Last month I posted a typically-sage prescription for launching a literary magazine in which I provided a list of “7 Golden Rules” for doing so. Among the tidal wave of responses was one by a little magazine called The New Yorker. In its pages, Stephen Burt argued that a literary journal “…needs a reason to exist…”
I wholeheartedly concur. Which brings me to Step 2 in my ongoing series, How To Launch A Literary Journal.
I don’t believe in giving away trade secrets, but I’ll make an exception in this case. If you, dear reader, are preparing to launch your own journal – the Homo Sapien Review, let’s call it – you would do well to answer Stephen Burt’s important question. Why should your journal exist?
To help your friends get published, of course! Why else?
There’s no better reason to voyage out into the misty waters of the boutique publishing industry in your proverbial dingy than to provide a place for your cronies, your pals, your retinue, and your entourage to publish their own cramped little writings – their “Odes to a Water Lily” and their “Self Portraits as Herman Cain,” etc etc. Because, really, that’s why literary journals exist in the first place, isn’t it? To serve as promotional tools? Naturally that is why. To expand upon my previous analogy, a rising tide lifts all boats… Or, um, there’s always more fish in the ocean… Or, ahem, as Gandhi said, “Humanity is like an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.”
And so on. You get the point.