Literary Journal Review


A Literary Journal for the Novelist

According to their website, Embark would describe themselves as “a literary journal designed for novelists and featuring exclusively novel beginnings — those crucial first pages that must engage the reader’s attention and often receive more polishing than any other part of the book.” Embark specializes in publishing an online literary journal that highlights the first chapter to 10 books. The variety and genres of the chapters differ greatly, as they do not discriminate against any style. “We believe that crafting a novel’s opening is an art in itself, and that reading beginnings can be both inspiring and delightful.”

The one thing literary journal asks of the authors of these chapters is that the books they prologue are not published yet. The books are either still being finished or in the process of editing, but are not published before the issue in which they are printed in are debuted. It is only the book itself that needs to be unpublished. The author can have any degree of experience. The author can have a history of five, ten, fifteen previously published books. Embark does not care about that; only that they have the brag rights for showing of the first chapter before any other publisher.

“Best of all, a number of literary agents are included among our readers, and several of our contributors have found representatives for their work through Embark.” The issues of the literary journal are released quarterly on their website. The months are scheduled on January, April, July and October. Every issue includes ten novel beginnings, each accompanied by a brief Author’s Statement that might offer a summary of the plot, aims, inspiration, the intentions behind the novel, a meditation on its theme.

            To submit to Embark one must send them two things. The opening of the novel and an author’s statement. The opening must have a minimum 2,500 words or a maximum 4,000 words. The author’s statement is also requiring a minimum 250 words or maximum 500 words. The statement should give the reader a good sense of what the novel is all about and why the author chose to write it. More personal than a synopsis. Above all, it should demonstrate careful thought about the novel’s structure and eventual impact. We are looking for polished, confident work that reflects clear authorial intention.”

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