A couple of months ago, I took a photo of my metastatic pile of Books to be Read. Today, I thought I’d trump it with my end-stage metastatic pile of Literary Journals to be Read. As per earlier posts, I frequently commit the sin of not completely reading a literary journal: I scan, I dip, I nibble at a story or two, but I only work through a couple of pages before I get distracted by the Big Four (Facebook, Email, Blog, or Sleep).
Apart from the fact that literary journals are like an individual editor’s YouTube Favourites and consequently not the most cohesive bodies of work, the problem is that there are too many literary journals competing for the top of my reading pile. Overland, Meanjin, Island, Going Down Swinging, Harvest, Stop Drop and Roll, Page Seventeen, Verandah, Torpedo, The Lifted Brow, Sketch, the Mooks, Wet Ink…and these are only the hardcopy journals. How do I, a supposed literary journal enthusiast trawl through so many titles? How does an average punter pick out from the plethora of print out there? Are there too many journals competing for a finite audience?
As this blog reached its hundredth post, I contemplated its role in the blogosphere. Is it just another me-too literary blog? Is it a half-arsed attempt to discuss racism in a literary context? Am I just being narcissistic? Self-promoting? Is this blog an advertorial? Or is it a very public writing journal? Maybe it’s a combination of all of these elements?
According to the ‘Tag Atlas’ in the left-hand column, this blog discusses literary journals. It’s time to add reviews to the mix: do a 3000 Books with journals. Complementing the reviews will be the continuation of ‘You will submit‘ posts, as well as a discussion on journal audience, design, distribution, and promotion. Further down the track, I hope to interview successful journals about their thoughts on these issues.
Cheer up Charlie (in a totally non-VC way) to all of those who like the blog in its current format. Whimsical posts, reportage of various literary events, and notes on racism will continue. There’s just going to be some fine-tuning on the literary journal side or at least that’s the Plan.
First journal for the devouring will be Harvest’s Issue Three. I really should read things that I’ve been published in. So, umm, you’ll probably hear from me in another year or two…?