Funded! This project was successfully funded on May 9, 2012.

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Recommended Reading is a free, weekly, digital magazine that introduces you to new fiction while supporting indie publishers.

Why stop here? New Fundraising goal of $20,000. Here's why

What is Recommended Reading?

Great authors inspire us. But what about the stories that inspire them? Recommended Reading, the latest project from Electric Literature, will publish one story every week, each chosen by a great author or editor. In this age of distraction, we'll uncover writing that's worth slowing down and spending some time with. And in doing so, we'll help give great writers, literary magazines, and independent presses the recognition (and readership) they deserve.

Why Support Recommended Reading...

...if you’re a reader?

There's so much available to read, but so little writing that can truly move us. Unforgettable stories can change our perspectives, even our lives. Recommended Reading will publish original fiction from new and emerging voices. We’ll uncover the stories that inspired your favorite authors, like Nathan Englander and Jim Shepard. And they'll tell you why. We’ll do all of this (and more) and deliver the content directly to you. Every week. For free.

....if you’re a writer?

Every writer knows that getting published is only half the battle. It’s a struggle to get people to read your work even after it’s published, especially if it’s in a tiny journal or press. As a result, unless you've written a bestseller, your book is never discovered. Recommended Reading uses Electric Literature's reach (including our 150,000 Twitter followers) to bring a larger readership to worthwhile writing.

Writers often say they feel guilty for submitting to magazines they've never read. Recommended Reading is a commitment-free way for writers to take a closer look at a variety of magazines and decide which ones fit their individual aesthetic and style.

...if you’re a publisher?

Running an independent press and/or literary journal is always a labor of love. Your latest release is wonderful, but how do you find readers? We’ll help them find you. Recommended Reading will introduce independent publishers and literary journals to an estimated audience of over 40,000 enthusiastic readers. Recommended Reading is also a safe and easy way to try out digital publishing, and provides guest editors with a direct line to readers.

What You Get for Your Money

Our $10,000 goal will launch Recommended Reading. This amount will fund the first two months (eight issues) of the magazine, which will give us time to build our audience and attract sponsors. Since Recommended Reading is free, we can’t rely on subscription fees and sales to fund essentials such as paying writers, design, development, and artists fees. 

Paying Artists

Once a month, Recommended Reading will feature an original piece of fiction that has never been published. We’ve already lined up extraordinary stories by Ben Marcus (The Flame Alphabet) and Seth Fried (The Great Frustration). These writers deserve to be paid for their brilliance! $300 buys an original story. 

Recommended Reading will also team up with guest editors and fellow literary journals to take a second look at great fiction that just hasn’t had its due. Whether it’s from a back issue of a magazine or an out of print collection, Recommended Reading will pay writers to re-publish their underappreciated triumphs. $100 brings a forgotten story back to life. 

Our Single Sentence Animation series is a forum for creative collaborations across mediums: the author of a story chooses a favorite sentence, and an animator interprets it. In the past two years, Electric Literature has commissioned nearly thirty Single Sentence Animations. These artists are willing to work with us because they are passionate and love literature, but it’s important to pay them for their work. $100 buys a Single Sentence Animation.

Single Sentence Animation for "Three" by Marc Basch. Animated by Jason Mitcham.

What We Can Do If You Keep Donating

These are just some of the things we can do if we surpass our goal: Build an app. Offer social reading experiences. Generate more enhanced content. Develop interactive storytelling experiences. Print a best-of anthology. 

We hope you'll join us in publishing Recommended Reading.

Rewards

Flask - All contributions over $40

Notebook - All contributions over $25

Postcard (Front and Back) - All contributions over $25. Original artwork by Fred Tomaselli.

Temporary Tattoo (Pictured with Back Tat) - All contributions over $25 

Digital Copy of Electric Literature - Single issue ($10 - $79), Vol. 1 (all contributions over $80)

Digital Copy of Recommended Reading - All contributions over $5

Our Fiction

Electric Literature has published writers such as Aimee Bender, Kevin Brockmeier, Michael Cunningham, Nathan Englander, Javier Marias, Rick Moody, Stephen O’Connor, Colson Whitehead, and Joy Williams, to name a few. Jim Shepard’s story, “Your Fate Hurtles Down At You,” was the recipient of the 2011 Pen O’Henry Prize and a juror favorite. Jenny Offill’s “The Tunnel”  from issue no. 3 and J. Robert Lennon’s “Hibachi” from issue no. 5 were both named Distinguished Stories of 2011 by Best American Short Stories. Here's a look at the kind of fiction you can expect from Recommended Reading.

Committed Partners
A Public Space
Akashic Books
Armchair/Shotgun
Atticus Books
BOMB Magazine
The Common
The Coffin Factory
Graywolf Press
Joyland
Melville House Books
New Directions
Nouvella Books
One Story
Other Press
[PANK]
PEN America Journal
Tin House Books
Tin House Magazine
Tiny Hardcore Press
The Literary Review

Committed Writers
Nathan Englander
Seth Fried
Ben Marcus
Jim Shepard

FAQ

490
Backers
$18,872
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    75 backers

    A priority sponsor's copy of Recommended Reading, with your name in the masthead.

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    148 backers

    A digital copy of Electric Literature, AND the above.

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    103 backers

    A one of a kind Recommended Reading notebook, an Electric Literature postcard with original art work by Fred Tomaselli, an Electric Literature temporary tattoo (see pictures below); AND all of the above.

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    72 backers

    A custom made Recommended Reading flask, for all of your drinking needs, recommended or otherwise (see picture below), PLUS: a priority sponsor's copy of Recommended Reading no. 1.

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    25 backers

    A custom made Recommended Reading flask; AND all of the above.

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    7 backers

    The digital edition of Electric Literature volume 1; AND all of the above.

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    8 backers Limited (2 left of 10)

    A hard back copy of The Flame Alphabet by Ben Marcus signed by the author with a personalized message; AND all of the above.

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    1 backer All gone!

    A VIP pass to Recommended Reading's invitation-only launch party at Parlor New York on May 10, 2012. Travel and accommodations not included; AND all rewards at the $80 level.

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    5 backers Limited (2 left of 7)

    Two VIP passes to Recommended Reading's invitation-only launch party at Parlor New York on May 10, 2012. Travel and accommodations not included; AND all rewards at the $80 level.

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    6 backers All gone!

    Your short story manuscript edited by Electric Literature editors. This reward includes two rounds of in-line edits and editorial discussions (in-person or virtual) of a story up to 10,000 words; AND all rewards at the $80 level.

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    Your novel manuscript edited by Electric Literature editors. This reward includes in-line edits and an editorial discussion (in-person or virtual); AND all rewards at the $80 level.

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    Your manuscript (up to 10,000 words) edited by Patrick deWitt, whose stories "Reed and Dinnerstein Moving" and "The Bastard" appeared in Electric Literature nos. 3 and 4. Patrick deWiit is the author of two novels, Ablutions and The Sisters Brothers. His most recent novel, The Sisters Brothers, won the Tournament of Books. The Sisters Brothers is also the recipient of the two most prestigious literary awards in Canada: The Governor General’s Award and Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, and was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize. This reward includes in-line edits, an editorial note, AND all rewards at the $80 level.

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Funding period

- (30 days)