Surveying Literary Journals

I was recently asked to survey a Canadian-wide distributed literary journal.  The survey was designed to determine how and how often I read their journal, who I was in terms of their demographic and what I liked and disliked about their journal.

My response reminded me of the various stages and avenues that I take and have taken as a writer who seems destined to always be ‘new.’  The ‘new’ part, though I am not as young as the word makes me sound, is something I have learned to appreciate.  I will always be a student to my art-form.

image c/o Awin Literature

Below is the comments section response that I left with this survey:

Thank you for allowing me to take part in your survey. 

To be honest, I have not been drawn to a literary journal for a long time.   

When I did buy or borrow journals it was to, as advised by the Submission Guidelines, read the journal prior to submission.  Though lucky enough to be published in a few small lit journals as a wee lass, I must admit, I saved these books just to look at my own work, in print, once in a while.  

If I look to enjoy new short fiction and poetry these days, I do searches on the internet and find a wealth of writers who are current, active, connected and free.  Blog-sites have become interesting hubs for writers.  I would rather subscribe to one artist’s journey than to a literary journal.  I find the experience more personal and vital. 

Another great way to connect with new short fiction and poetry, as well as the people who write them, is to join writing groups either locally or virtually, or create your own.  Surprisingly, the last magazine to tickle me with their creative, non-fiction, writing skills was the CFA Magazine for Chartered Financial Analysts.  

If I look for guidelines or instruction on how to improve me as an artist, I look to all art-forms and all kinds of artists to inspire and motivate me.   This is always best when done live and in-person if you can get it that way. 

When I think of writing my own fiction and poetry, I no longer put my hope in literary journals to publish or validate me as a writer.  For me, it is more important to write to write rather than to write to publish.  For that reason, wordpress.com and online self-publishing has helped me continue to write outside the shadow of my solitude and be open to other artists and the public.

Sincerely,

lillian y wong (lyw)