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Lost, Found + Collected

The First Online Literary Magazines

In 1991, with the invention of browsers and the implementation of domains, the Internet became what is now known as the WWW - the World Wide Web. Soon, the first online literary magazine appeared in the web. Some of them still exist, some went offline.

Fast forward 17 years. While editing the "re/visit” issue of blueprintreview - an issue that is based on previously published work and includes archive links - some research lead to the surprise find of archived copies of online magazines thought lost, and to texts and articles related to the development of online literary magazines. Which lead to this page with links. It includes:

1) Links to some of the first online literary magazines

2) Articles + Essays


1) Links to some of the first online literary magazines

This list includes links to the archived pages of some early literary magazines + links to some of the first litmags that are still online, sorted by date of launch.

* The archived links are marked with a *, they lead to the archive of the Waybackmachine.

and some additional links to archived e-zines after 2003:

(note: the original version of this list is up here, it got updated in December 2010 after a facebook link-collection-post by Tarpaulin Sky.)


2) Articles + Essays

To round up the theme, some links to articles about printed and online literary magazines:

80ies / 90ies
xeroxed / Michael K. White
the indie lit and rock scene before the time of the internet, originally published in blueprintreview #14

I was a Zine Editor / Brian Greene
memories of the indie lit zine scene, from the editor of the indie print magazines Dodobobo and The Pistol

Eyeshot is 7'5'', 297 lbs, Blushing, Swervy, Salivicious, Aquarian / Lee Klein
a quick history of the semi-literary website known as "Eyeshot", including a quick history of the first wave of e-nthusiasm and literary e-zines, with lots of links

Structuring the Intangible - Literary e-zines and their layout / Edward Picot
a reflection on print and online layouts, and the ways the medium shapes the message, originally published in PN Review March/April '02

A Sorcery of Circuitry: Behind the Screens of Online Magazines
the shape of literary magazines on the Web, as perceived in 2003: "As more and more literary journals develop online counterparts to enhance, complement, and extend the presence of their print editions, editors—despite their love of the physical object—are finding new ways to take advantage of the cost-effective and virtually boundless medium." - Katherine Swiggart, published in Poets & Writers, 2003

From Page to Pixel: The Evolution of Online Journals
a look at the current online market: "The barriers are coming down. Selections from online magazines are now regularly included in the Best American Series of annual anthologies. Modern writers are increasingly defined by the work they have available online."
- Sandra Beasley, published in Poets & Writers 2009

Transcend and Include: Fictionaut and the Future of the Literary Magazine
"This new layer of interaction -- unthinkable without the Internet – transcends and includes the traditional model of what a literary magazine can be. The revolutionary mindset demands that the new displace established structures, but evolution implies an increase in complexity that creates room for both." - Jürgen Fauth, published in The Huffington Post, 2009

Long Live Fiction: A Guide to Fiction Online
"I went in search of the new fiction. I wanted to see its extent, the borders of its world. I wanted to do a little cartography to glimpse the map of our conversation with ourselves." - David Backer, published in The Millions, 2010

The Death of Fiction?
"Lit mags were once launching pads for great writers and big ideas. Is it time to write them off?" - Ted Genoways, published in Mother Jones, 2010



Me, Reading: My Years at the Antioche Review - An excerpt from a memoir-in-progress / Gary Percesepe
"Summer vacations, I would take two bags of stories with me to the beach at Montauk..."

Tiny Skeletons / Scott Thouard
in memory of lost words: "This haven of the hoarded word is beyond my reach..."

Pedestal Magazine Ten-Year Anniversary / John Amen
"Ten years. That feels like a lifetime, really..."


BluePrintReview - issue 22 - re /visit /cycle /turn