It’s easy to get lost in the massive amount of material on the web. If yo u’re anything like me, you like to find sites that offer you something to read for quick little snatches of time — five minutes here, ten minutes there. The thing is, it took me a long time to find sites that were updated regularly with content that is as intriguing as a good novel. I’ m a poet by training so I gravitate toward the 750 word or less poe m or narrative. And I always love a good blog post on the writing (or reading) life. The following are some literary gems on the web that I find indispensable. They are all sites I return to time and again.
1. Brevity: A Journal of Concise Literary Nonfiction. I got wind of this site when I was an MFA student. Basically, the site features the best (short) creative nonfiction pieces out there. The great thing about all this is that all the content is available to read online (some print journals may only offer one poem or story online). Brevity is updated regularly, and the site also has its own blog (also frequently updated).
2. Newpages. If you are a writer, then this site is pure gold. For me, it ranks right up there with Duotrope’s Digest. I’m especially fond of their blog, which alerts me to any calls for submissions. The blog is updated daily (or almost daily, as Newpages likes to say). You can find out about new contests, new book releases, or who won a recent contest. This site is a great resource for writers. To fully explore all that Newpages has to offer, you’ll need to set aside a good chunk of time. But if you’re like me, one click seems to lead to another…and then to another….
3. The Southeast Review. This site is just a great all-inclusive literary wonderland. The site offers podcasts, interviews with writers and editors, fiction and poetry excerpts, and lots of books reviews. Not sure where to look to find more good reading on the net ? Check out their ‘Links’ tab. As if this weren’t enough, The Southeast Review also sponsors a 30-Day Online Writing Regimen (one for young writers and one for adults).
4. From the Fishouse. This site is a fantastic resource if you are interested in emerging poets. The site sums up its mission nicely, “Our free online audio archive showcases emerging poets (defined for this purpose as poets with fewer than two published books of poetry at the time of submission) reading their own poems, as well as answering questions about poetry and the writing process.” Some of my favorite poets featured on this site are Matthew Zapruder, Andrew Kozma, and Sarah Manguso.
5. Anderbo. Upon visiting Anderbo you’ll notice right away that the site is simpler and more straight-forward than other sites that boast dozens of podcasts and audio recordings. But don’t let the simplicity of the site throw you. Anderbo offers lots of high quality content. And they have a great photography section (I’m a big fan of Teresa Blough’s South Dakota Badlands work). The fiction and poetry sections are both extensive. Not sure where to start ? Try Matthew Hotham’s poem “The Friends You Won’t Outlive.” I also really like Charlotte Pence’s poem, “College Visit in Autumn.” As for fiction, check out Amy Bonnafonn’s “The Wrong Heaven.”
As you can see, there are lots of good sources for new fiction and poetry. If you are trying to find new journals to browse or places to submit your work, it’s always a good idea to see if the journal offers a ‘Links’ tab, which will take you to a page filled with other journals. What about you? Do you have any recommendations for me ? Which sites are you especially fond of ?