The about pages for the literary magazines that I analyzed, namely that of The Baltimore Review, The Blood Orange Review, Cimarron Review, The RavensPerch, and The World Literature Review, are used to discuss the history and current mission and big picture for the magazine. Their purpose is to inform the reader about how they originated and who was responsible for their success, as well as discuss the current mission and goals for the magazine. The about page is to introduce the reader to what type of literary magazine they are reading and what they can expect of its publications.
The about page most generally starts with a discussion of the magazine’s history. To start, the dates of when it was founded as well as those dates of important events in the magazine’s history are used to give a textual timeline for the magazine’s growth. To go along with the timeline, the writers also include the important figures in the magazine’s history that were vital to its success, such as the founder(s) of the magazine. For example, “The Baltimore Review was founded by Barbara Westwood Diehl in 1996”, as stated in the beginning of The Baltimore Review’s about page. The writers put an emphasis on the people that were influential for the magazine’s growth as fundamental to what the magazine is at its core.
Closely linked with the history of the magazine is their current mission. The writers described what they are trying to accomplish with the magazine, such as how The Blood Orange Review wishes “to create a home for the emerging and established writers” and The RavensPerch has the bold mission to “promote emerging voices, support established writers, unite writers across generations, and help launch careers of unknown writers”. The mission of the magazine pertains to their overall goal of showcasing the best underappreciated literature and help the aspiring writer a chance at their dream. Another common theme in their mission statement is what type of specific literature that the magazine is willing to publish. The RavensPerch accepts works of the “best submissions of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and visual art from writers of all ages” and The Cimarron Review hosts “a wide-ranging aesthetic”. They can even be regional specific, such as The Baltimore Review.
Another common quality in the about pages is their use of personal pronouns while describing their history and mission statements as well as the accomplishments of the magazine. The constant use of “we” and “our” includes the readers into the magazine’s sphere and creates a highly familial and loyal atmosphere. This could also be a tactic on the writer’s part to manipulate the reader’s into continuing to subscribe to and buy the magazine through positive reinforcement and addressing them in a more intimate fashion than other companies. A reader who feels welcomed and included keeps coming back. All the about pages most generally heavily relied on pathos through relating to the reader, but some, such as The Cimarron Review, use the ethos of awards and prize’s won as a means of gaining their credibility.
The Baltimore Review: http://baltimorereview.org/index.php/about
The Blood Orange Review: http://bloodorangereview.com/about/
The Cimarron Review: https://cimarronreview.com/about-us/
The Ravensperch: http://www.theravensperch.com/about-us/
World Literature Today: http://www.worldliteraturetoday.org/about