Ain't No Lit Mag High Enough!
NYT Magazine Poetry Editor resigns; Editor of JewishFiction.net interviewed; lit mags make $$ hundreds of thousands in sub fees; Blacklist Lit; profile of Southwest Review; markets; jobs; and more
Welcome to our bi-weekly news roundup!
Greetings Lit Magstellations,
The Poetry Editor of The New York Times Magazine has resigned. On her Substack, Anne Boyer wrote,
The Israeli state's U.S-backed war against the people of Gaza is not a war for anyone…Its only profit is the deadly profit of oil interests and weapon manufacturers.
The world, the future, our hearts—everything grows smaller and harder from from [sic] this war. It is not only a war of missiles and land invasions. It is an ongoing war against the people of Palestine, people who have resisted through decades of occupation, forced dislocation, deprivation, surveillance, siege, imprisonment, and torture…
I can’t write about poetry amidst the "reasonable" tones of those who aim to acclimatize us to this unreasonable suffering. No more ghoulish euphemisms. No more verbally sanitized hellscapes. No more warmongering lies.
On her Practicing Writing blog, Erika Dreifus speaks out against “antisemitic rhetoric and tropes” “within our literary and literary-adjacent communities…” Dreifus has shared a document for those who wish to counteract “toxic tendencies in literary communities” whose patterns, “since October 7,…have been particularly pronounced.”
Some may seek to attempt constructive one-to-one dialogue, privately—especially where a friendship or productive professional relationship already exists. Some, noting not only the organizational statements but also the masthead and other literary leadership positions that many open-letter signatories have opted to disclose, may simply—even silently—reconsider their own individual choices to submit work to or otherwise participate in supporting, even indirectly, certain journals, presses, or projects.
A list of journals and presses is included in the document.
The Jerusalem Post has interviewed Nora Gold, Founding Editor of JewishFiction.net, “a free-of-charge online journal that publishes international Jewish fiction.” Gold is also an activist, award-winning author and former professor of Social Work. She states, “Many Jews are now experiencing secondary victimization, where the trauma of October 7 and its aftermath are compounded by the antisemitic responses to these events…”
…is the only English-language journal in the world, either print or online, devoted exclusively to publishing Jewish fiction, and we have readers in 140 countries.
In the coming year, we will be redesigning the website of Jewish Fiction.net to make it more interactive, so that people will be able to use it as a cultural and educational resource…[W]e have several dozen stories translated from Hebrew.
These links are meant to provide an overview of what’s happening with this conflict as it relates to the lit mag landscape. As these are sensitive issues, if you feel inclined to comment, please keep it respectful of others within this community.
In other news, an interesting tweet crossed my path today.
As you all know, I’m always curious about what’s going on with Submittable. So I had to click the link of “this guy” mentioned in the tweet here. Just who is “the guy behind all these lit mags” who “is also the COO of Submittable”?
The link took me to the site of Justin Curzi. His bio states that his “family founded and grew Masters Review” in 2010. Interesting.
Now, we all know Masters Review is a highly respected and prestigious journal. But did we also know that…
Yes, according to Curzi’s bio, his platform that includes six other literary ventures makes “tens of thousands of dollars in paid submissions annually.”
Help me out. I’ve never run a lit mag. Is tens of thousands of dollars from submission fees…a lot?
Also, as noted by the original tweet, it is indeed interesting that the Founder of Masters Review and its platform (presumably, Discover Art LLC, which hosts Frontier Poetry, Palette Poetry, CRAFT Literary, Uncharted, Voyage Journal and Literistic) is also the COO of Submittable.
I am not making any claims about any of the entities or people here. These are fine magazines with hard-working editors and a great deal of excellent writing published in their pages. I am only bringing this to our attention in hopes for more transparency in lit mag publishing.
File under: What the duck is going on?
