R233. So You Think You Want to Start a Lit Mag: Straight Talk from Editors About Launching Mags and Keeping Them Afloat

Room 518, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level
Thursday, March 31, 2016
1:30 pm to 2:45 pm


You want to start a literary magazine, or recover an old one. Why? And now what? How do you communicate your vision, and what do you need to spend your nights and weekends doing to realize it? Founders and editors from A Public Space, Atlas, The Common, and Electric Literature share their experiences and advise how to balance the idealism and realism necessary to gain fame and fortune—or at least some fun, excellent writing, and great community—through running lit mags.


Jennifer Acker is editor in chief of The Common, based at Amherst College. Her MFA is from the Bennington Writing Seminars; fiction and essays have appeared in magazines such as Slaten+1Guernica, the Millions, and Ploughshares. She teaches creative writing and editing at Amherst and NYU Abu Dhabi.

Benjamin Samuel is program manager of the National Book Foundation and editor at large at Electric Literature, where he cofounded its literary magazine Recommended Reading. Find his writing at McSweeney's, Publishers Weekly, Flavorwire, Men's Journal, and @benasam.

Jonathan Lee is the author of the forthcoming High Dive and two previous novels. His short stories have appeared in Tin House, A Public Space, and Granta, among other journals. He is the associate editor at A Public Space and a contributing editor to Guernica.

Natalie Eilbert is the author of the poetry collection, Swan Feast

Paul Legault is writer in residence at Washington University in St. Louis. He is the author of The Emily Dickinson Reader, The Other Poems, and The Madeleine Poems, and the cofounder of the translation press Telephone Books.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center