Greater Sum: A magazine of prose and faith
Greater Sum: A magazine of prose and faith
A literary journal that celebrates great prose that celebrates great faith—Christian, human, innate, broken, or otherwise.
A literary journal that celebrates great prose that celebrates great faith—Christian, human, innate, broken, or otherwise. Read more
About this project
Greater Sum exists to fill a vacuum in publishing: literary short prose of faith. This is meant to be interpreted broadly. We encourage work by people of faith or that has faith as its subject—it need not be both and the connection need not be overt. We don’t want to be hit over the head by religiosity.
While there exist many outlets for faith-based poetry, there are far fewer for prose of the same ilk, and no substantial publications focusing on prose exclusively. Greater Sum aims to change that.
We'll publish twice per year (spring and fall) as well as occasionally on our website: www.agreatersum.com.
What is prose + faith?
Greater Sum is based on the idea that Christianity and the arts need not be separate—that in fact neither is wholly complete without the other. The arts provide an important vehicle to express the glory of God, and we owe it to our fellow people—we owe it to God—to utilize it. The journal’s aim is to bring faith and art into the 21st century through great writing and experiments in publishing, distribution, and style. We believe that Christian artists have a duty to be on the forefront of the arts.
Further, Greater Sum is about great prose and great faith, not one or the other. We do not publish mediocre work just because of its spiritual component, nor will we publish tremendously good prose if it lacks any spiritual substance.
Why "Greater Sum"?
The name comes from the concept of synergy—that some creations are greater than the sum of their component parts. It speaks to the power that both faith and art have to bring out the best in each other.
Also, there’s some math geekery behind the scenes.
I'm not a Christian; can I submit to or enjoy reading the journal?
Please do! While we have a clear mission, we’re not exclusionary. There’s no statement of faith required for our artists, and we seek to publish writing of such quality that it doesn’t require a background or interest in religion to be insightful, impactful, and enjoyable.
More important is that the idea of "Christian art" in contemporary American society has a significant stigma associated with it as regards quality of the work as art itself. Christian art needs the constant pressure of analysis, discussion, and interpretation in order to grow. And we can't get that by closing our eyes and ears to anyone who doesn't self-identify as a Christian.
Risks and challenges
There are four challenges that may come up: time, quantity, distribution, and quality.
Time: All of us have jobs outside of the journal and have dedicated small parts of our lives to helping out on it, unpaid. Fortunately, we've budgeted for that time, and most of the significant time commitments (including cover design, interior layout, and editorial work) aren't affected at all by the quantity of publications we'll print. Managing mailing lists and vendor relationships could take longer if we get a great response, but we're well-equipped to handle those.
Quantity: Currently we plan to use a local, high-quality custom print house to create the perfect-bound final product. If we receive a five-fold or greater increase in orders from what we currently expect, we will need to source production from another vendor. Fortunately, with our previous experience at several literary journals and publishers, we have knowledge of the print-production space and capable, quality vendors.
Distribution: We're a relatively small operation and will be hand-packing each individual publication that gets mailed. We have already scheduled a full weekend to do so after the print run is delivered. It's possible that date will have to move or we'll be so inundated with orders that it takes extra people or time, but we have assistance standing by.
Quality: The most significant challenge is collecting the great work we want to deliver to our readers and supporters. While we're already receiving excellent submissions, there are no guarantees that work worthy of publication is going to continue coming across the transom. We are continually reaching out to writing groups, forums, and other places where writers gather.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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