Poets & Writers: A Magazine Worth Checking Out

The most recent edition

The most recent edition

Poets & Writers is a magazine that definitely deserves a second look. It has a great focus on first-hand experience, and it’s organized into sections that make browsing more convenient. I’m the type to skip around and focus on the topics I’m most interested in, so I like it when magazines group related articles.

This magazine has a pretty interesting organization. It starts out with the usual introduction by the editor and reader letter. Then, it’s broken down into four main areas:

  1. News and Trends
  2. The Literary Life
  3. Special Section
  4. The Practical Writer

News and Trends focuses on what writers are doing and publishing now. This could be mediums, internet advantages, innovative styles, up-and-coming authors, and book reviews. It’s a short section that makes for a nice, quick update on what’s going on.

The Literary Life shifts to articles by and about successful authors. These may talk about how they got into writing, where they write, how they publish, their writing styles, etc. Odds are, you will recognize many of the authors featured, and it can be very interesting to get their take on the writing process (including publishing).

The Special Section is one of my favorite aspects of this magazine. Each magazine has a special topic or theme. Some that may interest you are self-publishing, literary agents, writing contests, and writers retreats. The best part of having a special theme for each edition is that if the yearly subscription isn’t for you, you can buy the one magazine that features the topic you really want to read about. That gives the magazine a lot of flexibility even once you’ve published.

The Practical Writer usually an article about a specific aspect of working in the literary business followed by a list of new books and a long list of grants and awards (from deadlines to winners). Getting a grant or award can make a difference in getting published, so having this detailed list is a really good resource.

Want to see more? Pick up a copy at the bookstore, or check out their website (Poets & Writers).

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