Good ideas #1 The Common and Titular

Here’s the first of… more than one, let’s hope, hopefully a series of blogs about interesting ideas and innovations in magazines. Not that their is anything wrong with a straight forward, traditional literary magazine, but now and then I stumble upon a feature that I really like.

Now, we’ll have a look at two magazines that take an encyclopaedic approach to short pieces.

On its website, The Common publishes Dispatches, “short evocations of particular places” in 500 words. The stories tell of towns and landscapes from Mexico to Uzbekistan to Korea to New York. Only improvement I could see : why not make that map interactive? (Submissions accepted year-round)

Titular focuses on (guess what?) titles. It publishes stories which share a title with an existing novel, film or TV show. The idea is to take the title as a starting point and to write a different reality to suit it. “Each story aims to reconstruct concepts instilled by its existing title by exploring and provoking the implicit disparities between the two. This is also a meditation on the semantic implications of each title. Our goal is to build a literary Collective of New Beginnings.” I remember reading a while back some mission statement where these folks said they hoped in the end to have a cross-referencing archive, where you could for example read all the stories written from titles of Tom Cruise movies, or from Hemingway novels. Can’t seem to find it on the site, but I liked that idea. Sad thing is these folks now only solicit material.


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