Knock-knock-knockin' on Heaven's Lit Mags!

New Yorker union pending strike, tons of writing contests, submitting advice, markets for your work, editor interviews and more

Greetings Lit Magridals,

So. Much. News.

First, employees at The New Yorker are fed up. They say, “After two and a half years of contract negotiations with management, editorial workers at The New Yorker, who are represented by the NewsGuild of New York, are on the verge of a strike. We still hope to reach a deal at the table, but we are willing to do whatever it takes to secure fair pay and benefits, a diverse and equitable workplace, and professional respect.”

By clicking on this link, you can easily send a letter to Condé Nast executives and let them know you stand with the union in their fight for fair pay, health care and more.


In other news, whether you’re a believer in lit mag contests, a denier of lit-mag contests, or lit-mag-contest agnostic, information abounds. In this piece on the importance of writing contests, C. Hope Clark offers advice on how to spot a contest scam: “As with any other venture in this business, you study where you send your work…And you don’t enter just any contest...You study which ones fit your story, your future.”

Clark has a huge list of writing contests now running. She notes, “Contests provide prizes, prestige and usually publication with many offering book contracts. Denouncing contests from your writing repertoire is like discounting an entire genre or refusing to eat yellow vegetables”

She also explains why it’s a good thing to pay contest entry fees. She advises, “Pay the entry fee. The contest provider seriously has the right and need to charge. Plus, you’ll submit a better quality product.”

If this inspires you to do some contest entering, Masters Review has posted June Deadlines: 12 Contests and Prizes to Find This Month. If you don’t want to pay to play, check out 40 Free Writing Contests: Legitimate Competitions With Cash Prizes. Or, “over three dozen excellent free poetry and prose contests with deadlines between May 15-June 30.”

If you’re looking to up your submission game, Toni Fitzgerald has posted Five things literary journal editors want you to know (plus their best tips for submitting). One notable takeaway: “You can submit speculative fiction even at journals that haven’t traditionally published the genre.”

More recently, Meredith Allard has posted Six Tips for an Outstanding Literary Journal Submission. She advises, “It takes discipline to keep reworking a piece until it’s polished and ready to submit, especially since the revising process can take weeks or even months. Still, you don’t want to rush the submitting process.”

In Your Final Responsibility to Your Story: Creative Stewardship, Jessica Conoley advises writers to “acknowledge this beautiful shiny thing as an entity entirely separate from you…By detaching, we take I and me out of the equation, which eliminates the problems of self-doubt, imposter syndrome, and fear of personal rejection.”

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If you’d like to get more involved behind the scenes with a lit mag, now’s a great time. The Asian American Writers’ Workshop is seeking a Managing Editor. “This is a great opportunity for an enthusiastic and detail-oriented editor with a love for Asian diasporic literature to help shape the future of a growing literary magazine.”

Ruminate Magazine is seeking an Editor. “Reporting to the Conservator of Ruminate, the Editor is responsible for overseeing production of the print magazine, mentoring and supporting the magazine contract staff editors, and working closely with the operations team to ensure the print quality, accuracy, and on-schedule publication of each issue.”

Pithead Chapel is seeking Assistant Editors. “Would you like to read submissions for an online literary journal? We’re seeking writers of nonfiction to join our staff as assistant editors. We especially encourage BIPOC writers to apply.”


If you’re looking for more markets for your work (because who is afraid of submitting? Not you!), Erika Dreifus has a list of no-fee, paying markets. S. Kalekar has posted 20 Poetry Markets Open to Submissions this May 2021. Erica Verrillo has gathered 57 Calls for Submissions in June 2021 - Paying markets. And if you fancy yourself funny, check out this fabulous list of 50+ Humor Writing Websites to Read and Submit To.

Lastly, if you’re interested in learning more about a bevy of journals, interviews are always a wonderful guide. If you haven’t already discovered it, be sure to look into LitHub’s Interview with a Journal series. Here you’ll find interviews with the Editors of The Yale Review, The Kenyon Review, NOON, Zyzzyva, and many more.

Speaking of which, a handful of interviews are coming up right here at Lit Mag News Roundup. Some dates to save:

On Sunday, June 6th at 4pm est, I will be speaking with Sarah Wells, Founder & Curator of We Are All Guests Here, a mail art project through the Glass Garage Collective

On Monday, June 8th at 11 am est, I’ll talk with with Josh Roark, Editor of Frontier Poetry

On Thursday, June 18th at 3pm est, I’ll speak with Luiza Flynn-Goodlett, Editor of Foglifter

And on Thursday June 3rd at 2pm est, I will be doing a Q & A with you! By this I mean, I will be online and ready to answer all your questions about lit mag submitting. Learn more here.

All of these conversations will take place over Zoom. The live interviews and recordings are available exclusively to paying subscribers to this newsletter. If you’re not already, becoming one is easy.

(And if you’re already a subscriber, be sure to be on the lookout for zoom invitations, coming soon.)

And that you dear derelicts of duties you would peacefully prefer not to do, you clever schemers conspiring your way through various conscientious objections, you righteous refuseniks, you radical resistors of various wrong-headed regimens, you with your heart in your throat but with tricks up your sleeve, you swimming through a storm of ever-unknown not-yous to find all you can say yes to, yes, you, out there, with your art-heart open, your literary fires fuming, you with longing in your lungs and lustful hunger in your, well, baby, you know…you everywhere, everyday, saying no to the ridiculous but yes to the glorious, full of creative forever mind-melting wonder as you dazzle love songs through the dusty hum of your days, you always, in your glasses, eternally magnifying the mundane to see all that is unbelievably miraculous and astonishingly magnificent, is the news in literary magazines.

Have a most amazing week, pals.



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