The Writer Magazine for ‘Literary Workers’ Turns 125

By Steve Smith

Back in the day when magazines themselves were still in their infancy as a mass medium, rapid production presses and color printing soon to transform all media consumption just as radically as digital media has for our age, The Writer magazine started to serve the profession that would help feed this new need. In the first issue in 1887, the founders promised to make the new magazine “helpful, interesting and instructive to all literary workers.” Along with The Atlantic (originated in 1857), Scientific American (1845), Town & Country (1846), Harpers’s (1850), The Nation (1865) and Good Housekeeping (1885), The Writer is among a handful of 19th century magazine periodicals that has been publishing continuously through 19th, 20th and now 21st Centuries.

The magazine is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year. Until 2000 it was independently published out of Boston. In this decade it was acquired by Wisconsin-based Kalmbach Publishing Co. The print and digital editions continue to provide writing advice as well as directories of market opportunities, books and online community. It appears on that next generation of magazine technology, the iPad, as well.

In the course of its 125 year, The Writer has itself hosted some of the most illustrious talents and bestselling authors in American letters: Somerset Maugham, Ray Bradbury, Sinclair Lewis, John Updike, Joyce Carol Oates and Stephen King, among them. The magazine is edited by Jeff Reich.


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