In related news, a cool new site caught my eye last week. Blacklist Lit launched this month. They say,
Our goal…is to make writers' lives easier while holding literary magazines accountable for their roles in the literary world. Those in positions of power have the responsibility of being ethical in their dealings with writers and, at the very least, aware of the impact that their poor treatment has on their mental health, finances and careers. Editors, managing editors, editorial assistants all share in this responsibility. At Blacklist Lit, we envision a world where writers are not taken advantage because of their aspirational talents, but are treated with the respect and dignity they deserve.
I also learned last week that CLMP (Council of Literary Magazines and Presses) provides this service, though it is limited only to members of the organization. They say,
We believe that being a member of our community means participating in an environment of mutual support with both rights and responsibilities. If you have any concerns or complaints about the professional practices of CLMP member-publishers, please share it with us.
You can report unethically-behaving CLMP members here.
On his Substack, One Art Editor Mark Danowsky has taken a close look at Finishing Line Press. He writes,
I'm frankly disturbed by a list of those who are described by FLP as poets who have endorsed the publishing house. I mostly doubt this is true. If it is true, I would be extremely interested to hear why the endorsements were given and when. Is it possible the model hs changed and was previously more aboveboard?
On a more positive note, Southwest Review got a lovely profile in Lit Hub last week. Writes Mark Haber,
Founded in 1915 and housed on the campus of Southern Methodist University, Southwest Review has, of late, gathered a remarkable energy, evident in the electric, eclectic, whimsical, and downright envelope-pushing issues which have been published with impressive consistency. The cover designs are bold, bright, eye-popping, and fearless, emblematic of the work inside. Over the past few years something has happened, a shift in the design and aesthetic, in the enthusiasm and, perhaps most importantly, the curation.
For those of you seeking gainful employ in the luxurious land of lit mags:
Poetry London seeks a Poetry Editor.
StoSo Ink seeks a submissions reader.
For those of you looking ahead to submissions next month:
Erica Verrillo has 57 Writing Contests in December 2023 - No entry fees
Authors Publish has 35 Literary Journals Accepting Translations
As for us, we will be meeting tomorrow (Tuesday) to discuss this month’s Reading Club lit mag, The Missouri Review, which I found most enjoyable (and I hope you did too!). We will meet with the editors on Thursday to hear all about how this issue came together.
If you have not yet registered for these events, or you don’t remember if you registered, or if you did register and can’t find the link, or if you don’t remember if you ever got the link, or if you don’t know anything, ever, at all, that’s okay, you can find all registration links here.
Both of these events are for members of our Lit Mag Reading Club, i.e. paying subscribers to Lit Mag News. The interview with Missouri Review editors will be recorded for those who cannot attend in person and made available for paying subscribers. You can access these events and more anytime, by signing up.
Looking ahead to December, we will be reading Black Warrior Review for our Reading Club and speaking with the magazine’s editors at the end of that month. I will post all the information about that, as well as details for our December info sessions, later this week. So keep your eyes out for that Save the Dates page.
Reminder: All are welcome to join the Lit Mag Reading Club anytime! Check out the line-up for this year and learn all about the Club here:
And that you bench-pressing power-pushers and you free-weight-handling skull crushers, you pumpers of hard iron and you specializers in the art of concentric contraction, you out there pushing out maximum repetitions with failure as your goal each and every time and you taking days off in between because everyone knows the real growth happens when you step away from the machine, you burning your way through knee-buckling burpees, you mashing yourself through another mother of all mountain-climbers, you with your heart pumping deep inside your ankles (yes, your very ankles!), you with your veins bulging all through your ears (yes, your very ears, both of them!), you with your volume aspirations, you with your intensity modifications, you and you, everywhere, sweaty and glorious, exhausted and victorious, wrecked, racked, spent and yet so much stronger, so much fitter, so much more carved into the ship-shapiest version of that scrubbed-clean crystal-clear inner diamond-sharp perfection of a self full of muscle, full of heart, full of mind, matter, magic and mystery, is the news in literary magazines.
Have a turbo-charged week, pals.
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