Volume 4
An Online Literary Magazine
October 30, 2010


Editor's Note: The Future of Publishing


Nick O’Connell


Nick O'Connell

t’s the worst of times and the best of times. The last two years have seen incredible carnage in the publishing world, with flagship magazines like National Geographic Adventure and Gourmet, both of which I wrote for, disappearing without a trace. The Great Recession and the Digital media revolution have forced print newspapers, magazines and book publishers to adapt or go out of business. We’re living through one of the biggest transformations in publishing since the printing press.


In the midst of the gloom, new magazines like Narrative, our own and many others have sprung up to help fill the void. Digital devices like Kindle and the iPad offer promising new ways of reading and publishing books. As the industry reinvents itself, writers continue to tell stories. This represents not the triumph of hope over experience, (like the last American presidential election), but demonstrates human beings' very deep need to explore the astonishing richness of life through story.


Amid the upheaval, it’s inspiring to see writers continuing to tell their stories. No one epitomizes this better than the novelist Ivan Doig. A hard-working writer who elevates his craft with each new title, Doig continues the exploration of his native ground of Montana, following William Faulkner’s lead in plumbing it in all its richness and complexity and finding parallels to all of human experience. It is our pleasure to include in this issue an excerpt from his latest novel, Work Song, as well as an interview with him.


Our fourth issue also includes Shaul Hendel’s “Submission Guidelines Guide,” a cheeky riposte to the annoying demands of literary magazine editors (not ours, of course!); "Tree," Anjie Seewer Reynolds' lovely meditation on aging and tree climbing; “Soupe du Jour,” Meredith Escudier’s deliciously savory tale about the simple pleasures of soup and the French genius for making it; “Pasta Agonistes,” my cautionary tale about the perils of culinary overconfidence and the realization that achieving Italian la dolce vita is anything but simple and easy.


I'd like to thank the following people for their help in putting together this issue: all the writers who contributed to it; Connie Marceau of Riverhead/Penguin, for her permission to publish an excerpt from Work Song and photo of Ivan Doig; managing editor Kathleen Glassburn, Scott Driscoll and Irene Wanner for their careful reading and editing of incoming manuscripts and this issue.


We hope you enjoy the fourth issue of The Writer's Workshop Review. Please let us know what you think, and if you have a story that might work for us, please send it along. We read all year and welcome submissions at any time. We look forward to hearing from you!


All best,


Nick O’Connell


Publisher/ Editor


The Writer’s Workshop Review







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