R115. What’s the Point of a Lit Mag?

Florida Salon 6, Marriott Waterside, Second Floor
Thursday, March 8, 2018
9:00 am to 10:15 am


The goal of any literary magazine is to bring important, quality writing into the world. But who defines what’s important, what’s good, what’s neither? Are magazines valued more by readers or writers? What roles do aesthetic, author background, and subject play in selections, and what does all this mean for writers vying for publication? Five editors discuss the purpose of literary magazine publishing today and their responsibility in choosing what and whom to promote—or silence.


Bryce Emley is a writer, freelancer, and poetry editor of Raleigh Review. His poetry, essays, and fiction appear widely in magazines and periodicals, and he is the author of the forthcoming prose collection Smoke & Glass.

Adam McGee is managing editor of Boston Review. Previously he was acting managing editor and editorial assistant for Transition, and associate editor at the Harvard Art Museums. He is an independent scholar and publishing poet. He earned his PhD in African and African American Studies from Harvard.

Jared Yates Sexton is a writer and political analyst whos work has appeared in The New York Times, The New Republic, Salon, and elsewhere. He's the author of four books of fiction and his book The People Are Going to Rise Like the Waters upon Your Shore was published by Counterpoint in Aug 2017.

Felicia Zamora authored Of Form & Gather, 2016 Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize winner, & in Open, Marvel, and Instrument of Gaps. She won the 2015 Toma┼ż Šalamun Prize, has published two chapbooks, and is associate poetry editor for Colorado Review.

Yi Shun Lai has written for publications ranging from The Los Angeles Times to Bustle. She is the nonfiction editor at the Tahoma Literary Review. She is a graduate of the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts MFA program.


March 27–30, 2019
Portland, OR

Oregon Convention Center