What does it take to build, launch, maintain, & market an online literary journal? That’s the focus of “The Journey of a Literary Journal,” which was part of my third semester project for my MFA in Creative Writing at Fairfield University. My task was to research, develop, and launch the literary journal for Fairfield’s program – with help from my classmates, my faculty mentor, and the wider literary community. That journal, Mason’s Road, was launched in July 2010, and this blog continues to be a resource for others in the literary publishing industry.

My research included interviews with 28 founding editors, managing editors, editors-in-chief, and other editors of literary journals both electronic and print, associated with MFAs or not. While my interviewing stage is over, all those involved in publishing a contemporary literary journal are welcome to respond to my questionnaire to continue the conversation here in this community.

Guided by the advice of established literary journal editors, I submitted a written proposal that outlined the submission, editorial, and production processes of our journal to administration as part of the academic component for my MFA degree, as well as this blog that chronicled the development process. Fairfield’s MFA student and faculty body participated in naming the journal, and our editorial board collaborated on selecting its final name and mission statement and weighed in on the graphic header as well. A Call for Submissions was launched on March 19 with a May 15, 2010 cut-off date for our inaugural issue.

Is it possible to build a reputable literary journal on a shoe string budget, with a staff of volunteers, in a crowded marketplace, reliant solely on electronic publishing? Well, I guess the answer is Yes! But where do we go from here?

While this blog took a break for over a year as Mason’s Road took off, the conversation on how to build momentum and community surrounding literary journals continues. Check out the monthly archives on the right for posts on specific topics, and feel free to jump in with your voice – of concern or experience or prophecy – any time!


Please note that this blog is a personal project. Any opinions expressed here, except as specifically noted, are mine or those of commenters and do not represent the views or policies of Fairfield University.


  1. I love this idea of yours Lisa – I want to be part of it.

  2. Good luck Lisa! Look forward to reading quality writing!

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