Literary journals are a hydra-headed monster offering more and more opportunities to publish with each tick of the clock (and dying off at a slightly slower rate). Every time I finish a new piece, I have found twenty new and interesting places where I want to send it. And, of course, I want to read the new issues of all these journals that I’m into when they irregularly appear – online and in print. But I can’t. Logistically. Which means I’m missing a lot of good work in venues that I may have even been hip to at one point, because of sheer numbers. But, if more work showed up in more places, I’d be more likely to find it (as happens when pieces are anthologized or simultaneously published online and off). Our work often finds such tiny audiences. Yet, it’s incredible that almost all journals and publishers state a policy of accepting only new and unpublished work. Unless anthologized, most work is printed, freezes, and dies. With Action, Yes, it was very important to me to not have any such strictures (we have few rules at all, seeings as we’ve only been open for submissions one month out of the 48 or so we’ve been around). And if Johannes G. or I see something we like somewhere else, that we think needs to be read by even more people, we’ll simply ask if we can pop it into the next issue of AY (I’d like to start doing this even more). I just found the Blue Print Review and was impressed by their new all reprint issue (the “re visit/cyle/turn” issue). I’d like to see more of that.
So why is this anti-reprint attitude so ubiquitous? Is it a holdover from the days when everybody read every issue of Collier’s, so they’d get pissed if The Saturday Evening Post were to run the same crap two months later? Or is there something else here?