People are Strange When You're a Lit Mag!
Ongoing plagiarism scandal; surviving AWP; River Styx relaunches; new children's mag; the future of African mags; advice for family members of writers; free class on submitting; jobs & more
Welcome to our bi-weekly news roundup!
Greetings Lit Magistrates,
The lit mag and small press arena continues to be rattled by repeated plagiarist John Kucera. I covered the situation when the story first broke here. Since then, more venues have identified work that they published as plagiarized by Kucera or seen submissions by Kucera in their queue. Several lit mags have had to issue apologies to their readers and/or re-configure their productions entirely.
(The above post is abridged. Click the image to read the full post.)
Here are a few additional thoughts and constructive ideas from Michael Czyniejewski:
Meanwhile, the poets whose work was stolen continue to reel from the experience.
Have you been dealing with particular scandal as a lit mag? As a poet? What is going on here?
In other news, AWP is next week! If you are new to the conference, here are some places where you can find advice:
Making the Most of an AWP Conference in 5 Easy Steps by Milda De Voe
AWP Advice from a Young Curmudgeon by Vincent Scarpa
So You're Attending the AWP Conference for the First Time by Paul Pedroza
Advice for the AWP Newbie from an AWP Oldie by Suzanne Roberts
Then too there is this helpful suggestion I found when doing a Google search for “AWP advice:”
Moving along, a whole lot of lit mags have gotten press recently.
River Styx appears to be re-launching. Reports Ashley Klein,
In 2022…the future of the journal looked bleak. The organization collapsed when River Styx’s then editor-in-chief and executive board submitted near-simultaneous resignations. Following the rocky years of the pandemic, the board and staff could not come to a consensus in charting a financial and strategic path forward. With no one left to run the organization, a hiatus became inevitable. Months later, however, former co-presidents of the executive board Deborah Taffa and Bryan Castille (now editor-in-chief and managing editor, respectively) began planning a resurrection…The magazine plans to produce an annual print edition…and a spring 2024 print issue is currently in the works. Efforts are also underway to digitize archived editions dating back to the inaugural 1975 issue.
The Journal, Ohio State’s lit mag, is celebrating fifty years of publication. Reports Anna Pichler, “Established in 1973 by [writer and professor] Bill Allen…The Journal will commemorate this golden anniversary in a forthcoming issue…”
Emergence Magazine has a podcast, which was featured in Lit Hub. This magazine
is an online publication with annual print edition exploring the threads connecting ecology, culture, and spirituality. As we experience the desecration of our lands and waters, the extinguishing of species, and a loss of sacred connection to the Earth, we look to emerging stories. Our podcast features exclusive interviews, narrated essays, stories and more.
If there’s a creative little one in your life, you might like knowing about Wild Honey, a new children’s magazine to be launched by profs at BYU. Reports Emily May,
BYU English professors Ann Dee Ellis and Chris Crowe are currently organizing Wild Honey, a literary magazine publishing fiction and poetry for children ages 6-12. The professors anticipate publishing the magazine’s first issue in Winter 2025.
“Here at BYU, we have a lot of writing for young readers,” Ellis said. “We have Inscape, which is an amazing literary magazine, but I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if we had a children’s magazine coming out of the university that would focus on literary fiction and poetry for kids?’”
At Afrocritic, Chimezie Chika asks “Are African Literary Magazines Moving in the Right Direction?”
The global problem confronting literary magazines today is the problem of funding. All other problems circle back to this…In the West, magazines are sustained by universities, art grants, subscriptions and private funding. Even with these support systems, we have seen great magazines like Glimmer Train and The Believer close down. In Africa, the problem is even more complex. Caught up in the tight financial fallout, African magazines such as The Republic are putting up paid firewalls. And one cannot blame them. African universities are not supporting literary journals. There are little or no vested institutions of state that endow the work of literary magazines. We have a rapidly disappearing middle class that is more concerned with fighting the possibility of a sudden descent into multidimensional poverty than indulging in magazine subscription. One more thing: we have an increasingly philistine culture averse to the arts.
