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On starting, or re-starting, a literary magazine

September 8, 2010 \pm\30 2:05 pm
Smalldoggies Magazine

Smalldoggies Magazine Original Logo

Several years ago, I was in art school, and while trying to be a forward thinking, financially conservative person, I opted to include in my courses, a few “applied” arts classes, in other words, graphic and web design. The only project I really did back then in terms of web design, was to create a fictitious literary magazine. I fell so in love with the process and possibilities, that I decided to actually turn the thing into a real magazine. That was in 2000, and it stayed live until about 2004.

During that time, though I had never been a photocopying zine-meister in high school like many colleagues of mine, I ended up creating a few print issues that I am still very proud of today. Then the thing went dormant. A lot of people, myself included, ran into big problems when zine distributor Desert Moon went bankrupt and screwed a lot of great, hard-working people out of a lot of money, but such is life. The thing was a bit spoiled for me, but I had loved it so much, that I always planned on coming back to it one day. And a couple of weeks ago, I did.

Smalldoggies Magazine 2010

Smalldoggies Magazine 2010

So I decided to chronicle a bit of it here, on this site. Maybe other literary magazine editors and publishers can join in the conversation. Because sometimes, it’s the best thing in the world, and other times, I wonder what the heck I got myself into again. Advancements in things like WordPress have made the process just about as easy as it ever could get. Back in 2000, I hand-coded the entire thing, every new page that went up, in HTML. It was painstaking for a non-programming type. Now, I understand enough PHP and CSS to alter code through WordPress, and I spent a few years doing online marketing, so a bit of SEO knowledge goes a long way. And I love being an Editorial Manager. It’s my dream job. Now if only I could get it to be profitable. Well, not really. You’ll know what I mean if you’ve tried to run one of these things. Avoiding the “labor of love” trap is a toughie, but it’s just so damn enjoyable to see great content go up, to publish great writers’ work, to develop a new column idea or a dedicated audience.

Smalldoggies Reading Series PDX

Smalldoggies Reading Series PDX

I don’t know if I’ll actually come to a point or a question in this post, just maybe an introduction to all you writers out there. If you’d like to have yet another home where you can read great content and publish a piece or two, check out the new Smalldoggies Magazine here. There are still a few place-holders laying around, but there’s also a ton of great new work, and more stuff going up every day. If you’d like to be interviewed, drop us a line. Got a book you’d like reviewed, reach out. Want to get some challenging poetry or a solid piece of fiction up on the web somewhere, talk to us about it. SD Submissions policy is here. We’ll read everything. We’re new, so we’re available.

And if you’re an author going out on tour, we’re going to do a reading series here in Portland, OR, as well. Find details on the first one, which is tomorrow night, here: Smalldoggies Reading Series PDX. We’d love to have a spot reserved for touring writers making their way through Portland, on the second Thursday of every month.

More notes on problems we have all run into as they come up, and possible solutions or work-arounds on the web magazine front…

  1. September 9, 2010 \am\30 9:58 am 9:58 am

    Hey, this looks exciting. Good job.

  2. September 9, 2010 \pm\30 6:17 pm 6:17 pm

    Very cool. Will definitely send some stuff in.

  3. September 10, 2010 \pm\30 1:42 pm 1:42 pm

    Lookin good! Also, nice to know there is a new Portland home for touring writers.

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