If you're a writer or an aspiring writer, you probably know all about the struggle to get published in a literary journal. After you've done the work of coming up with a brilliant idea, figuring out if that brilliant idea is a story or a poem, writing that brilliant story or poem, revising that story or poem — and, hey, deciding it's actually an essay, you have to hone and re-hone your masterpiece before sending it into the world slush piles, where you hope it doesn't languish, sputter, and die.
It can all sound rather grim, but there's a way to increase your odds of landing that dream publication: subscribing to a literary journal. I've been editing an independent print journal (it's called Tammy, and we open for journal submissions on March 1 — say hey, Bustle readers!), I can attest to the importance of knowing the publication that you have your sights on. The best way to get to know the aesthetic, the editorial vision, and the vibe of a publication is to read issues. Yes. issues-plural.
Sure, not all of us readers are writers, and if that's the case, I still recommend subscribing to a literary journal. In fact, there are 10 very good reasons you should pick one and become a regular reader right now.