And, just when you thought no one reads stories in lit mags, The Washington Post served up this advice column in which a dad writes for help from Carolyn Hax:
My daughter has been casually hurtful in the past in ways that seemed deliberate, and I think she may be doing so again. Two of her short stories were recently published in a prestigious literary magazine. She emailed me the stories a few days ago.
Using a pen name, she falsely depicts me as an indifferent, uncaring, completely absent father…
I’m thrilled and immensely proud of my daughter for getting published (and have told her so), but I’m deeply hurt. I hate to make it all about me, but did she depict me as a disengaged dad intending to be hurtful? What other conclusion is there?
I have no advice for this dad, but Daughter: If you’re out there and listening, I hope you’ll be part of our community here at Lit Mag News. I hope you will share links to your published work so we can unreservedly celebrate your successes!
Speaking of advice…
Rattle Editors Tim Green and Katie Dozier talk all things poetry submissions, and One Art Editor Mark Danowsky discusses his own recent article, “Dear Lit Mags: Stop Making Submission Guidelines So Complicated” at Rattle’s podcast, The Poetry Space.
Chill Subs Co-Founder Ben Davis will be teaching a (free!) class on lit mag submissions, Sorry For the Inconvenience — A Submitter's Guide To Lit Mags. “This course is not about writing advice. I am here because you have three choices ahead of you, blog it, bury it, or submit it. Since you're here, I'm going to assume you've chosen option three, so let's talk about how you do that.”
And finally, I’ve told you all about Blacklist Lit. This is a new site that lists magazines (and now residencies too, it seems) that are not on the up and up. If you’ve got intel on a magazine not behaving ethically, go on and report the magazine to them. At this time they are also asking for information specifically about Red Noise Collective, The Bangalore Review and Writing Knights Press.
For those of you looking for gainful employ in the hot landscape of little magazines:
Practicing Anthropology seeks a Poetry Editor.
West Trade Review has open positions.
Bellevue Literary Review seeks Poetry and Nonfiction Editors.
A Public Space has openings for editorial fellows.
The Adroit Journal has open positions.
Yellow Arrow Publishing has several open positions.
For those of you looking for homes for your latest & greatest, here are some resources from earlier this month. (From now on, I’ll be sharing these resources only once a month.) (Because these emails are getting long!) (And because I think many of you know by now where to find markets for your work.) (And if you don’t know, come on out to one of our monthly Lit Mag Chats!)
As for us, we will wrap up this month’s Lit Mag Reading Club selection of American Short Fiction with an editor interview tomorrow, Jan 30th at 12 pm est. You can learn more about that here.
I have not yet posted our schedule for February. I will do so later this week. Keep your eyes peeled for that!
For our February Lit Mag Reading Club we will be reading Bellevue Literary Review. I’m very excited to dive into this magazine! You can learn more about the Reading Club and get the discount code to order your copy of BLR here:
And that you divine deities and dazzling demi-gods, you darling do-gooders doubled over in your daily downward dog as you duly dedicate yourself to the dualism of the ever-present mind-body voodoo lounge, you tuckers in of your tailbone, you who boldly triangle-pose your troubles away (or at least attempt to triangulate them), you who are in with your in-breath, you who are out with your out-breath, you who are halfway through a Bikram class stark raving sweaty mad while incense burns and burns, you in need of a rest, you so very deserving of deep relaxation while someone else mans the mantra machine, you who are a tree, you who are a corpse, you and you, everywhere, made up of the most precious gem-stacked vertebrae and oxygenated cells, you everywhere, with life flowing through you because it’s just this one, yes, only this one, essential and now, and for only such a short star-splattered moonlit and sun-risen time, only yours and only here so make of it what you will, you crows, you flying pigeons, you cat-cows, you angels, is the news in literary magazines.
Have a most wonderful week, pals.
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