I really enjoy small press fairs. They are a fun day at the office (or not at the office, as the case may be). I love meeting those who read and love Vallum, as well as introducing the magazine to new readers. I always leave energized and renewed in my work.
Literary journals rely on the goodwill of their competitors/compatriots in publishing to keep going, so the personal contacts made between different magazines are often opportunities to build lasting relationships that are mutually beneficial. Experience is a precious commodity, and those who have it, have paid dearly for it with that irreplaceable resource – time. It is the collective advice of those who have gone ahead that really pays off when trying to figure out where Vallum should go next. This networking is so important, so that’s why you see us popping from table to table.
I also like going just as a lover of literature. There is so much innovative work being done at a grassroots level, and I usually leave with my bag stuffed full of great new magazines to curl up with when I get home.
For those who haven’t been to a small press fair – here are five good reasons why you should check the next one out:
1. Finding things you would never find in Chapters.
2. Amazing deals on your favourite magazines (Vallum is no exception – usually, the most expensive thing costs $5).
3. Feeling lucky? There are usually tons of contests to participate in.
4. Warm, fuzzy, interpersonal contact with publishers of small presses (email is so cold). Tell them what you like, what you don’t like, and maybe get some top-secret information on upcoming work.
5. Entertainment: usually some great readers or musicians. In Montreal, CKUT really rocked Expozine, so I’m not knocking DJs either.
I highly suggest you check out your local small press fair – maybe you’ll see Vallum there!