Good Reading Starts Here:
Copyright © 2008 by Bonnie Randall Schutzman, All Rights Reserved
"Good reading starts here,"
claims the tag line of the NewPages.com portal to the independents (http://newpages.com/default.htm),
and they do their best to make good on that promise. Interpreting
"independent" generously, NewPages covers alternative newsweeklies,
independent record labels, independent bookstores, contests, and
creative writing programs in addition to their main territory of
independent publishers and literary magazines (online and print).
You'll find summaries and reviews as well as filtered listings of
quality journals. The main audience is readers, but writers will find
many resources here too.
Most of the entries are for
English-language publishers and bookstores in the United States and
Canada, but a few are from Ireland, Australia, and Latin America. A
small number are bilingual, usually English/Spanish. Unfortunately the
listings do not allow for sorting by any criteria other than
alphabetical by title, so finding a particular kind of journal or
bookstore can be a challenge. The search facility can help narrow the
field if you know what you're looking for.
For writers looking to sell
short fiction, essays, interviews, and poetry, the most useful sections
are the listings of online and print literary magazines. The listings
include two kinds of entries: a complete alphabetical list of
publications in that category, and longer, sponsored entries that
contain extra information about the publication. The simple entries
point to the publication's website. The sponsored entries, which are
paid for by the publication, include a summary of subscription and
possibly submission information along with an indication of the kind of
material published. These summaries, provided by the publisher, often
describe the intended reader and the magazine's goal, useful information
for determining whether the magazine represents a potential market for a
In addition to the listings,
NewPages includes independent reviews of many current publications.
Here you can find valuable clues to the journal's audience and tastes,
helping you decide whether it's worth investigating as a potential
market. Not everything is reviewed, and the reviews aren't linked to
the main entries, so it can require a fair amount of digging to find the
ones you're interested in.
The book publishers section
is currently being revamped to use new criteria, such as national
distribution and membership in professional organizations, to determine
which presses are listed. Meanwhile, it is laid out in a similar
fashion to the literary magazines section, with filtered pointers for
most entries and a summary description for the sponsored entries. But
the sponsored links are shorter, and there are fewer of them. The list
includes university presses as well as small independent and nonprofit
presses. The related book reviews section is on hiatus until January
2008, but the magazine reviews are up to date and useful. There's also
a list of books received, which includes every title sent to them,
without comment. The Literary Magazine Stand describes new issues of
the listed magazines.
Other sections list
independent bookstores, independent record labels, and blogs related to
writing and the writing business. The alternative magazines section
especially suffers from the lack of criteria for sorting and searching;
the AIDS journal A&U shares listing space with the Aikido
Journal, the anti-authoritarian Eat the State!, the
Harvard Journal of Law and Gender, Living Nutrition,
Performing Songwriter, the Canadian general-interest ezine Walrus,
and lifestyle journals for Buddhists in the U.S., pro-choice Catholics,
American Hindus, et cetera. Nearly all accept freelance queries for
articles, interviews, essays, and reviews. Many publish fiction and
If you're marketing a book
or literary magazine, you can submit copies to NewPages for listing and
possible review. For a fee, you can also get mailing lists for
independent bookstores and libraries.
Services for writers include
listings of writers conferences, workshops, and retreats, contests for
both magazines and books, and graduate and undergraduate creative
writing programs. The contest listings are sorted by deadline date,
with poetry, fiction, and essay contests mixed together. The
conferences and creative writing programs are sorted alphabetically by
state with no information about dates or subjects. The summaries are
taken from the program website and often lack key information.
Hopefully the quality will improve as the section is fleshed out.
NewPages.com is not a
market listing and does not contain enough information to allow you to
make submission decisions directly. It is, however, a valuable aid to
locating and researching your target publications.