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sharing in the writer’s market

OK, I’m probably not reporting anything new by telling you about newpages.com because if you just google “literary magazines” or “online literary magazines” it shows up at the top of the results. I may even have heard about newpages.com, and it may even be in my browser’s bookmarks for what I know. Except that today, faced with another rejection letter and faithful to my promise to just keep submitting the same story to other magazines, I felt overwhelmed by the number of literary magazines out there. It became even more overwhelming once I found the lists at newpages.com

A few days ago, I thought: I’ll start my own! I know how to make websites, and since I even own the web site, litbazaar.com, I might as well use it. That will take a long time. And there are so many out there! How many writers can there be? Some of the most obscure (to me until now) online magazines already post “no more submissions for now, please,” and it feels like arriving in a town where there’s a big convention going on and no rooms in even the dingiest motel. You rent a car, because you have to go out of town and seek the “Vacancy” sign. Then you try one and they look at you and tell you they don’t really have a bed for you. You don’t take it personally, because the motel wants to attract a kind of clientele that does not include you.

Now if I look too deeply at a magazine I selected for its name, I find out it’s based in the south, and tell myself they’d never be interested in a story that talks about a kid being stuck in a snow bank. Or would they? Maybe that qualifies as novelty.

So, seriously, what do I do?

– start my own magazine. Being its editor, I’d slip in my writing here and there
– become a novelist and withdraw for a few years until I come up with the novel that someone will surely want to publish
– look around me and find an open mic so I’ll keep writing poetry with the only goal of “publishing” it at the open mic (and then on this blog). I read somewhere that people my age are past their prime as poets (an issue with the fossilization of one’s language, I think), but then wouldn’t it be an antidote to aging?

A decision will come soon.

Oh! newpages.com also lists independent bookshops in your town! Go there, then review the store on Yelp.

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