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Publishing News: Narrative Magazine expands in growth and content

Narrative Magazine, an online favorite of mine, is having one heck of a year. The readership has doubled, the magazine remains free, the contributors continue to be paid, the annual contest grows, and big things are afoot. The magazine now includes poetry, and Michael Wiegers, the executive editor of Cooper Canyon Press, has agreed to be the poetry editor. Narrative’s new issue is the first to publish poetry by novelist David Guterson. You’ll find Guterson’s poetry along with short stories, an excerpt from Ron Hansen’s novel Exiles, a profile of Ann Beattie, essays, a memoir set in mid-twentieth century New York, a coming-of-age tale by Nathanial Hawthorne, and the usual assortment of book reviews. Why free? Narrative is a nonprofit organization with a mission to use the Internet to bring readers and storytellers together online, and by the results it’s easy to see they are doing a bang up job.

That’s not all. In their Editor’s Note, Carol Edgarian and Tom Jenk report that Narrative is now the publisher of StoryQuarterly.

This past March, Narrative had the good fortune to become the publisher of StoryQuarterly, a little magazine that’s been around as a hard-copy annual for the past thirty-two years and that last summer made its inaugural foray into the online world. SQ, as it’s called by its familiars, has been shepherded in recent years by the indefatigable, gracious, and spirited efforts of publisher and editor Marie Hayes, whose care and attention to writers is legend within the world of small magazines and in the teaching and writing community. Marie has sustained SQ as a place hospitable to all writers who care about good work and especially to writers who are starting out. As SQ moves forward with Narrative, Marie will continue to provide a guiding hand, and SQ, which has long had the welcome mat out for new writers, will open its door even wider: in the past, submissions were accepted from November through January, but beginning this summer, SQ will accept submissions year-round. A notice will go out letting you know when the new SQ submission system is online, and SQ’s editors will look forward to reading your work.

Some of our readers have asked about the editorial crossover between SQ and Narrative, and we’d like to answer several central questions now. Each magazine will maintain its own identity. A submission to one magazine will not be a submission to both. Each magazine will have its own separate submission system. There will be some overlap in staff and services, such as art and technology, and for the sake of combined strength and for the support of each magazine, there will be collaboration on projects, such as events and story collections, but each magazine will have its own character and pursue its own vision. Other questions will be addressed in a Frequently Asked Questions section to be posted in SQ and updated in Narrative this summer. An updated SQ Submission Guidelines page will be posted in the next SQ, which will go live in July, just in time for summer reading!

For those of you who hate to read online and prefer to have actual hardbound copy in your hands when reading, starting with the September issue Narrative and StoryQuarterly will be offered in print-on-demand format. The magazine also has plans for something called Narrative Backstage which sounds like it will be a lot of fun for those who support the magazine by way of donations. There will be previews of unpublished works, audio files, video footage of authors, and exclusive stories. Sounds like they’ve hit on a great way to thank their financial angels.

If you enjoy good writing, give Narrative Magazine and StoryQuarterly a try. There’s pretty much something for everyone.

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