The Wide World of Online Literary Journals

Since online literary journals first started making their mark
on the internet, controversy has been smoldering — and sometimes
flaring — about the publications’ legitimacy and how they stack up
to traditional venues. Publishing online is often free, easy to
access, and sometimes more popular than many print literary
journals. But some literary critics continue to deride online
publishing as not the ‘real thing.’ It’s true that the world of
online literature contains plenty of duds, but, at its best, the
only thing an online literary journal lacks is paper.

A good place to get acquainted with the e-literary world is the
Million Writers Award, an online fiction
contest started by an editor of the online publication
storySouth in which readers vote for their
favorite stories. Simon Owens at
Bloggasm reports that the Million
Writers Award was started after a print editor asserted that
storySouth wasn’t a ‘real’ publication. Now, the awards
are gaining notoriety and acclaim. Last year’s winner of the
best short story, Catherynne M. Valente, says ‘Most of those
people would never have seen it otherwise, and that’s a
fantastic result.’
Great publications recognized by the Million Writers Award

  • Clarkesworld Magazine, the proud home of
    Valente’s prize-winning story, ‘Urchins, While Swimming.’ This
    publication is devoted to science fiction, fantasy, and horror
    short stories.
  • Storyglossia took home the award for best
    online publication after six of its short stories received
    nominations in 2006.

For other great literary journals, be sure to check out:

  • The
    Big Ugly Review
    for writing, photography, film, and
    music. The publication recently posted its sixth installment since
    2004, the Body Issue.
  • The Wild River Review publishes an
    array of genres, including comics and some exceptionally
    interesting interviews. The review has a decidedly global slant,
    featuring writers from diverse backgrounds and a section of travel
    essays called ‘Airmail.’
  • is for the ecominded literary
    fan, publishing poetry, fiction, and even case studies related to
    its overarching theme of development and sustainability.

Go there >>
The Million Writers Award: Raising the Profile
of Online Literary Journals

Go there, too >>

And there >>
The Big Ugly Review

And there >>
Clarkesworld Magazine

There, too >>
Wild River Review

And there too >>

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