Which Literary Magazine Are You? A Quiz!
Brought to you by Journal of the Month
1. When you wake in the morning, do you:
a) Go for a hike: the mountain air is refreshing!
b) Light a cigarette, jump on your bike and go for coffee.
c) Turn on a flashlight and read under the covers.
d) Check the news from your phone in bed.
e) Throw on a robe and fry up a veggie scramble with a homemade biscuit.
2. If you were an Olympics event, your sport would be:
a) Marathon Swimming
c) Canoe Sprint
3. Your favorite film genre is:
b) Futuristic Romance
c) Magical Realism
4. Your favorite accessory is:
a) a parasol
b) Ironic galoshes
c) Retro glasses
d) A tape measure
e) Your Smile
5. People describe you as:
a) Slow to get to know but a friend for forever
b) Edgy and sexy
c) Weird and wonderful
d) Engaged and sincere
e) A chameleon, the type of person everyone confides in
6. But they are wrong! You are really:
a) Obsessed with music
b) Nerdy in an eclectic way
c) Grounded yet dreamy
d) A truth teller
e) Heartbroken but hopeful
7. If you could go anywhere in the world, you would vacation in:
a) The south of France
c) Costa Rica
Scoring Your Quiz
No sophisticated calculus here: add up how many of each letter you’ve got and the letter with the most votes wins. Brandish yourself with your letter across your chest. Wear it proud! Now keep reading to find out what it means about psyche and future riches.
You’re a robust Vermonter, hailing from Middlebury College, and you were founded in 1978. You are currently run by an all female paid staff. Your style is edgy realism, which you produce in four lovely issues a year that come regular as rain. You relish all three genres - poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, although you recognize creative nonfiction subgenres and choose to call them out by name as though they are your children - Rediscoveries, Investigations, Cultural History, to name a few.
B = Tin House
Hipsters could learn a thing or two from you, who straddle the coasts, with a driver’s license in Portland, Oregon and a second home in Brooklyn. Your Portland operations are housed in a structure called the “Tin House” and that’s where your name comes from. No University for you; you are funded by an a private endowment. In addition to running the magazine, you publish books and organize a summer conference for writers. When you aren’t farming your urban patio, you are producing 4 striking journals a year, two of which are themed. Fiction, poetry and features are your mainstay, although you offer another genre that blends reviews of older or obscure books with personal essay called Lost and Found. More on that later.
C = Post Road
You like to travel: we could tell. Being 15 years young, you live in Boston at Boston College, although you were originally founded by the writing duo who run Newtonville Books in Newton Center. Twice a year you produce eye-catching journals chalked full of fiction, poetry, personal essays, criticism, recommendations, art, drama and the guest folio. Recommendations are also a short book review/personal essay hybrid. The Guest Folio is free for all; lists, images, anything that doesn’t fit easily into another category. Oh and indexes: you are keen for indexes and every issue includes a cumulative index that has references from all previous issues.
If you were to find yourself in a country that has recently outlawed alcohol, what would you do? Start a literary magazine, of course! That’s exactly what the folks at the University of Virginia did in 1919. Although VQR publishes fiction and poetry, too, it is largely a journalistic literary magazine, hot on newsstands 4 times a year, publishing reporting, essay, memoir, criticism as well as photography and interviews.
E = Booth
You’ve just graduated to elementary school, having been formed in 2009 by Butler University MFA graduates. That means you’re from Indiana and you don’t mind people knowing that; in issue 5, you shared a sub-genre of flash fiction called “Winesberg, Indiana” that was a series of character sketches in the style of Winesberg, Ohio. Sure, you publish twice a year fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, comics and lists, but you aren’t afraid to mix it up by including games and greeting cards, too. You also redesign your outsides to fit your insides with every issue; whereas most journals might get a new hairdo, you’re willing to change everything about yourself - size, fonts, design. You really go for it!
Jenn Scheck-Kahn is a prose writer and sometimes teacher who runs Journal of the Month. Her fiction has placed in contests by The Atlantic and Glimmer Train and appears in a number of literary magazines.