Thursday, September 7, 2017

A Sad Letter from The Antigonish Review

The following letter has upset me a great deal. The Antigonish Review was arguably one of the top literary magazines in Canada and one of the most long running. Founded in 1970, it published top notch work: stories, poetry, and reviews. 

It published some of my stories and nominated one of them, "The Yegg Boy," for the Journey Prize. 

The change to an e-mag format is a step backward in spite of editor Gerald Trites' optimistic letter. Digital books, whether read on computer or a device, have fallen in popularity in the past two years. Personally I hate the idea of running off a PDF format on my printer and trying to hold the thing together.

 Devices such as Kobo have limits. You cannot take them to the beach or to the bathtub. They just do not cut it for me. Reading on my phone is just fiddley.  My Antogonish Review, in paper form, went into my picnic basket, my fishing box, my swim suit bag, the pocket in the door of my car,  the spot beside my plate, the pile on the bedside table, the garden bench, the deck at camp.

We are making a very significant change at TAR. From now on, the journal will be published in digital form. Each issue will be produced in PDF format and emailed to subscribers. Individual copies will also be available for download from our website. A few months ago, we implemented a policy under which only digital submissions will be accepted through our website.

PDF works well with iBooks and Kindle as well as directly on tablets and computers. We will produce other formats in future as needed.

We hope to establish a print-on-demand service but are still exploring possible printers who have the capability to meet our needs. The concept is that the print-on-demand copies would be priced at a level that would recover the cost of printing and mailing.

This change was made necessary by declining subscriptions and reduced funding being made available to TAR. However, we are excited about it, as it offers the opportunity to innovate with TAR as never before. Also, we will be able to increase the size of our issues, thus giving our subscribers more for their money.

We are continuing the same intense procedures as before in reviewing submissions and believe there is no reason that there should be any decline in quality.

We hope you will join with us in celebrating this new venture into the future, which represents the future for many, if not most, literary journals and which some have already implemented.

The first digital issue will be in October, 2017.

Gerald Trites
Editor, The Antigonish Review

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