Mission

The Rag seeks out powerful new literary voices and brings them to light. We see electronic publishing as an opportunity for affordable and ubiquitous distribution and exposure, allowing us to reach a broader audience and inject new life into the literary market.

About Us

The Rag is the home for literary guts and steel. We are an online magazine hell-bent for fiction with true grit and uncompromising action. We call this “literary entertainment.” We publish one great short story every month, which we distribute for free through our newsletter and our website.

We named our magazine The Rag because our publishing ethos harkens to the days when you could find engaging short stories in just about any old rag. From these unassuming literary gold mines, writers like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Raymond Carver were able to build audiences and establish themselves as the dominate voices of their generations.

Over the past few decades, however, literary magazines have developed a stigma for being too obscure, arcane or just plain unreadable. Once great outlets for intelligent entertainment and the discovery of contemporary prose, today’s literary magazines have turned away even the most curious and adventurous of readers.

The Rag is different.

We see ourselves as the vanguard of electronic literary magazines, equipped with the means and motivation to find and nurture compelling literary voices.

We believe literature is and always will be important to our culture, and a vibrant literary community requires writers who can afford to write. Bylines don’t pay the bills, and so we always pay our writers a significant and reasonable sum for their work. We believe this helps draw in the talent, and that’s the ultimate goal: discovering and publishing talented new writers, and creating a magazine worth reading.

Staff Bios

  • MANAGING EDITOR
  • Seth Porter
  • Portland, OR

Went to school for Journalism, but never pursued a job in the field. By the time he was finished at Penn State, journalism had been assassinated. It was difficult to pinpoint the actual assassin: many blamed the Internet, the current scapegoat of choice. Either way, Seth didn’t really care about what asshole committed whatever sensational crime or what some celebrity wore to the awards show or what house burned down suspiciously, and he had no interest in repeating whatever lies come out of politicians’ mouths. Real journalism was dead, or perhaps it never existed in the first place. Reading, writing, and editing though: these are all fun things. He enjoys them. He thinks good writing is crucial to our culture. His mission is to find good writing and shove it down the masses’ throats. He doesn’t mind if they choke on it a bit. It’s nutritious: this is what matters. Seth serves as the senior editor at The Rag.

  • EDITOR
  • Dan Reilly
  • New York, NY

Journeyman. Croupier. Forever-aspiring writer.

Dan grew up in relatively uninteresting times: The Cold War was over and by the time he was in high school it was cool to think Nirvana sucked, yet he still came of age pre-9/11. His values: amorphous, not bound by history. He came of age in a space of time that escapes history. The big deal was the president got a blowjob from some chick, the stock market went wild over some fake businesses, a dollar bought you a gallon of gasoline and the world did not end when the calendar flipped to 2000. He was born to a single mother, nursed from mores and values shaped by AIDS, Madonna and Reaganomics.

Dan is necessarily confused, lost, apart from the culture he lives in. He finished his first novel in his early-twenties, which turned out to be an utter disaster. From the ashes and humility of his mistakes he ultimately learned an important skill, how to empathize with a reader. He now uses this experience to select and publish other people’s work, and as it turns out, living vicariously through the success of far more talented people is a close second, in his mind, to the glory of being published himself. Dan has no formal literary background, though he’s been writing fiction since he was 18. His background is in neuroscience, which he gave up in 2008 when all the world’s money magically disappeared and he decided to play poker for a living. Today he lives in New York City where he continues to write fiction and play cards. The Rag is his second full-time job.

  • EDITOR
  • Loan Le
  • New York, NY

Loan Le is a 22-year-old Brooklyn transplant from the suburbs of Connecticut. She graduated in 2014 from Fairfield University with degrees in journalism and creative writing, but chose to pursue a career in the latter because it obviously pays better . . .

She is an editorial assistant at Simon & Schuster’s Gallery Books and Scout Press. Compared to the rest of The Rag team, Loan hasn’t done much, but she’s hoping to in the future. She is an aspiring writer who’s working on a short story collection about the boundaries people are willing to cross to find what makes them most happy. Loan has an affinity for stories that almost never end happily. Concerned companions have asked about the state of her psyche.

In her free time she likes to eat too much of everything, go to her eccentric writing group, binge on Netflix, and spend time with her friends. She tweets all the time (@loanloan) and sometimes blogs.

  • DESIGNER/
    ART DIRECTOR
  • Krissy Marheine
  • Portland, OR

The true brains of this organization, Krissy graduated from Moore College of Art and Design in 2005. Ever since she’s been destroying the design field…in a good way. From choosing artists and formatting e-reader docs to designing and updating the website, Krissy single-handedly makes sure Seth and Dan have a magazine to publish.