If you are a person who is getting (or has gotten) an MFA in creative writing, there is a high likelihood that you are also a person who has at least toyed with the idea of starting your own literary magazine. Don’t even pretend like this isn’t true. I know you. Don’t lie.
And if you have considered starting your own literary magazine then you know there are a lot of big decisions to make before undertaking such a project. Like, you will probably need to figure out how to get a lot of start-up cash and a Web site and a printer you like and trust and other smart friends who will help you edit it and many other things that you haven’t even thought of because logistics are boring and therefore not a part of anyone’s literary magazine daydreams. In the land of what-if-I-started-my-own-magazine, there is really only one concern that reigns supreme.
What am I going to name it?
I’ve spent quite a lot of time poking around Duotrope recently and I’ve noticed most lit mag names can be slotted into a few main categories. And so, for literary magazine success, you should probably just follow this formula. Categories (as well as original name suggestions) below. Please help yourself to whatever you like. You’re welcome.
-A single, made-up word
-A real word that no one knows the meaning of
– A word most people do know the meaning of, but which somehow seems artsy out of context
e.g. Vas deferens
-The name of the place where the magazine is produced followed by the word “quarterly” or “review”
e.g. Browne’s Addition Review or Windowless Basement Apartment Quarterly
-An important landmark near where your magazine is produced
e.g. Offshore Oil Rig
-A made-up place
e.g. Bonertown, U.S.A.
-A play on some other, more famous work of literature
e.g. Holden Caufield’s Little Bother’s Baseball Mitt
-A somewhat obscure term from the printing/publishing industry
-A word used so widely in the world of writing that any reference to your journal will actually be inevitably confusing
-A mode of transportation preceded by an adjective not usually associated with said mode of tranist
e.g. Slippery Blimp
-Some random animal
-Some random animal plus another thing that is not an animal
e.g. Cobra Pants
That’s all I got. What else?