TEC’s Take on Literary Journals & Magazines

by Nadine Bachan

Published at 2011-07-06

In early June, Michael Redhill announced his departure from Brick. After over 10 years of editorial involvement with the literary magazine, #87—which is already on newsstands—is Michael’s last issue as the proprietor and publisher.

This news left me feeling a bit sad but also hopeful. The sadness comes from the sentiment that Michael’s exit marks the end of an era. Under his direction, Brick has built up a large readership and a strong reputation for being one of the foremost Toronto-based publications. Showcasing only the most enthralling works of non-fiction, Brick has been a literary platform for insightful memoirs, touching essays, and engaging interviews. 
On the other hand, though, I felt optimistic. After all, when one era ends, another begins. In this case, Nadia Szilvassy’s era. A fresh new perspective will certainly bring changes. I wonder: As the new Publisher & Managing Editor, what will Nadia bring to the table? How will her editorial sensibilities and tastes affect the contents of future Brick issues?
That last question has probably been on the minds of many savvy writers who hope to see their own essays grace the pages of Brick someday. It’s a good question, among several others, to consider when you’re deciding which magazines and literary journals to submit to. What kinds of writing do the managing editors tend to publish? Do the editors seem to favour certain authors, frequently soliciting and publishing their works?
Guidelines & Tips for Writers
American author Lynne Barrett recently wrote an article that offers several guidelines and tips to writers who wish to submit to literary magazines. Lynne states that a writer’s job is not all about the scribbling. A writer must read as well. Reading journals and magazines is the best way to get a sense of whether or not your own writing will fit. NEVER submit to a journal you haven’t read (at least two back issues is a good rule) or even heard of before.
Lynne also stresses the point that patience and courtesy are important virtues in this process. Sometimes you must play the waiting game when it comes to receiving a response. And when you do receive it—acceptance or rejection—civility can go a long way.
I highly recommend all aspiring writers out there to read Lynne’s wise words of advice. Her article, "What Editors Want: A Must-Read for Writers Submitting to Literary Magazines," is posted on the The Review Review website ( With the right mindset and attitude, you may just receive a happy acceptance letter from the editors of Brick, or Room, or Toronto Life, or GEIST, or…