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Tribe of online literary journals grows

New Delhi: As literary magazines go out of print due to financial troubles, the numbers of their online cousins are growing.

The newest such `online only` literary journal is Earthen Lamp Journal (ELJ), which joined the list of old timers Muse India, Pratilipi and Almost Island some weeks ago.

"Two advantages of virtual world are reach and speed. If you have a good product, more people are interested," said Divya Dubey, the publisher and editor of the new website for literature lovers.

"After the first issue went live, readers and writers wrote in to say they loved the look and feel," Dubey said.

ELJ`s inaugural issue is on `sexuality` and has works of fiction, poetry and essays by Manju Kapur, Tabish Khair, K. Satchidanandan and Sudeep Sen -- all well-known literary figures.

The journal also aims to focus on good writers and works that usually do not get their due, said Dubey.

"There are so many good writers who don`t win prizes and awards but still deserve recognition. We`d like to offer them a good platform. We also aim to give space to book reviews since that space is constantly shrinking in print," said Dubey, who runs the publishing house Gyaana Books.

This year, she has planned three issues of ELJ.

The other new one in the literary firmament is the bimonthly Northeast Review from Guwahati in Assam, which put out its first issue in November 2012. The focus, as the journal`s name makes it clear, is "showcasing original creative writing from the northeast of India".

Then come Open Road Review - published fiction and poetry from across the world since in May 2012 - and The Four Quarters Magazine - a non-profit venture that began in December 2011.

The magazine`s site says it is "averse to the idea of entire forests being destroyed for the purpose of providing paper for a more `intimate reading experience`."

Out of Print, the name clearly stating the current crisis of the publishing industry, began in September 2010 and has featured works of big names such as U.R. Ananthamurthy and Salma.

Among the most popular ones are the bilingual Pratilipi and Muse India - where all the big names of Indian literature have been converging.

Then there is Almost Island -- founded by writer Sharmistha Mohanty - bringing to online readers literature from across the world since 2007.