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Discipline Fiction, Poetry and Art
Language English
Edited by Thom Didato and Andrew Day
Publication details
failbetter LLC (USA)
Publication history
2000 to present
Frequency Quarterly
ISSN 1939-0335
OCLC no. 77551939

failbetter is a quarterly online literary magazine.


Founded in 2000 by Thom Didato and David McLendon, the magazine originally evolved from a Brooklyn-based reading series that featured many writers from the Gordon Lish school of writing. McLendon left failbetter in 2003 to pursue his own writing and subsequently found the literary magazine, Unsaid. Andrew Day, who had helped design the initial issues, then came back to the fold as the magazine's Managing Editor. Subsequently, failbetter's staff of editors, consultants and readers grew.


Since its inception, failbetter has been online quarterly magazine published in the spirit of a traditional literary journal—dedicated to featuring quality fiction, poetry and artwork. In the span of just 5 years, failbetter (whose name was inspired by Beckett: "Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.") quickly garnered its readership by publishing up-and-coming writers like Sam Lipsyte, Heidi Julavits, Myla Goldberg, and the late Amanda Davis. Additionally, the magazine interviewed many of the best literary voices of the day, including Paul Auster, Charles Baxter, T.C. Boyle, Nick Hornby, Pam Houston, Billy Collins, Jonathan Lethem, Marie Ponsot, George Saunders, Anne Tyler and others. The magazine was also fortunate to interview back-to-back Pulitzer winners Michael Chabon and Richard Russo months before each won the award.

On-Line Journal[edit]

Initially, the traditional literary establishment was somewhat suspect of the merit of online literary magazines (see literary magazines). failbetter is one of many quality online literary publications that have successfully broken that barrier. The magazine was one of the first online publications to be recognized by such annual print award anthologies as the Pushcart Prize as well as The Best American Poetry series. failbetter is also included in the LOCKSS international archive system.

As of the fall of 2007 the average readership was over 60,000 per issue.

External links[edit]