PRODUCT IS AN ONLINE PUBLICATION BROUGHT TO YOU BY
THE CENTER FOR WRITERS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI.
Many literary magazines tout mission statements, many of which sound the same: “Entertain us.” “Give us something new.” “Surprise us.” In lieu of a mission statement, we at Product offer a friendly manifesto. Why another online magazine? Why us, why now, why ever? Here a few reasons:
Calls for submission assure aspiring writers that spaces exist for their voices to be heard.
The publication process teaches us to be attentive to those voices.
The internet is littered with words already, and a few good stories and poems won’t hurt.
Published together, those stories and poems take on rich new lives and meanings.
It feels good to say yes, and maybe even to publish someone’s work for the first time.
Ralph Waldo Emerson articulates the purpose of the literary magazine as follows: "As we wish not to multiply books, but to report life, our resources are therefore not so much the pens of practiced writers, as the discourse of the living, and the portfolios which friendship has opened to us." Years later, as the literary journal has manifested in every form—from small magazine to university publication to online presence—Emerson’s faith in the literary community remains vital to our enterprise: Product. Now in its 31st year of publication, the magazine has changed form but not function. It showcases the literary and artistic talents of students across all disciplines at the University of Southern Mississippi, but ultimately, Product creates community. Often we write alone. But when we publish, we publish among friends. Product, like many literary magazines, is a meeting place and a welcome break from solitude. It insists upon and celebrates the discourse of the living by wedding unlikely voices in both digital and physical space.