We were all probably expecting this recession to snuff out some literary magazines.
But the news about TriQuarterly is disturbing and kind of weird. Here's the spin from Northwestern University. Celeste Ng reports here. Not all of us are upset that TriQuarterly is shifting from print to online publication. More troubling is that the editors have been fired, and the magazine will now be edited, presumably for free, by MFA students. So despite having the same name, it won't be the same magazine, or even the same kind of magazine. Many who knew that TriQuarterly's submission period opened on October 1st, and were planning to send them something that day, will now instead be waiting to see how things pan out.
The New Yorker's book blog comments that “this 'transition' is particularly troubling because it seems to highlight a harrowing trend in publishing and in academia: the replacement of experienced, paid professionals with under- (or un-) paid casual labor—whether bloggers, graduate students, or adjuncts who often receive neither benefits nor job security.”
Following that last post is an interesting comment from Subway Bookclub -- “In the legal field, many of the most important journals (the university-affiliated law reviews and certain specialty law journals) are entirely edited and managed by law students, but nonetheless put out consistently high levels of original scholarship by leading writers in the field, as well as offering a publishing avenue for talented law students. I wonder what differences might make student-run journals less prestigious or valuable in other fields.”
Howard Junker expresses ambivalence, asking if the new TriQ will “just be subsumed by the cloud?” HTML Giant places the blame on everyone who didn't subscribe to the old TriQ, raising the heated issue of why we don't buy more literary journals. That's a post that incited a lot of comments!
A hat tip to Sumanth Prabhaker for bringing this incident to my attention – I'm quite dependent on my Facebook friends for news nowadays.