around from a long list of different journals. Delicious!

    • Windy, you’ve motivated me on the Pushcart Anthology. What a simply fabulous idea! Doing it! And your idea about reading a variety of lit mags is a great idea, too. You’re full of wonderful advice!

  5. I’m a writer who’s guilty of not reading literary journals…Time is a precious commodity when I’m working full time, writing part time and blogging on the side. But maybe I’ll look into reading at least one journal a month. Especially since it has helped improve your writing. Thanks Luanne!

    • Oh, I hear you, Faith! Such a precious commodity! That would be a good idea–to just try one. Check out what Windy says above, too. She has some good advice re trying different journals (maybe a different on each month) OR getting a hold of a Pushcart Anthology to read the best of the best (according to Mr./Ms. Pushcart ;)).

  6. Beautiful picture! I’ve never read any lit journals, but I should look into them.

    • Caitlin, I’ll tell my daughter you like the photo! She has a new camera. Yes, definitely check them out. See if your library has any subscriptions?

  7. I guess I’m too busy reading books. Need more hours in the day.

  8. Ack! I barely have time for my Writer’s Digest…I’m still in 2013. πŸ™ I’ll try, Luanne. πŸ™‚
    Your daughter’s photograph is beautiful!

    • Hahaha, I’m laughing, but kind of crying too because yes, there is just not enough time! Go up and read Windy’s advice. I think it’s really good. Thank you re Marisha’s pic–I will let her know you like it!

  9. Luanne: Love Marisha’s photo. Beautiful.

    I think there is so much to read between books and online writing that it becomes hard to incorporate journals. That being said, your renewed love for literary journals pushes me to include them as a part of my reading list again.

    • Rudri, I love the photo, too. She has a new camera and is really excited about using it! There is so much to read and when you add in writing on top of all the other needs of life, it becomes overwhelming. But I think Windy has some really great advice–see above. I’m going to check into the Pushcart Anthology, too. Sounds like a shortcut to some really great work.

  10. I will try harder.

  11. I haven’t! …for the longest time. I guess I’ve been busy savoring all that was available in blogosphere. This is a reminder. I always have a mental note to resume such. This is a reminder πŸ‘

    • Even just dipping into an issue once a week is I think a good idea. It’s such a different kind of read than reading blogs every day. Harder and not as digestible sometimes, but rewarding in a different way!

  12. I agree with the time issue…I don’t get to read enough as it is, so when I do, it’s all about the books.

  13. I must confess I’m a culprit, although my dad had tons of Oxford classics, Readers digest and a host of others. I hardly read anything else apart from those. The internet seems to have taken over!

    Really love the picture by the way! πŸ™‚

    • Seyi, I’ll let my daughter know you love her photo! It’s true that the internet is really taking over. More and more journals and mags are going online, too.

  14. I started to write about journals, saying that I did this in college, but I did not find my comment on here. Must have run out of time or did not press publish comment, Luanne! Sorry about that. I like to read short stories, essays and articles, too. I just have not done so, through professional journals for some time now. I had taken a course on writing where I had to cite sources, I enjoyed this, but have not taken back up on this habit. The library is a good place to not have to subscribe but can read some of these. Also, the internet has some available, too. The flower photograph is gorgeous and brilliant, let your daughter know we enjoyed it so much! Someday, I hope to have more time to read literature journals. They are a great source for styles and techniques, Luanne, thanks for reminding me of this! Smiles, Robin

    • Some libraries are a lot better than others about subscribing to literary journals. Of course, you can almost always find The New Yorker at the library to read their stories and poems, but that is pretty limited if you stick to that one! It’s fun to read some of the others, and almost every university with a creative writing major or program puts out a lit mag. Some are available online, so it’s free and easy to find. You can get a list of journals from Poets and Writers magazine online. I’ll tell Marisha you enjoyed her photo!!!! Thanks!

  15. When magazines come, if I don’t get to them right away, they don’t get read. Then the subscription runs out and I forget to renew them. Oh well.

    • OK, I am positive I responded to your comment, MythRider! Did you get a notification? Now it is gone. This is happening too often lately! I love Windy’s ideas for reading a different one each month and/or reading a Pushcart collection. So there is that, too :). So sorry my comment didn’t take earlier!

  16. It sounds sensible, but then I was rarely sensible, and I absolutely don’t have enough time! πŸ™‚ A friend dropped 2 Paris guides off on Friday (we’re going for our Silver Wedding next month) and I haven’t even had time to open them yet!

    • Dear Jo, I did respond to this the other day, but something happened here! My response to MythRider disappeared, too. Ah WordPress. Yes, time time time. Why is it such a tiny little entity? What a love time you have ahead of you! Lucky girl!!!

  17. The problem I have Luanne is i have met so many wonderful writer’s online I have a pile of books in my kindle app library and it is never ending. Thanks for reminding me we need to keep educating ourselves and feeding the writing mind with good quality material.

    • Ah, I know! I have too! I just got another one yesterday and added it to my pile. What I like about reminding myself to keep up with reading a little bit from journals on a regular basis is that I read the most “cutting edge” short pieces and poems that I wouldn’t be getting otherwise. It’s like rounding out my diet ;).

  18. SO happy to see the majority subscribe to one or more journals. The comments above are all so good πŸ™‚ Have to agree with the ‘time deficiency’ for sure. Here’s my two cents: psychologists and doctors (for example) have to read journals to keep up with new discoveries and practices, writers I think should do the same and the best way to ‘keep up’ with style and other developments in our chosen ‘field’ is to read the leading journals.

    • Yolanda, here is my reply: YES! I so agree with you. It is keeping up with “style and other developments in our chosen” field. What a great way to think of it. We expect other professionals to do so, but so often we writers want to do things “our way” and not necessarily look at the field in the same way other professionals do. Maybe we devalue ourselves when we do that?

  19. “Words or Pictures” a movie I recently saw, argues whether a picture is worth a thousand words or whether the pen is mightier than the sword. The plot of the movie was ordinary but the words were amazing and reading this post on literary journals reminded me of the beauty and power of words. πŸ™‚ Oh, we so need beauty!

  20. Pingback: Where Do You Read Short Memoir Online? | Writer Site

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