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Literary Journal Publication-Is it necessary? : Writers' Block Party • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Literary Journal Publication-Is it necessary?

What's going on in your writing world? Connect with the writing community here and talk about whatever's on your mind.
JessicaLeigh
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Literary Journal Publication-Is it necessary?

Postby JessicaLeigh » Sun Feb 05, 2006 11:06 am


JessicaLeigh
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Literary Journal Publication-Is it necessary?

Postby JessicaLeigh » Sun Feb 05, 2006 11:06 am

Do you believe it is necessary to have a CV packed with published short stories/novellas to be considered worthy of taking a chance on in today's publishing world? I find it very difficult to write on demand (for lack of a better description). Journals always seem to request submissions for theme-oriented issues. Maybe I don't feel inspired to write about one armed men who eat mangos. Ha, ha. :)

Curious
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RE: Literary Journal Publication-Is it necessary?

Postby Curious » Sun Feb 05, 2006 12:44 pm

Nope, I surely don't. It'll get your novel noticed quicker, probably, but it won't get a manuscript accepted if it's not what the publisher is looking for, and it won't get a manuscript rejected if it *is* what a publisher is looking for. I've got four published YA novels to my credit, one novel manuscript under contract, and an editor ready to talk to my agent about the next novel. I have no short stories or novellas to my name. The only thing I have is a few articles published in journals in the field of librarianship. I don't think they changed anybody's mind one way or the other.

Clare

JessicaLeigh
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RE: Literary Journal Publication-Is it necessary?

Postby JessicaLeigh » Sun Feb 05, 2006 12:51 pm

I am so happy to hear that! I am relieved to hear you have articles published on the scholarly level (librarianship) because I've often wondered if that helps/hinders me, too. Great news!!

I have found your advice so helpful since I've joined this little group. It's unlike many other messageboards, I rarely see gnashing of teeth (words) here. Phew!

abqwriter
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RE: Literary Journal Publication-Is it necessary?

Postby abqwriter » Sun Feb 05, 2006 1:28 pm

I think what it proves is that you're serious about writing.  If you can show that some other way, then it isn't really necessary.  I have fun with some of the prompts on this forum that trigger my fancy, but one of the reasons I like them so much is that they're not juried.  I loved the bar one that is up there now, but the two before that didn't light my fire at all.

One thing freelance writing helped me do is get beyond the "I don't feel inspired" into the "I have to do this professionally whether it lights my fire or not".  I think to a certain degree, that's what being published in some of those publications shows, too.


bongobro
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RE: Literary Journal Publication-Is it necessary?

Postby bongobro » Sun Feb 05, 2006 2:52 pm

Hi, Jessica!

How many people read literary journals?

I don't mean to sound like a smart-aleck, but most literary journals I have seen are in either of two places: In a place of honor in the home of the author (most literary journals pay in copies), or in a place of relative dishonor in some dim and dusty corner of a college library.

I must admit that the bulk of my writing is non-fiction (either articles aimed at parents of children during my contributing editorship for a St. Louis area family magazine, or op-ed pieces that are somewhere between Andy Rooney and Dave Barry as interpreted by a two-armed man who plays bongos (couldn't resist a good opportunity for a bad pun!).

Having said that, it may be the route that you'll need to take for at least one or two of your fiction items. Depending on the genre in which you write, you might check some of the publishers to see if they can work with you, too.

Good luck!


Charlie
Keep the beat goin'...

Jamesaritchie
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RE: Literary Journal Publication-Is it necessary?

Postby Jamesaritchie » Mon Feb 06, 2006 2:10 am


Jamesaritchie
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RE: Literary Journal Publication-Is it necessary?

Postby Jamesaritchie » Mon Feb 06, 2006 2:16 am


JessicaLeigh
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RE: Literary Journal Publication-Is it necessary?

Postby JessicaLeigh » Mon Feb 06, 2006 6:09 am

I suppose the issue of how serious am I is exactly why I do not wish to "waste" my time writing short fiction just to find an outlet in a literary journal. I have read dozens of journals at Barnes & Noble. Before having our son, my husband and I visited B & N literally every Friday and Saturday night and we sipped coffee, read journals and magazines and I worked on editing my novel. Now, I am writing my second novel and I already have a third in mind. I don't desire to write short stories, so like you said, I don't think I should. They will not be good. I am serious about my novel writing and I think I would rather focus solely on it...is that wrong? It is simply a choice to focus my attention elsewhere, it's not a reflection of my commitment to the craft. Does that make sense?

WritingAsTylerDavey
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RE: Literary Journal Publication-Is it necessary?

Postby WritingAsTylerDavey » Mon Feb 06, 2006 6:10 am

To add to James' info...

I'm working on my novel, but I'm also writing short stories. I like short stories, because, much like real work, they are my break from the big project. They let my mind explore new ideas and concepts and, most importantly, learn to become a better writer. It takes a while to write, edit, and produce a manuscript. It takes a fraction of that time to get a short story through the same process and in front of editors. Even if only one editor says "this is a bit weak here", at least that one comment is something you can take away from the writing process.

I always suggest that, whenever you get tired of the novel, break out a short story. You can send it off or keep it isolated. Either way, you end up writing, learning, and hopefully getting better.

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