The Benefits of Community Based Reading in the Online Literary Journal

By Matthew Yasuoka


Over the course of the past decade, the number of literary journals has grown significantly. During this period, the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses’ membership swelled from 230 to 500 publications and small presses over that period of time [1]. In fact, it seems that the Internet provides the perfect set of conditions, under which literary magazines can thrive. For instance, the Internet has dramatically expanded the audiences for many journals; a good example of this is Diagram, an e-journal with over one million monthly hits [2]. Indeed, many e-journals acknowledge the opportunity provided by the Internet as Coop Renner, editor-in-chief of elimae, one of the earliest e-journals, told Duotrope [3] in an interview, “If elimae were a print magazine with runs of 1000 copies, we might get read by 1000 readers. As an online publication, we might get read, or at least browsed, by 100,000 readers. . . who would never have access to a print copy.” [4] Thus, the omnipresence of the web, as a content distribution platform, provides e-journals with the greatest opportunity to expand and showcase the work of a broad spectrum of writers.

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