Grey Sparrow and Noctua–“Not for the Birds”

Grey Sparrow, Winter 2013
Grey Sparrow, Winter 2013

Grey Sparrow and Noctua Review are both digital and print (hybrid) publications featuring new artists and writers (both short story and flash fiction).

Because of the expense of producing print media or “hard copy”, the proliferation of digital journals allows new writers and artists more venues than ever before.  Journals such as Grey Sparrow and Noctua Review offer both, with the “hard copy” delayed but also available for those who are not quite used to reading almost everything online or in e-book format,  or who just need something for the coffee table.  For those who still believe that printed journals exude more “legitimacy” or “credibility”, some literary and art journals are going through a transitional phase by offering both formats.

Rethinking the way we receive information that used to be exclusively through magazines and newspapers is an exciting venture:  brainstorming new ways to distribute the pleasure and value of reading fiction and appreciating art.  I view them as complementary–almost mutually dependent–in presenting new ways to digest ideas.

The experience of each format is different, both physically and cognitively.   Print is less brilliant in terms of light and “glow” on the eyes and inert when it comes to interacting with the reader. In contrast, digital is bright, interactive and instructive in terms of displaying images, referencing literary illusions, background information, and posting comments.  I enjoy both the “touch and feel” of the paper version as well as the immediacy, interaction, and archival nature of digital media.

For me as a writer and artist, the two-way feedback allowable on the Internet, is an overwhelmingly positive tool to refine my work for a broader audience.  It allows the creator/crafts person to be more democratic in inviting comments and suggestions. The ease, low cost and immediacy of digital distribution is erasing the economies to scale needed for print distribution, once the exclusive providence of large national media channels.  Now we can all compete for viewers.  As content providers/ creators all of us can get potential worldwide distribution that was previously almost impossible.

I invite you to take a look at these two journals which are both digital and print  to see some new work in fiction and art, using the digital and print media distribution channels.  I have my artwork in both journals (Grey Sparrow, Winter 2013) and Noctua Review (June 18, 2013).

“For Independent Minds”–Grey Sparrow Press

The Internet has created vast new horizons for first-time artists and writers–for new voices.  And indie publishers and self-publishing companies help create and reach new audiences for these voices.  But it still is a daily battle to prove that the new distribution channels for creativity are just as good (or better?) than the traditional black-and-white print media.

Small presses have become  a new and legitimate publishing force. Today these small publishers comprise approximately half of market share in the industry.

One such innovative and dynamic literary journal and press is Grey Sparrow, based in St. Paul, Minnesota.  Grey Sparrow offers a “National Treasure” series in the arts, and features a short story or poem by a Pulitzer Prize writer for most issues.  Emerging and established voices are both presented.  As the recipient of the “Best New Journal” award in 2011 by the MLA (Modern Language Association), Grey Sparrow’s mission is to publish visual art, photography, and literature in print and ezine format.  In addition, Grey Sparrow Press publishes books by first-time authors and announces them on its website  (

If you have art, photography or creative writing you would like to offer to a wider audience, and give voice to your story and interpretation, consider submitting to Grey Sparrow.  (Some of my art is featured in the current January 2013 issue.)

Independent publishing and self-publishing can be the perfect solution for voices yet to be heard, for the poetry of memory and time.  Through language and art, we can make what is small, bigger; what is silent, heard; and what is fleeting, eternal.