A Northwest Based Literary Journal

TLR by the Numbers: Results of Our First Reading Period

When Kelly and I started Tahoma Literary Review, we knew we were facing some risks. The business model we proposed was a hybrid, combining what we saw as the best features of literary journals with a collaborative effort among writers and editors to ensure published writers were fairly paid.

It’s tough enough to start and sustain a journal amid the current chaos of the online/POD/print literary world, and then to… gulp… ask writers to pay submission fees? Who would submit?

We added aspects that we, as writers, crave from the journals we submit to: a transparent selection process in which all published pieces come from the slush pile; all submissions read by the editors (no first readers); a secure area for submitters, with links to craft articles, readings, and interviews to help ensure everyone who paid a fee received some value for their money; and finally, an open book policy regarding the journal’s finances.

After our first submission period we are ecstatic about the numbers, and deeply appreciative of the support we’ve received from the writing community.

Here are the initial statistics from the first reading period:

Category Poetry Fiction Flash Total
Submissions 351 167 79 597
Fee 4.00 6.00 4.00
Sub Total 1404.00 1002.00 316.00 2722.00
Submittable fee 5% + $.99 417.69 215.43 94.01 727.13
Donation Share 35.00 45.00 35.00 115.00
Sub Total 1021.31 831.57 256.99 2109.87
Publisher Share 35% 357.46 291.05 89.95 738.46
Available to Pay 663.85 540.52 167.04 1371.41
Pieces Selected 24 5 5
Pay Rate 27.66 108.10 33.40

Because we believe in fair compensation for published writers, we’ve elected to cut our publishers’ share for this issue, and put additional funds into the payment pool. So the first issue numbers will pay more per author:

Category Poetry Fiction Flash Total
Submissions 351 167 79 597
Fee 4.00 6.00 4.00
Sub Total 1404.00 1002.00 316.00 2722.00
Submittable fee 5% + $.99 417.69 215.43 94.01 727.13
Donation Share 35.00 45.00 35.00 115.00
Sub Total 1021.31 831.57 256.99 2109.87
Publisher Share 295.00 150.00 6.99 445.00
Available to Pay 726.31 681.57 250.00 1664.87
Pieces Selected 24 5 5
Pay Rate 30.26 136.31 50.00

Most of the remainder of the publishers’ share will go back into improving the journal’s web site and marketing efforts.

As we announced last week, we’ve also welcomed Yi Shun Lai as nonfiction editor, and opened submissions to nonfiction and flash nonfiction. This expansion should help drive overall revenues. And we’re hopeful that once we release the first issue, we can add some print issue sales to the pool, and pay writers a bit more.

For now, so far, so good. Make that so far, so great.

-JP

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Categorised in: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, TLR News