Changes for Luna Park

by Posted on February 1st, 2012 at 4:58 pm

Yesterday marked the four-year anniversary for Luna Park, beginning back in January 2008. (LP began as a Blogspot blog in July 2007.) There is now a lot of good content in the archives, thanks largely to the fantastic efforts of Marcelle Heath—wearing various editorial hats over the years with LP—and also thanks to everyone who helped out on staff and contributing. But working with our first LP intern during the final months of 2011 made me realize that the purpose of LP needs to change. Here’s how I explained that purpose four-and-a-half years ago (written, I apologize, in a slightly pompous editorial “we” I quickly discarded):

We have long felt that there was something missing in the world of literary journals and small magazines. There didn’t seem to be a continual discussion about the state of affairs in this avenue of publishing—no reviews of short stories or essays, no commentary about the changing guard at Antioch Review or new formatting at Tin House. Paris Review got—as usual—brief mentions in the mainstream press regarding their recent overhaul, but these comments were brief at best, and not, at least in our humble opinion, long or considered enough writing for such a drastic change to what could be considered one of most important literary foundations in the history of western literature. Luna Park will attempt to fill that void.

There’s no more void. Other sites covering literary magazines, such as Zine-Scene and the impressive Review Review, have emerged. The writers at HTMLGIANT are probably the most prolific commentators on lit mags on the Internet—Roxane Gay has even set up a Literary Magazine Club there—and the blog of New Pages is constantly publishing news of the industry. Newspapers like the LA Times and New York Times seem to be giving increasing attention to the medium. Lit mag websites seem to be more and more talking about other lit mags. There just seems to be more noise. Even though Supreme-Value gave LP a swanky re-design in 2010 and we published great work this past year (such as this and this), I found myself less needing to comment on or solicit commentary on lit mags as I was constantly reading it elsewhere, and overall happy with it.

Beginning this month, Luna Park will no longer continue as website publishing about literary magazines, but will instead transition into a much more static website hosting information about literary magazines. The current blog will still be there, and so, on the face of it, things won’t change that much. I’ve already been doing most of the posting and writing for LP over the past year or so. If anything, there will just be more of this, and more aggregation of what other people are writing about.

Nathan Brown, our intern last year, already began some of the more static changes for the website, building a basic structure LP can use to flesh out the current Directory of literary magazines & sources into a literary magazine encyclopedia. Over the next year(s), I will work to flesh out this encyclopedia, beginning with the help of our current LP intern Sara Adams, as well as the Literary Publishing class at York College of Pennsylvania this coming fall semester. This will no doubt be more Arcades Project than Britannica; fingers are crossed. Submissions are welcome. I hope to have some more news to share on the project in the coming months.