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We all begin in a little magazine

Traditionally, literary journals have been the place where young fiction writers hone their chops, and with the decline of the first-novel market, especially in Canada, the litmags’ importance may rise again. Sven Birkets writes about the litmag market in this Boston Globe piece, though there’s little hard information about where the form is going, other than that there sure are a lot of them, and many of them are quite interesting. Mostly Birkets offers a smiling and starry-eyed reminiscence of his own entry into the litmag world: “Books, no matter how current, how radical, were one thing; these journals were something else. They were the tip-sheets on the upcoming. They published stories, poems, and polemical rants just when the writers were breaking out — so it felt — while they still had their roots in the unauthorized or the forbidden, before most of them turned out the books that would get discussed with anthropological fascination in the review pages of Time and Newsweek.”

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Sven Birkets on literary journals