Archived entries for litmags

The “Count”: failbetter, 2011

One late night, having had too much coffee, I got a little curious as to what our “count” might look like if VIDA had chosen to review our gender ratio as they had other publications at the conclusion of 2010 and 2011.  So, I took to counting our number of female and male authors, artists and interviewees whom we published in 2011. Happily, I discovered that –although we didn’t have an exact balance–our split was fairly even, with a total of 19 men and 15 women. Check out our pie-chart below and let us know what you think!

A breakdown of male and female authors, artists and interviewees featured on in 2011.

A breakdown of male and female authors, artists and interviewees featured on in 2011.

Huffington it….

huffingtonThis past summer, Huffington Post literary columnist, Anis Shivani, posted, “17 Literary Journals That Might Survive the Internet” — as if the internet was something that one needed to be rescued from.  With over a decade of documented success, we here at failbetter have become tired of this debate (print vs. online).  In fact, in our minds, the question is moot.  I told the Huffington Post as much — and  told them not to merely take our word, but ask our other online brethren.  Guess what?  They did.  Check it out today’s “Online Literary Journals Come of Age: 15 Top Online Journal Editors Speak.”

Envy and small-mindedess
at the Chronicle of Higher Ed

Virginia Quarterly Review managing editor Kevin Morrissey killed himself. Sad, as is every suicide – and sad too that his boss, VQR editor Ted Genoways, neither found a way to understand the depth of Morrissey’s troubles, nor got him the help he needed. But is Genoways somehow responsible for Morrissey’s death – and, by extension, does Morrissey’s suicide somehow show that VQR, as an endeavor, is rotten through and through? Such is the suggestion of this excruciatingly irresponsible Chronicle of Higher Education article on the tragedy, which suggests that Genoways, in effect, pushed Morrissey to the brink, because Morrissey got in the way of his (supposedly) craven, selfish efforts to win both glory and lucre – in the form of effectively off-budget institutional funding – for VQR.

I won’t go into the details either of Morrissey’s sad story, or the Chronicle’s effort to spin it into something else – read the thing if you want, and you’ll get both. I’ll say only that the article’s appearance shows that the culture of the Chronicle, like that of other institutions in both higher education and literary publishing, is permeated by reflexive envy toward the successful, especially those who’ve succeeded by non-traditional means. Not to mention the deep desire to cut the successful down to size, which is to say, to force them both to suffer, and spend their careers pushing paper, serving on pointless committees, and publishing to gather credentials, rather than to reach readers. As those these endeavors were the natural lot of academics, and publishers – and as if you can’t be either, without devoting yourselves to same.

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