More people need to read small press publications. There’s a whole world of literature and creative minds sitting in small, well-crafted books on magazine shelves around the country who are being neglected. Sure, it’s the age of the novel, but when isn’t it? Don’t you want to participate in a culture where oddball stories are valued, where avant-garde approaches to story structure and dialogue are applauded? Of course you do, but for those who need a little push, here are some reasons to coax you in the right direction.
Small Presses encourage submissions from up and coming writers. Don’t worry, there’s no need for literary agents (unless specified), or a twitter following of thousands. All you need to do is focus on your work, research the style and voice of the press you want to submit to and hope for the best. Seeing as the world of small presses is both small and large, many cater to specific genres or subject matters. No matter what you’re into, there will be a press waiting to read your work.
2. You’ll never get bored
Poetry, prose, non-fiction, or interviews, small presses offer it all. If you fall madly in love, get a subscription. If you prefer to peruse the market, you can do that too. I love that I can go from a story concerning global issues of the day, to a poem exploring the perils of social media. Literary journals serve as both creative outlets, and intellectual pursuits. The best part is the diversified community of writers from which they pull. Offering online submissions with tolerable requirements makes it easy for those with access to the internet to share their work.
3. They’re inexpensive
Sure, some cost more than others, but think of all the work you’re getting in one book. Poetry magazine sells their monthly publication for $3.75, while Ploughshares quarterly journal costs $14.00 (longer length, various genres). Many journals offer their work online as well. Depending on wear you live and what book sellers you have in your area, it can be difficult finding physical copies, so subscriptions or ordering online might be your best bet.
Let me know which small presses you love in the comments.