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Online versus Print: The reputation of literary fiction magazines

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This article examines the role of literary magazines in the age of digital delivery, specifically the way in which their traditional functions as talent scouts and tastemakers are affected by the perceived second-class status of electronic publishing. What are the implications for a vital publishing outlet for short stories and what might editors and writers do to remain influential and relevant? Our findings suggest that post-print magazines can be taken seriously, and hence that the category will remain relevant, as some (but not all) titles employ use specific strategies to make the leap to online or other digital delivery with their status and influence intact. This article presents original survey data on the reputation and legitimacy of online versus print literary magazines, examines the potential impact of recent business model changes and makes predictions on how the genre will continue to evolve.

Keywords: digital; future; legitimacy; literary magazines; prestige; survey

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Anglia Ruskin University

Publication date: April 1, 2014

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  • Short Fiction in Theory and Practice is an interdisciplinary journal celebrating the current resurgence in short-story writing and research. Looking at short fiction from a practice-based perspective, it explores the poetics of short-story writing, adaptation, translation and the place of the short story in global culture.
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