The Year's Coolest Literary Magazine Innovations

The print landscape is changing swiftly, web journals are now forced to innovate as a result, and blah blah blah — you know all of this. What we’ve seen this year, in addition to an exciting crop of brand new literary magazines (a warm welcome to all of them!) is a healthy number of artistic outlets trying new things. Literary magazines are exploring alternative publishing techniques, and whether it’s a new way to deliver something on dead trees or an exciting twist on the traditional idea of submissions, we applaud it. Here are some of the publications (okay, not all of them are “litmags”) that came up with fresh ideas this year. Read them! Submit your work to them! Share with friends! But ignore them at your own peril. These publishing outlets are thinking outside the box.

Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading 

Yes, the smart people at Electric Literature have already earned a healthy dose of good press for their interesting project Recommended Reading, but with good reason; they deserve this top billing. The new offering, which Electric Lit launched in May via Kickstarter drive (which had a goal of $10,000 but raised nearly $19,000 — guess people are hungry for more litmags), posts one (long!) short story every Wednesday — and all on a Tumblr! The stories are curated by editors from Electric Literature itself, or from an indie press, or from another litmag, or from a big-name guest editor. The concept for Recommended Reading is innovative, but the form itself has also been bold, like single-sentence animations taken from the stories, or like the recent original selection “White Dialogues,” an experimental film crit/fiction creation filled with animated GIFs.