Jan 04

Best Yahoo Group for Writers: CRWROPPS-B

If you wish somebody would keep you up to date on the latest publishing and contest opportunities, the Yahoo Group CRWROPPS-B, edited and updated daily by poet Alison Joseph, is a must-see. You don't have to do a thing but go there. No signing in, discussions, donations, or anything: Just postings with the info you want about first-book contests, poetry contests, fiction contests, online magazines seeking writers for theme issues, residencies, creative-writing jobs, and grants. Most of the time with direct links to the source so you can obtain complete information.

You can subscribe to the postings or you can just bookmark it and go there when you feel the need. I visit about once per week. Here's the URL: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CRWROPPS-B/.

Ms. Joseph has been running CRWROPPS-B (Creative Writing Opportunities List) since November 2005 and she should be sainted for her efficiency and accuracy. Knowing which publisher is looking for work like yours is half the battle of getting published. CRWROPPS-B is all you need to start addressing those envelopes and get your work circulating to people who want to see it. If you don't yet follow CRWROPPS-B, try it; six thousand followers can't be wrong!
Jul 21

Litmags Don't Live Here Anymore

26 February 2009

The library here used to carry a score of literary journals. Today on my lunch hour I found only five. Where did they go? I hadn’t time to ask a librarian because I had to go buy an envelope. But thereby I found out where the journals went. They’re sold single-copy in the bookstore: Boulevard, New Letters, Tin House, Pleiades, Southern Poetry Review – about 10 titles in all.

The library chucked its subscriptions because it knows no one reads these things, except maybe for Poetry and Creative Nonfiction, and those just as bellwethers. Last time I read through the latest issues of literary journals at the library – noting on index cards their names and contents, and what percentage was fiction, what percentage nonfiction, etc. (so I can discuss them in classes) -- in THREE litmags I found poems about Persephone. Whoa. To be fair, about 10 to 20 percent of the published material took my breath. But on the same round I noted two essays, in separate journals, beginning with the words “My father,” and acres of bad fiction – full of neon signs, breasts, tragic foreigners, and petty quarrels.

Some journals make impressive publishing credits if you want to rub shoulders with laureates and academics – who won’t actually read what you published. So beyond impressing each other with our publication credits, what are these journals for? I had never seriously questioned their value. Do they serve as some sort of – standard? For us? Me? Time for self-examination. And figuring out that if they're not important anymore, what is?