Little Journals, On the Hill Side


The point of starting a literary magazine. What is it, exactly? A hankering to create — art, thought, writing — is at least as old as humanity. We got up on our hind feet and started scribbling. Everyone needs a place to let those scriggled jottings be seen by others.

Some say too many literary journals exist. To me, this is akin to saying too many fish exist, or beetles, or balloons, or dreams. How there could be too much of a thing that generates positive creation is beyond me. I’ll leave that to others, perhaps a critic attacking a piece of spongecake with a machete.

For myself, starting this journal blossomed out of the seed of publication. The notion arose that I could craft a place for people to submit, perhaps especially (though by no means exclusively) those that were previously unpublished. The possibility of publication. The chance to connect.

Independent publishers and journals have a responsibility, it seems to me, to seek the publishing of those that cannot get a word in edgewise at the bigger outlets. To test the limits of irony, here is a quote from one of those outlets about magazines like this one. In a 2015 column in The New Yorker, Stephanie Burg wrote:

And their success shows why little magazines matter more, and work better, the stranger and newer their goals. A little magazine, as Jonathan Farmer, of At Length, explains, “depends on creating a community,” and that community has to have some raison d'être, aesthetic or ideological or ethnic or geographic or even generational.

Community. That’s precisely the word for a literary magazine. Journals and publications, big or little, at their best, create a community and sustain it with words and images and ideas and conversations and much else besides.

A great desire for community drives this magazine. I sincerely hope that you will be a part of it. Thank you for reading and supporting The Festival Review.

Neal Tucker