Literary Reviews, Page 21

"Photosynthesis," by Jay Caselberg.

The Pedestal Magazine might well be an unique literary breed. It is an online literary journal that offers professional rates to contributors, five cents a word for fiction. It is the brainchild of Editor-In-Chief John Amen, a gentleman of an artistic bent whose primary accomplishments have been as a published poet.

In his mission statement, Mr. Amen, states: "...to publish a premier literary journal, exclusively online, featuring new and established writers and visual artists." He hopes to bridge the gap between print and online literature, garnering new respect for the latter. As this is exactly why I concentrate on internet short works, I am most sympathetic and am appreciative of Mr. Amen's vision and commendable efforts in this direction. Despite the zine's offering of professional rates, it is an entirely free access online literary journal.

As for funding, it is noted at the E-zine that advertising is accepted, though browsing through the zine, I've yet to see any evidence of such. Donations are also accepted, with contributors at various levels being listed on a contributors' page. One suspects, however, that the bulk of the funding is derived from grants from the North Carolina Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts (both indicated as sources of funds). Mr. Amen has a professional fundraiser and grant writer on staff. The enterprise is operated as a non-profit entity.

The Pedestal Magazine offers fiction, flash fiction, poetry, book reviews and interviews with writers. As every member of the zine's creative staff has some background in poetry, even including Nathan Leslie, the fiction editor, who has an impressive list of fiction, non-fiction and poetry publication credits, it is not surprising that the zine has a rich contribution of poetic works in each issue. It also offers a fine selection of visual arts.

In regard to its fiction offerings, Pedestal offers a wide variety of selections, and will consider genre pieces "as long as it crosses or comments upon its genre and is both character-driven and psychologically acute." The story I shall shortly review here would seem to nicely fit these criteria.

The stories offered present a nice balance between first and third person narrations, and, though character-driven, generally have more to them in terms of plot than do offerings in most other literary journals.

My only disappointment with this superb zine is that fiction is limited to six thousand words. If the reason for this is economic, then I would rather have remuneration capped than have longer works—at least to ten thousand words—excluded; especially in regard to an online publication where space would seem less of an issue than in would be in print publications. Click to continue:

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