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Rumpus Founder Stephen Elliot on mob mentality; Derek Owusu on Granta's lists; Drift profile; advice on submissions & copyright for writers; job at Georgia Review; lit mags closing & more
Welcome to our bi-weekly news roundup!
Greetings Lit Magregation,
Hobart is a lit mag that does not shy away from controversial subjects. Last week, the online journal ran an interview with The Rumpus Founding Editor Stephen Elliot, entitled Nobody Remembers Participating in a Mob. In the interview, Elliot discusses his early-2000’s work with McSweeney’s, his books, his work at The Rumpus, as well as the accusations that derailed his life and career and his successful lawsuit against the creator of The Shitty Media Men List, which Elliot calls “the perfect false accusation machine.”
The only way to judge The Shitty Media Men List is the obvious way. It’s a media blacklist full of anonymous accusations. History has shown us over and over that these kind of lists are never good. People defending a media blacklist full of anonymous accusations are defending something indefensible.
But like I said, people don’t remember joining a mob, which to me is one of the most interesting things I learned. The people who participated and supported the list, most of them, have no memory of doing so. And I know this because I’ve confronted a bunch of them. You might think they’re lying when they deny their participation but I’m certain they’re not. I’m certain they have no memory of it.
As for writing, Elliot says, “I’m not sure if I’ll write again. I tend to avoid literary gatherings and literary people.”
Speaking of lists, many writers dream of being included by Granta on one of their prestigious ones. But in a recent piece for GQ, Derek Owusu opens up about how being named one of the magazine’s Best Young British Novelists “left him feeling jaded and self-conscious.”
When I’m writing, my focus is crafting the best sentence and emotional resonance I can: incremental moments that lead up to something whole resembling a story…Now the discourse around the Granta list has faded, I feel I am back to where I was, and nothing has changed – which I like….I do hope for my work to be valued, understood and, ideally, live on after I’m gone; for them to have some sort of legacy. But what I learned this year is that no listing or prize will give that to me.
Another writer on Granta’s BYBN list was Thomas Morris. In this recent interview he talks about his writing and the magazine he formerly edited, Ireland’s Stinging Fly, where he was the first to publish author Sally Rooney, among others. Asked how The Stinging Fly “find[s] so many great authors,” Morris replies,
In Britain, the arts are still up for question – like, should we support them? Whereas in Ireland it feels like they’re important a priori – we’re going to support them. If I’m a writer in Wales wanting to send out work, where do I go? In Ireland, I could send it to the Dublin Review, Banshee, Gorse, the Tangerine, the Stinging Fly. More and more writers from Britain look to get their start here because there aren’t necessarily those outlets in the UK.
Back in the U.S., the co-Founders of The Drift, Kiara Barrow and Rebecca Panovka, were profiled in Harvard Magazine. Writes Nancy Walecki,
As The Drift’s influence increases, how will they keep it outside the literary mainstream, to which it was formed as an alternative? The best way, they say, is to stay true to their founding principles: publish new writers and surprising ideas.
Also getting press recently is that indefatigable duo over at Chill Subs. In this recent BookFight podcast episode, “We talk with the creators of Chill Subs…about the state of lit mags, why finding places to submit your work is such a chore, and why they created a site that attempts to make it easier.”
Over in the Twitterverse, or the X-verse, or whatever that place is called now, writer Brecht De Poortere posted a great question.
Responses ranged from one rejection to twenty years of rejections, and came from both writers and editors, so it’s worth having a look. Or share your own thoughts on the matter below.
Lori gives some great advice here, including what it may mean if a journal will not negotiate, and under what circumstances writers ought to try to negotiate details of a contract.
In the realm of closings, Minerva Rising Press has announced on its Facebook page that it will be ceasing publication of Minerva Rising journal. It will, however, continue publishing its online mag The Keeping Room. From the editors:
We spent time analyzing how to best use our resources and consequently made some tough decisions. One of those decisions is letting go of the literary journal. Though it is where it all began, the ever growing cost of paper and postage has made it cost prohibitive to continue. We are grateful for the opportunity to have published such amazing work and for all our contributors. However, we will still be accepting submissions for our online magazine, The Keeping Room.
The editor of Reservoir Road Literary Review and CLOVES Literary also announced closings.
For those of you looking for lit mag opportunities:
The Georgia Review is seeking a Marketing and Outreach Manager.
The Borderline has many open staff positions.
Milkdromeda Review seeks an Art Editor.
For those of you seeking homes for your latest & greatest:
Check out the newsletter earlier this month for great listings.
Check out the Sub Club newsletter, where they are doing an amazing job of classifying lit mags in all sorts of helpful writer-friendly ways.
Authors Publish has 30 Literary Magazines Accepting Creative Nonfiction and 37 Wonderful International Literary Journals.
As for us, things are just getting underway with editor interviews and other fun stuff. In case you missed it (or lost it), here is what’s coming up this month and next. Events this week include an interview with CRAFT Editor Courtney Harler this Wednesday, August 23rd and a Lit Mag Chat this Friday, August 25th.
In case you missed it (or lost it), the registration-links for subscriber-only events can be found here:
As for the reader poll, the results are in! Looks like most people would prefer to read an unthemed issue of Ecotone for our Lit Mag Reading Club. (Full disclosure: This is what I prefer to. Not because I don’t love oceans. I love them madly. But I think an unthemed issue may give us a better overview of what the journal publishes generally.)
Speaking of the Lit Mag Reading Club, by now those of you participating should all be enjoying your discounted copy of Gettysburg Review. If not, there is still plenty of time to order it!
The year’s line-up of lit mags for the reading club is still being finalized. But it most definitely will include some great ones. All I can say for now, friends, is, GET READY.
And that you cucumber-cool copers and solid self-assured stress-taker-on’ers, you dealing with the deluge of daily overwhelm, you managing the mighty and many copious complexities, you juggling a deluge of incomprehensibles, you staring into the abyss and wondering if, as it looks back at you, it may also be a poem—(the answer is yes, it is, in fact, a poem)—you watching the ever-whirlpool swirl of the paved road of someone else’s best intentions, you who can’t comprehend it, you who can barely unthink it, you working your darnedest to make sense of what can only be said to boggle the mind, and boggle it harder, you and you, everywhere, still and continually trying, holding so much in your open palms, making meaning, meaning what you make, gracefully asking and asking for grace, grateful, even still, even now, even again, is the news in literary magazines.
Have an amazing week, pals.
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