UK literary magazines, 2007
This article (written in March 2007) describes changes in the last 5 years or so following on from my UK literary magazines, 2002, My dealings with UK literary magazines and The Short Story, UK, December 1999
3 factors are currently affecting UK magazines
How long will paper magazines last? Arts Council England's 2007-2011 vision statement
for literature ominously says "While not disregarding the benefits of traditional production and distribution methods, we want to see these presses and magazines take a lead in developing new methods of distribution and explore new uses of technology for both publishing and distribution. We believe that our funded presses would benefit from developing creative clusters."
- Postal charges - changes in 2006 have affected non-letter postage
- Funding Policy - uncertainty continues. In 2007, Arts Council England said that "We have been open with all our regularly funded organisations that it is going to be a difficult spending review and we could be looking at a very difficult settlement", particularly for specialist literary publications like "The London Magazine", "Acumen", "Dreamcatcher", etc.
"The London Magazine" gets more that the others, but it's only about 30k I think, so we're not talking big money.
- The WWW - competition continues. For speed and production values, paper can't compete with the WWW, and
WWW magazines can include audio/video clips too. Most mags have web-pages now. A few (
Magma, and most recently
are using the WWW as an interactive adjunct to the paper version.
The poetry library now have
some full-text back-issues of magazines.
There's no sign yet of a general decline except with short stories.
When a small-press magazine gets a new editor, the changes are so big that
it's as if a new magazine has been launched. 3 stalwarts of the
small-press world have recently been revamped
Also more magazines (most recently Smiths Knoll) are setting up pamphlet publication on the side.
- Envoi - 50 years old. Poetry Now published by Cinnamon Press, it has a
and allows email submissions
- Staple - c.20 years old. Poetry and Prose. A new ed has just taken over but hasn't yet produced
- Seam - not so old, but has a
WWW page now, and has relocated to Cambridge.
As a genre it's sinking ever further from view.
The Short Story (a campaign site
for the genre)
currently lists 67 magazines outlets
but they include the "TLS", "Your Cat Magazine", "The War Cry", etc. The
revived Salt magazine is taking prose though.
I think London Magazine,
Stand (if it's still going), and Ambit are the only magazines
with circulations over 300 who accept literary non-genre unsolicited contributions from anyone - that's maybe 30 published stories a year. MsLexia, QWF and
Writing Women accept stories only from females.
World Wide Writers is a magazine that publishes competition
entries. Interzone is a monthly short-story magazine available in
newsagents, but it's Science Fiction only.
Prospect accepts previously published authors only. I suggest you try US magazines.
Updated March 2007
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