Do literary magazines want to be popular?

And here’s more from Daniel Wallace on lit mags and the public…

The Incompetent Writer

Burlesque Press has published a short post from me, responding to an essay by Calvin Hennick complaining about the front covers of literary magazines.

Hennick points out:

Like a lot of readers, I feel guilty that I don’t read more literary magazines. But I have to say, I don’t feel like the editors are trying all that hard to snag me. When you put an unexplained picture of a kid playing an accordion on your cover (a real – and not unrepresentative – example), what you’re saying is, “Read, or don’t read. We don’t care! We’re artists.”

My response proposes a reason why lit mags choose that kid playing the accordion: they need to look “serious” more than they need to be popular.

Then, once that piece was published, I saw that Becky Tuch, the founder of the Review Review, has posted a reply to Hennick, which as you…

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