Joe Bunting interviews Linda Swanson-Davies of Glimmer Train in his blog today. (Read The Write Practice.) Glimmer Train is a literary magazine Linda and her sister founded in 1990. While I haven’t had a story accepted for publication in the journal, I think it’s a great read. (Which is why I keep submitting.)
Literary magazines have been on my mind lately. One of the members of my writing group has had a number of his stories published in some of the top tier journals. Mike’s writing is definitely going places – hopefully all the way to The New Yorker. While my own writing isn’t at that level – yet – I do read the slush pile for another formidable publication out of Chicago, Fifth Wednesday Journal. For those not familiar with the term “slush pile,” it’s the hundreds of stories submitted by writers during our reading periods. Assistant editors such as myself initially read each story to determine if it merits another look and then possible publication in Fifth Wednesday. Is the story engaging? Moving? Are the characters drawn well? Does the language used serve the story? Is there superfluous language? Is the writing itself clear without obvious grammatical errors and typos? (Hint – it’s always good to have someone proofread anything before you send it out.)
In his blog interview, Joe asks Linda if literary fiction is boring fiction, you know, the stuff only the elitists read. Linda admits that lit fiction can indeed be dull, but Glimmer Train, at least, goes out of its way to find fiction that’s full of life and not at all stale. They’re fond of emerging writers too, and they’re amazed by the inventiveness and innovation they see. It’s the same at Fifth Wednesday.
So, if you’re a writer, give some thought to checking into the submission requirements of the myriad of publications out there. Poets and Writers magazine presents the bulk of them through their “Tools for Writers” page. The Writer magazine also presents much of this information in their Market Directory.
And if you’d like to get your hands on some good material, head over to Glimmer Train or Fifth Wednesday or any number of literary journals out there.
QUESTION: Do you have a favorite fiction magazine?