Despite the fact that I post on blogs, I’m kind of a Luddite, but I have to say I love what technology is doing for our local writing communities.
It used to be that if someone without a lot of money put out a small magazine, the result they would have terrible production (which was kind of charming) and not a lot of people would know about them. I loved small magazines. It was fun to be one of the few people who read The Chiron Review or The Small Press Review.
I still love small magazines and presses but it’s changed now. Those people who would have once reached a small market and would have published just a few people have used the Internet to reach the world and really effectively as well. What went with terrible production was often a good deal of bad writing, but that’s not so true any longer.
The best examples of this that I can think of are two local magazines, Carnival and A Few Lines. Carnival comes out of Whittier and is the work of Shannon Therese. What amazes me about it is how strong a magazine it is.
Because it’s online, Ms. Therese is bringing in writers and readers from across the world, and because she takes it seriously, she’s bringing in good work. I love to see my work and my students’ work next to some of the heavy hitters of the literary world, people like Gerry Locklin and Tony Barnstone.
A Few Lines comes out of a group of people at Cal Poly Pomona. I’ve talked to the editors and even though the magazine is just a few issues old, they are nearly overwhelmed by writers and poets sending them work. The result is that they have an international flavor and following. I love this magazine and the work they’re doing.
It’s incredible to me that all these startups need is talent and hard work. In the old days, they’d need money backing them to do the kind of work they’re accomplishing. It’s refreshing, and it’s helped them to bring the work of the San Gabriel Valley into the larger world.
By the way, are you interested in the literary festivals coming our way? Check out this page!