On the Revival of the Literary Journal

From The Guardian:

In the age of user-generated content and online communities, what on earth would possess anybody to start up a small literary journal that comes in the shape of, you know, an actual book, with all the attendant bother and cost of printing it and then getting it into shops? [...]

‘There was a need for something that would serve the writing community and act as a forum for established writers to show work that ordinarily trade and mainstream publishers wouldn’t publish, and to find space for new writers,’ says Brackstone. Many of the authors in this first issue, which he edited, come from his own list at Faber, including Sarah Hall, Daren King, Michael Smith and Benjamin Markovits, but each issue will feature a guest editor - the next will be Hisham Matar - who will bring in a variety of fresh contributors.

The obvious contemporary precedent for the resurgence of the small magazine is Dave Eggers’s McSweeney’s which in the Nineties became a beacon for writers weary of the limited possibilities of the mainstream press. McSweeney’s, now based in San Francisco, runs a successful publishing arm as well as a series of non-profit creative writing centres for disadvantaged children; in its turn it spawned The Believer, a literary magazine edited by Eggers’s wife Vendela Vida, which features columns by such eminent figures as Nick Hornby and Javier Marias.

More here.

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