Simon has written a piece for SPUNC on how literary journals can use a digital strategy to complement their print editions.
She adjusted her glasses and took a deep breath as silence descended on the room. Her eyes were red, but dry, her chest swelled and her jaw set: bring it on. When she spoke, her voice was cracking but not cracked. She talked about her love of the printed page, of the bound volume. She pointed to many examples of print culture declining in the news world—closure of news rooms, consolidation of mastheads, low revenues. She talked of print being under attack, and of its advocates being proudly out of step with the zeitgeist. She talked of being in the minority and of being right.
‘If you’re here to convince us to go digital, you can get the hell out.’
She didn’t say that directly to me, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t squirm.
The occasion was a gathering of small publishers and the speaker in question published and produced a small literary journal. As a writer with many contributions to small literary journals over the years, I felt strange and uncomfortable to be considered, even briefly, an antagonist to the little magazine. Really, I am heartened to hear that small publishers have no intention of walking away from their print editions, but I hope the speaker in question was kidding with all that digital stuff.