I love the smell of freshly-printed Internet

Paris Turns Purple
Okay, I’ll be honest: I don’t actually read the Paris Review. But they didn’t have any freebie images of Glimmer Train or One Story. (Photo credit: Robert Burdock)

One of the things I love about writing and publishing is the community of writers and publishers I get to participate in. That includes the terrific magazines, reviews, and journals I’m in, because I’m a reader, too, and I publish in the places I love to read. And I am an editor — I did the usual stints on student rags in college, but I also spent a couple of years working for American Literary Review and I’m currently the production editor for Jersey Devil Press. I work for places I love to read, too.

Sometimes that means print magazines, which is excellent, because I love the printed word. It’s a cliche these days to talk about the texture of the pages or the heady smell of the binding glue, but damn it, go press your whole face into a new print literary review, really work your nose down into the gutter, and breath deep. Feel the ink and wood pulp against your cheekbones. Tell me you don’t get high off of that.

But I’m no Luddite. I like a good e-zine as much as I like a good print journal. In fact, in some ways I like them better, because while I can’t put an e-publication up on my bookshelf at home and then egotistically hope all my guests will notice and ask me about my work, e-publications are much easier to (egotistically) share with all my friends, family, and readers. All it takes is a link on Facebook, or in an email, or here in my website.

Readability on the iPad
I also don’t have an iPad. But I do have an iPod, and yes, tiny as the screen is, I do read lit journals on it. Seriously. (Photo credit: Wiertz Sébastien)

And I love reading e-publications for the same reason: I have access to them fast and easy. And they smell just fine, too, though I wouldn’t press your nose too hard up against your iPad. Plus, there are some damn fine e-zines, e-journals, and e-reviews out there. I know. Just glance at that massive list of links in the right-hand sidebar and you can see I read a lot of them.

Lately, though, I’ve noticed a bit of a trend in e-journals turning up here on the free (or relatively free) WordPress platform. That makes a lot of sense, really: even e-publishing is expensive, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise (even if you get a free blog and take e-submissions through Gmail, you still have to invest a lot of valuable, otherwise-money-making time in producing the thing), so even if you pay for the domain upgrade, like I have, using WordPress for your design and hosting is a good way to save your money for other things, like subscribing to other literary magazines.

This trend is feeling very close to my work lately, because some of my most recent or upcoming publications are in magazines hosted on WordPress. And this is good news for many of you, because it means all you have to do to subscribe to the magazines is to follow them on WordPress!

Here are a few of the magazines I read that are hosted on WordPress:

  • Burnt Bridge, where a long-time friend of my family, Roy A. Rogers, has published (they do a terrific print edition, too)
  • Eunoia Review, where I’ll have a story later this month
  • In Between Altered States, where I get loads of inspiration from their prompts and from the killer stuff they run
  • Unshod Quills, run by the phenomenal Dena Rash Guzman and Wendy Ellis; I had a whole string of stories in their fourth issue
  • Used Furniture Review, where I just published as part of a collaborative story organized by the awesome Meg Tuite for her fiction column

Not a WordPress member? No worries! Look for the RSS subscriptions — and look for something similar on any other, non-WordPress journals you find. This also goes for magazines using the fancier, paid version of WordPress, like Jersey Devil Press, The Murky Fringe, Red Dirt Review, or Fried Chicken and Coffee, but it also goes for magazines hosted on Blogger (Our Band Could Be Your Lit) or other platforms. If you don’t see an RSS feed, look for an email sign-up, like the one at SOL: English Writing in Mexico. Still not finding a way to subscribe? Follow them on Facebook or Twitter.

Read this stuff, people! Not just once in a while but regularly. We write this stuff for ourselves — let’s face it — but we publish this stuff for you. And for the fame and glory and booze and women/men. But mostly for you.

We hope you enjoy it. 🙂

Published by Samuel Snoek-Brown

I write fiction and teach college writing and literature. I'm the author of the story collection There Is No Other Way to Worship Them, the novel Hagridden, and the flash fiction chapbooks Box Cutters and Where There Is Ruin.

6 thoughts on “I love the smell of freshly-printed Internet

  1. That’s cool beans to have a e-magazine on wordpress. I never even thought about something like that! Sounds like a fun project to create with writing buddies.

    Keep smiling,

    P.S. I’ll try “In Between Altered States” b/c I enjoy prompts 🙂

    1. Yeah, time was people tended to look down their noses are “blog-hosted” e-zines, but the people on this list — and loads of others — have done such an excellent job of showing the world what’s possible with these blog/web formats like WordPress or Blogger that the general respectability has shot up. Used Furniture and Unshod Quills get lots of love in the indie scene, and Euonia was recently singled out by storySouth as having published one of their Million Writers Award notable stories. Fried Chicken and Coffee (though not a WordPress magazine) is the new literary project of the inimitable Rusty Barnes, who had previously founded and run the renowned print magazine Night Train — and Night Train has now moved online as well!

      And I completely agree with you: as I understand it, most of these new blog- and free-website-hosted magazines are mostly started as fun projects between good writing pals, and as far as I’m concerned, that’s the best way — and the best reason — to start one. 🙂

  2. One of those is already a fave of mine, and I always click on it when it comes up under the wordpress poetry tag, thinking to myself ‘semper aliquid novum ex eunoia’.


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