Thursday, June 5, 2008

Magazines For Writers

They intimidate me, I'll admit it. Especially the one I most recently got a subscription to, Poets & Writers. It's really thick. And full of deep, smart articles, written by deep, smart people. Thus far I've been too overwhelmed to read through an entire issue. Writer's Digest isn't quite as oppressive, but it's very similar in approach and delivery. Maybe, in part, my intimidation is due to fear that I can't compare, that my writing isn't on the same level as these professionals. Do I have what it takes to be a "professional"? Is my writing as profound as theirs?

And then over the weekend, when Hubby and I visited one of our favorite stores (a store of recovered freight and overstocks, at seriously discounted prices), I perused their magazine rack. A periodical caught my eye. storytellers' journal. It looked modest and digestible, something I could really absorb. And for .99, how could I pass it up?

As it turns out, storytellers' journal is an annual magazine put out by a specific publisher, WaterBrook Press (an imprint of Random House). In it they print articles from their most recent authors, review their current books and include chapter excerpts. It's very much my speed. And I was very pleased with what I saw.

With the exception of one or two, everything I read came from an author whose voice resonated. It seemed they were casual, conversational, as I am in my novel writing. Not intimidating in the least. The books are beautiful, the cover art very appealing to me.
And the publisher focuses on books with some level of spirituality. My novel, the one I'm editing and will seek representation for over the summer, does include spirituality. It's not an overly-religious book but it includes belief, and support of His existence.

So, I guess not only did I find a writers' magazine I like (too bad it only comes out once a year), I found a publisher to put high on my dream list. Of course an agent comes first, and I may have little control over the places to which my book is pitched, I'm not really certain how that works. I'll deal with the details later.

What about you? Do you have favorite literary magazines? Or any dream publishers?


WendyCinNYC said...

I don't really have any dream publishers, just one that is large and will pay me scads of money.

I do like Poets & Writers, but I know what you mean about being intimidated. Oh sure, I'm in the same league as Edwidge Danticat. Right.

How's it coming with that query? Started writing it yet?

Janna Leadbetter said...

No. No, I haven't. *sigh* It's on my list to do, though.


WendyCinNYC said...

I started my query. I haven't summoned the nreve to post it up on SYW yet. I'm not ready to submit anyway, so I have time to tinker with it.

Melanie Hooyenga said...

I've never actually read a writing magazine. Just one more joy of living where I do. That's great you found one that hits home for you, and good luck with your query!

Susan Johnston Taylor said...

Janna, I agree with you about Poets & Writers. It seems very scholarly. I'm a fan of "The Writer" magazine. It's a little less stuffy, but very informative. I just flipped through an entire year of back issues at the library and soaked up a ton of useful information!

Janna Leadbetter said...

Hi, Susan, hope you're doing well! I want to say I've recently looked at a copy of The Writer, but I can't be sure. I'll have to check an issue out next visit to the library. :)