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I finally saw Beautiful Losers last night (holy shit! Beautiful Losers is on Netflix! Drop whatever you’re doing and go watch this movie RIGHT NOW).

A part that really stuck with me was the section where Barry McGee is talking about getting your work out there. He said that once he was showing in galleries he felt that his work was being presented to a smaller audience than would see it if he had painted on a train or a billboard.

It got me thinking about writing in print and online. Most people who submit to us would rather be in the print version than online. Due to our small print run, the chances that any given contributors work will be read is exponentially greater if it’s posted on our website. So I ask you, what gives?

If the point is to get your stuff out there, wouldn’t you rather be published online?

(screenshot: R.I.P. the brilliant Margaret Kilgallen)


  1. Jamie says:

    I think the mindset is that it’s more difficult to get your work in print, as opposed to having it posted online. In my mind, a lot of periodicals post their good shit in the mags and then have half assed work from people who would never be published on their website. It kind of boils down to one’s mentality and what is gratifying: to say that you were published or to say that you are getting your work out there and people are seeing it and being affected…

  2. chris says:

    That’s kind of what I was getting at. Like, what’s the point of being published? It may have some validating effects on your ego, but are people actually seeing it? Are they actually connecting with it?

    I think there was a small point I was trying to bring up about the fetishization of print and books. I do it all the time, probably why we freak out over the design of our print version as much as we do. But it’s important to recognize that while books can be pretty and satisfy an urge we have in our brains to feel and appear well read or smart or whatever, it’s still just a vehicle. What matters is the words inside it, the story being told on the pages.

    I agree with you, Jamie, that it feels like most lit mags that publish online put their second rate stuff on the web, and that can sway writers to want their work in the print version.

    Defensive moment: I don’t see the work we publish here as second rate as much as stuff that we simply can’t afford to publish in the print version. We get about 5 to 10 submissions a day here and as we continue to progress as a publication the submissions keep getting better in quality. I don’t really like big gigantic 800+ page magazines, I find them grotesque and wasteful, as if anyone would ever read a magazine that big cover to cover. So we publish the stuff that doesn’t fit in the print version up on the web.

    I personally would rather publish my stuff online. Most of the people I care about and have access to might not necessarily buy the print version, but they would click on a link I posted on facebook.

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