Why I decided to start a literary magazine
Updated: May 8, 2022
Not long into the pandemic, I saw online literary magazines sprout up everywhere. There was always a new lit mag coming across my Twitter feed and even a girl I knew decided to start one in the spring of 2021. It made sense, of course, with so many people being home and wanting to find a way to spend their time. However, I never thought I would be a person that started their own. After all, so many people said it was a hard job. Even though they made people happy by sending out acceptance emails, they ran the magazine on the side while doing something else, whether it be another job or spending time with their family.
If I’m being honest, I’m not entirely sure why I wanted to start my own magazine, but I had an idea, and I’m an English major. If I have an idea, it’s going to stay there until I either forget it or do something about it. This idea wasn’t going to go anywhere. I had already been accepted to a few lit mags throughout 2021, each acceptance just as amazing as the first one I ever received, and I thought, “what if I did it too?”
Along with acceptances came rejections, and I found it hard to comply with some of the themes that some magazines put in place. Another thing was I never truly understood what some places meant by their abstract descriptions of what they wanted. So, I made Livina Press with only one goal in mind: to let people write what they want to write.
Why “Livina” Press? Livina was my grandmother’s middle name, and my grandfather always called her Lea (pronounced Lee). Which is where I get my middle name. Lea. I never met my grandmother, but from all the stories I heard about her, she was someone who lived her life how she wanted, and it resulted in a lot of stories. I always wondered what it would have been like if she had written down her stories.
Which brings me back to the magazine. I want to read whatever it is people feel like writing. A diary entry? A shopping list? A story about friends to more than friends that’s been jumping around in your head for weeks that you can’t shake? A thriller about a cabin in the woods? A shitty day at work? I want all of it.
So, maybe there’s my reason. I want to read what people are willing to write about.
“Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depth of your heart; confess to yourself you would have to die if you were forbidden to write.”
– Rainer Maria Rilke