Tuesday, August 12, 2008

If It's Tuesday It Must Be Short

I think I'm finally cured of my print bias.

When I started this blog I wrote, "Maybe it's a generational thing (I'm certainly no technophobe), but I still have a bias toward print. I've never submitted any of my work to webzines; I still can't think of it as real publication. Of course I'm wrong, but just try to convince me."

All that has changed. I recently took the plunge and started submitting my "creative" work to online publications. The first was Six Sentences, which has published two of my pieces.

I think seeing my work at a third-party site was what changed my mind. I realized that not only would I get an audience for those pieces with the readers of Six Sentences, but I could also link to them here. And they'd show up in searches for my work. On top of everything else, I wouldn't have more copies of little magazines (the usual payment) collecting dust on my shelves.

When I started publishing fiction and other short prose in the late '70s it was the tail end of one of the most fruitful periods in American literary magazine publishing. My work appeared in quite a number of sympathetic journals, from the humble Street Bagel to the formidable Transatlantic Review. Then, starting in the mid-eighties, I published my work regularly in magazines associated with the downtown literary and performance scene. By the 'nineties I was pretty much clueless about the literary magazine terrain, and generally submitted work only upon invitation. And I got busy with other things, like working on a Ph.D.

For about five years, starting in 1977, I published a literary magazine, Zone. It was an expensive proposition, and would have impossible without grant money. Distribution was a bitch. I'm sure now that if I were to try to launch a magazine today it would be on the web. It's a no-brainer. The potential readership is much greater, the cost so much lower, and published work can be archived indefinitely. So I finally got the message and started researching and reading online literary magazines. I discovered that there are quite a number that publish short-short prose, my metier, some exclusively. It makes sense. The medium invites brevity. Many sites will not consider fiction over 1000, 1200 or 1500 words. I think this, after all, is my natural habitat.

Which brings me to Tuesday Shorts, a bi-weekly online 'zine that only publishes short prose of 100 words or less. My piece "A Conspiracy of Address Book Salesmen" appears in the current edition.

I've added an Online Publications section of links to my work on the sidebar.


Blogger Marian said...

So what do you have against dust ?

2:58 AM  
Blogger Peter Cherches said...

It depends on the dust.

9:53 AM  
Blogger Richard said...

I will not say "I told you so" five years ago. I will say only that I will not say that.

6:20 PM  

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