Saturday, March 24, 2007 Literary Editors/Book Fair

Today at the Virginia Festival of the Book was Crime Wave (way too many mystery writers in one place) and Publishing Day (events with editors, agents and publicity types). The only event that appealed to me today was the panel of Literary Editors, and that despite the fact that I’d heard all the panelists speak before, more than once. I keep thinking that someone will disclose the password or otherwise reveal some trade secret, so I go and I listen. Nothing new today (other than the news that Bret Lott has resigned as editor of The Southern Review, which isn't exactly news I can use). The one bit of advice I may take to heart is to focus efforts on six or seven journals I really want to publish in, learn those editors’ tastes and try to develop a dialogue with them. Like me, most writers I know cast a much wider net and that may not be more effective. I’ll blame impatience.

The panel consisted of David Lynn from Kenyon Review, Mary Flinn from Blackbird, Ted Genoways from Virginia Quarterly Review and R.T. Smith from Shenandoah. (Rod was kind enough to mention me by name—I was in the front row and hard to miss—as the person who helps him read fiction for the magazine.)

The other thing that was going was the Saturday Book Fair in the atrium of the Omni Hotel. Mostly the book fair consisted of authors selling their own books—many self-published, and good for them for taking the initiative to make some sales—but one table that appealed to me was a used book seller, Asia Fine Books, who specializes in books about Asia. I may have to order something . . .

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