On March 1, my friend Kelly Davio and I will open submissions for the Tahoma Literary Review, a literary journal dedicated to publishing excellent poetry and fiction, and to paying our writers professional rates. The journal will be published quarterly, in both print and e-reader formats. We’re really excited about the possibilities.
If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you know how committed I am to great writing and fair compensation for poets and writers. This journal, which we have been planning for many months, is an effort to produce a literary journal from the professional writer’s perspective. A major goal of Tahoma Literary Review is to show that writers and publishers can support each other not only artistically, but also financially.
We believe in a collaborative publication model. Literary journals that pay their contributors are rare; most such journals offer only exposure, a somewhat questionable concept in an endeavor that is overcrowded with writers, but sadly limited by its lack of recognition in mainstream culture. Instead of paying all contributors, a substantial number of journals now hold contests, with entry fees typically in the $15 to $30 range, usually with one winner, and maybe a few finalist prizes.
Our model attempts to find a middle ground that is more equitable.
TLR will offer both professional payment and exposure to our contributors by using a substantial portion of our total income to support our authors. Payment for fiction ranges from a minimum of $50 to $300. Payment for poetry and cover art is $25 to $50. The amount is determined by the revenues received from submission fees, print journal sales and contributions from sources such as donors and foundations. To ensure transparency and fairness, we will publish an audited monthly revenue statement to verify the funds received for the submission period.
Even if a submission is not accepted for publication, submitters get value for their fees. Their payment gives them access to our Backstage area, which features artist interviews, writing advice from experts, and more. Supporters (donors and print subscribers) also have access to this area.
And by the way, each issue will have some of the finest poetry and fiction you can find. That we’ll guarantee. Kelly Davio, if you haven’t heard of her, is a highly-regarded poet who has published a volume of poetry (Burn This House) and has a novel in poems (Jacob Wrestling) coming out in early 2015. We attended the same MFA program and worked together at The Los Angeles Review, and have similar literary sensibilities. I’m looking forward to working with her, especially when I’m able to move to Tacoma to join my wife (as soon as we sell this ol’ house in Michigan).
Our web site should be up soon, and it will have full information on our procedures and philosophies. As Kelly says, we think you’ll dig our new journal. I’ll be blogging more about it as the submission opening gets closer.