Vision: A Resource for Writers

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Website Review:

Good Reading Starts Here: NewPages.com

By Bonnie Randall Schutzman
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 particular story.

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 poetry.

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.