University of Iowa

Literary Magazines Behind the Scenes

Weekend June 23 to June 24 2018

Literary magazines are the first place of publication for many writers, and publishing work in a lit mag can be great preparation and publicity for an upcoming book. But many authors have no idea how a literary magazine works, what the editors want to see, or how to collaborate with an editor once a piece is accepted for publication. In this class we’ll talk about how large and small literary journals function differently, how journals differ from magazines, whether contests are worth entering, what happens to your manuscript after you submit it for publication, and how you can use all this information to your advantage. During the weekend participants will write a sample cover letter, a query letter for a nonfiction article, and a sample letter replying to an editor’s comments. They will also compile their own customized list of magazines and literary journals to which they can submit work and create a submission plan for their work in progress. Writers do not need to prepare any material ahead of time but can bring a list with summaries of completed works or works in progress if they wish.