Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Adventures in Rejection: When Literary Magazines Die

In this wild world, where large publishing houses are closing or consolidating and small presses face huge hurdles to keeping their doors open, it should come as no surprise that literary magazines often fail. 

And yet, somehow, that feels like the worst rejection of them all.

It's one thing to see an individual poem turned down for publication. But when an entire lit mag tanks for whatever reason--lack of funding, low readership, the demands of the editor's day job--it hurts me. Even when an outlet has declined to disseminate my work, I like to see them succeed, because it means that other writers are getting exposure and that other readers are discovering new pieces that move them. If a lit mag shuts down, those opportunities are negated for everyone involved.

Is this because of a lack of interest from the larger public? Because no one has surplus funds to donate? Because the editors are being crushed at their other workplace (let's be honest: most people are doing this as a passion project, a side gig that is often thankless)? I can't say. What I do know is that it makes the literary world a less diverse place, and that is never a positive thing.


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