CLMP History

1960s

The Coordinating Council of Literary Magazines (CCLM) is founded by a board of magazine editors at the suggestion of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), to act as an NEA regranter. (1967)

The signatories of the original letter of intent to the NEA are Reed Whittemore (The Carleton Miscellany, New Republic); Jules Chametzky (The Massachusetts Review); George Plimpton (The Paris Review); Robie Macauley (The Kenyon Review); and William Phillips (The Partisan Review). The first board includes J. R. de la Torre Bueno, Russell Banks (Lillabulero), Carl Stover, William Roth, James Boatwright (Shenandoah), Peter Caws, among others.

The granting programs fall into two categories: direct assistance to individual magazines, and funding of cooperative field-wide efforts such as regional conferences of literary magazine editors and grants to support organizations such as the Committee of Small Magazine Editors and Presses (COSMEP), a distribution cooperative.

CCLM initiates the College Magazine Awards Program (1967-1987) to encourage a higher level of literary achievement and professionalism in undergraduate publications.

1970s

Regranting of NEA funds continues. CCLM receives funding from the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) in 1971 to support the New York magazine community. From this initial support, CCLM helps launch The Print Center, Inc., which is established in New York in an effort to lower production expenses for magazines in the area by providing printing services at cost or below cost. The Print Center eventually becomes a separate organization; Bob Hershon (also of Hanging Loose Press) is the current director. The Print Center's success encourages CCLM to establish a similar organization on the west coast. The funding from NYSCA also helps to launch audience development projects through exhibits at national conferences, such as the Modern Language Association and the American Library Association.

In 1975, CCLM makes a report on Economic Conditions of Literary Magazines for the Ford Foundation. This report leads to a three-year pilot distribution project funded by the Ford Foundation, launched in 1976.

1980s

The Advertising Brokerage Program is initiated in order to increase advertising revenue for literary magazines. (1981-present)

Regranting relationship with the NEA comes to an end when the NEA chooses to make grants directly to literary magazines. CCLM refocuses its activities to develop its identity as a service organization and initiates more targeted funding programs for its membership. (1983)

With a generous two-year grant from the General Electric Foundation, CCLM announces the General Electric Foundation Awards for Younger Writers. The award program is designed to recognize excellence in younger and less established creative writers and to support the literary magazines that publish their work. Writers are nominated for the $5,000 prize by literary magazines that have published them in the past two years. The winners' nominating magazines receive $1,000 companion prizes. Winners of the prize include Tama Janowicz published in The Mississippi Review (1984); Andrei Codrescu published in Smoke Signals (1985); Julia Alvarez published in new renaissance (1986); Eliot Weinberger published in Red Ozier (1986); Rick Bass published in The Paris Review (1987); Rita Dove published in Callaloo (1987); John Yau published in Sulfur (1988); C. D. Wright published in Five Fingers Review (1988); Sigrid NuŅez published in The Threepenny Review (1989). (1983-1989)

First Seed Grants for new literary magazines are awarded in 1984. In 1991, the grants are renamed in honor of Gregory Kolovakos, who as Director of the Literature Program of NYSCA built and led the second-largest governmental funding entity devoted to literature in the United States. (1984-1997)

With funding from the Bydale and Middlecott Foundations, CCLM awards Editor's Grants of $3,500 to literary magazine editors with distinguished records of achievement and editorial vision. Winners of the Editor's Grants include Bradford Morrow of Conjunctions (1984); Reginald Gibbons of TriQuarterly (1984); Margarita Donnelly of CALYX (1985); Ronald Sukenick of American Book Review (1985); Joel Weixlman of The Black American Literature Forum (1986); Yvette E. Miller of The Latin American Literary Review (1986); Wendy Lesser of The Threepenny Review (1986). (1984-1989)

Member exhibition and cooperative advertising programs are developed to expand the visibility of literary magazines. (1985-1989)

Literary presses are added to CCLM's constituency to unify the field of independent literary publishing under a single service organization (literary presses did not previously have a service organization of their own). CCLM's name is changed to the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP) to reflect this expanded purpose. (1989)

1990s

Coalition of Writing Organizations (COWO) is formed by CLMP, Poets and Writers, AWP, and PEN to help defend the NEA during the Mapplethorpe and Serrano crises. (1990)

Emerging from COWO activities, the Literary Network (LitNet) is founded by CLMP and Poets and Writers in 1992. Through the nineties and into 2000, the Literary Network helps to defend and support a strong NEA without content restrictions.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awards its first support to literary publishing as a result of advocacy work performed by CLMP. Forty presses and magazines receive organizational consulting, and nine literary presses go on to receive significant grants to strengthen their organizational management. CLMP also receives support for field development activities. (1991-1998)

The Lila Wallace Reader's Digest Fund makes its first grants to literary publishing as a result of advocacy work done by CLMP. More than 40 literary magazines and presses, CLMP, and Small Press Distribution receive significant support for audience development/marketing activities, currently totaling more than $6 million. (1991-present)

LitNet fights to preserve fellowships for writers under the newly structured NEA. The effort is ultimately successful, making writing fellowships the only individual grants that the NEA is mandated by Congress to grant, other than honorary awards. (1995)

CLMP launches the New York State Technical Assistance Program (NYTAP) as a pilot project, its first foray into providing technical assistance on a state-specific basis. (1997-present)

CLMP receives a leadership initiative grant from the NEA to implement the Literary Journal Institute (LJI), a national program of support to improve earned/contributed income for small- to mid-sized literary magazines. Program developed in response to the difficulty magazines were having competing in the NEA's newly restructured grants to organizations program. (1998-2000)

2000s

www.clmp.org launched as an online resource providing technical assistance and information services for literary publishers and as an internet center for information about the field for readers, writers, media, and the general public. (2000)


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