Thursday, 14 March 2013

The Bohemyth - Literary Journal

Doing research for this week's posts, I stumbled across an interesting Irish website dedicated to literature: 'The Bohemyth', a new literary journal. More precisely it's a wordpress blog made into an e-weekly that publishes short stories, flash fiction, personal essay, and photography. The Dublin based online literary journal was launched only in October 2012 by Alice Walsh, herself an emerging writer (born in 1984) with a growing list of publications. She is joined by another young Irish writer from Dublin, Michael Naghten Shanks (born in 1987), for the editing.

The idea behind 'The Bohemyth' is to give writers space to publish their work online, but not together with heaps of other texts, so readers will find it difficult to give them the attention that they deserve. Instead, each one of the weekly issues features only a small and selected number of contemporary texts "with a literary bent" and photography. The editors keep a sharp eye on the quality of their literary journal and expect much from contributors. In the submission guidelines they ask for "stories that seduce and savage souls" and for "images that linger in minds".

Of course, I haven't read the entire e-journal, but only a few bits and pieces of it here and there to get an impression. Quite obviously I liked what I found since otherwise I wouldn't bother to write about it on my blog, would I? Contents are a good mix of contemporary writing in short prose with some pats of experimental poetry in between and photos. As far as I could see, most contributors so far have been Irish or with close relations to Ireland although the editors are open for submissions from anywhere on this planet, provided that they are in English and previously unpublished.

The literary journal's homepage shows the latest issues with their date of publication that can be liked, shared, and commented as usual. It takes, however, quite some scrolling to read the whole issue  – something that I find a bit annoying, but maybe this is because I and my peers have still grown up with books and papers instead of tablet computers and e-readers. The archives and lists of recent posts as well as categories (issues) are only at the foot of the page and hamper browsing. If I'm not mistaken, a list of contributors is completely missing at the moment.

Overall 'The Bohemyth' is an interesting new journal for literature lovers as well as aspiring writers that will surely find its readers although I think that the editors should consider a few changes of design in order to make the different contents easier accessible for people like me who aren't passionate about having their finger on the mouse wheel, touch pad or screen all the time to scroll down for what feels like ages. At any rate, I wish Alice Walsh and Michael Naghten Shanks good luck for their enterprise in the constantly changing universe of the internet.

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