Smells Like Lit Mag Spirit!
My role in Bad Art Friend, Slice Magazine closing, Bellevue Lit Review & Ploughshares anniversaries, new mystery story anthology, approachable lit mags, mags for hybrid work and more
Greetings Lit Magarazzi,
As many of you likely know, a short story published in the lit mag American Short Fiction and on Audible.com has dominated the airwaves for the past two weeks. The public discourse arose in response to Robert Kolker’s article, “Who is the Bad Art Friend?” The article concerns the ongoing legal dispute between two writers. It has resonated with people for a range of reasons, one of which is the light it casts on cliquishness and abuses of power within the literary world.
I have been personally involved in this situation. You can view my statement on the matter here:
In other news, Slice has announced its closing, citing “pandemic-related changes [that] have made it impossible to sustain the nonprofit.” Since their 2007 founding, they’ve published “879 writers in 27 issues of Slice [and] more than 100 debut stories, essays, and poems, and work in 25 languages.” Their final issue will appear this winter.
If you’re a lover of mystery stories, the Best Mystery Stories anthology has been released. Stories here were chosen from lit mags such as Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and The Strand Magazine. “This is not a collection for those seeking historical fiction - there's little romance but significant violence and bloodshed.”
And, it’s not every day that CNN talks about lit mags and poetry. A recent article covers “a new golden age, with young writers of color taking the lead.” Pulitzer-prize winning poet Tyehimba Jess cites the importance of “organizations like Obsidian, a literary magazine dedicated to work from the African Diaspora, and the Watering Hole, a writing retreat for poets of color from the South.”
Meanwhile, several lit mags have birthdays coming up. Bellevue Literary Review will celebrate its 20th year in print this fall. The magazine’s co-founder Danielle Ofri “believed it was important to start a literary magazine at the country's oldest public hospital because storytelling, she says, is an undervalued aspect to her profession.” The magazine will host a free Anniversary Gala tonight.
Ploughshares is turning 50. The journal was founded in 1971, at the small bar in Cambridge, MA, the Plough and Stars. A virtual reception for the journal will take place on October 21st, featuring many authors and past guest editors.
Searching for gainful employ in the fast-paced industry of literary magazine publishing? The Poetry Foundation is seeking an editor for its journal, Poetry. “The Editor will work collaboratively with the Foundation President, Board of Trustees, and staff, as well as stakeholders, poets, and educators, to ensure Poetry magazine is meeting the needs of the audiences and artists it serves.”
As for those of you looking for lit mags to love, this interview with Ye Chun might be of interest. Chun discusses the importance of recognition from editors at Bitter Oleander, Threepenny Review, Denver Quarterly, The Georgia Review, and Michigan Quarterly Review.
If you’re feeling shy, Authors Publish has a list of 20 Approachable Literary Journals. “All of the literary journals in this list accept between 30 and 50% of what is submitted to them, and a few have a higher acceptance rate. So the odds of your work being accepted just went up.”
And if you’re feeling experimental, here is a list of 16 Literary Magazines Accepting Hybrid and Experimental Work - Paying Markets. “If you are a writer who does not like to be hampered by the constraints of genre or style, here are more than a dozen literary magazines that are happy to pay for your untrammeled artistic expression.”
Finally, in case you missed them, I’ve posted three new editor interviews. Here is my chat with Patricia Murphy, Editor of Superstition Review. Here I am yukking it up with Lisa Ampleman, Editor of Cincinnati Review. And here I talk to Iris Law & Mia Mahotra, Editors of Lantern Review. You can view more past interviews here.
As a reminder, I will be speaking with Anna Leahy and Claudine Jaenichen, Editors of Tab Journal tomorrow (10/19). And I will be running our first ever Submissions Study Hall on October 29th! Full details here.
And that you sons and lovers, you who are beloved, you so very often filled with pride yet also now and then the victim of prejudice, you who have lived in solitude for one hundred years and you who have seen the most infinite of jests performed in cold, cold blood, you whose world is brave yet new, you who believed for so long that it can’t happen here, you out there with your crimes and punishments, your secret histories, the bonfire of your vanities, you, everywhere you, swimming to the lighthouse with your heart full of great expectations, all the while knowing that things fall apart amidst war and peace and within the book of laughter and forgetting, is the news in literary magazines.
Have a most thoughtful week, pals.
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