“An incurable itch for scribbling takes possession of many and grows inveterate in their insane hearts.”
The Canadian literary journal is at risk.
In a recent blog, I extolled the virtues of the literary journal as a vital part of our literary culture. Most writers you’ve ever heard of got their start… well, you can read it here, and refresh your memories on the grant funding that supports our journals, and the shoestring budgets and countless volunteer hours spent to get the journals printed and into bookstores.
During these first six months of my sabbatical, I have been writing, rewriting, polishing, and sending short stories to literary journals across the country, to the US and the UK. I’ve lost count of how many; it seems in recent weeks I’ve been tossing them out the door with a pitchfork.
I write these stories to satisfy a creative urge. Once they’re written, I’d like to have people read them. At this stage in my writing career, literary journals are my best chance at seeing my stories in print. The same can be said of thousands of other writers in my position.
Now it seems this piece of our cultural landscape is at risk of total erosion. The newCanadian Periodical Fund could well exclude literary journals, whose readership typically falls below the 5,000-readership minimum suggested by Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore. This is serious business.
It’s also a departure from my usual blog. But I feel it is important enough to bring it to readers’ attention. It will never make front-page news in the national, or even local, papers. But here at the Reluctant Blogger, it is front and centre.