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Meakin Armstrong: On the Dying Print Journals
October 2, 2009
It could be argued that we are at a highpoint for the short story. So many good online journals exist, and more are planned for the next few months and years. But not everything is good in the short story market; print journals are dying. TriQuarterly, lauded by the New York Times and TLS and other magazines, has ceased as a print publication. It also laid off its paid staff and is opting for student editors. It won’t be the same magazine, at least not the one that once published Raymond Carver. A few months ago, Middlebury College announced that New England Review must break even by 2010, or it will be shut down.
Why should we care, when so many online journals are launching every day? Because the print journals publish longer stories. Online ones (including Guernica) have word limits. Most of the online journals publish “flash” fiction—pieces shorter than 1,000 words. Flash fiction can be great, but it’s not the only means to tell a story. Some stories take 7,000 words.
If you’re a writer, or if you respect the long-form short story, subscribe to a journal. Today. Click here to subscribe to The New England Review.
Bio: Meakin Armstrong is Guernica’s fiction editor. You can follow him on Twitter, @meakinarmstrong.
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