Take Another Little Lit Mag of My Heart Now, Baby!

Instruction for flash fiction writers, support networks for women and BIPOC writers, poetry for women over 50, summer workshops, new places to submit, editor interviews and more.

Greetings Lit Magionnaires,

The newest issue of Poets and Writers covers the ten-year anniversary of Women Who Submit, a group that “supports and empowers its members to submit their work in spite of publishing’s inequities.” “This July, the organization celebrates its tenth year, with twenty-seven chapters across the United States and Mexico, more than one hundred fifty successful book and magazine publication credits by its members in 2020, and a devoted community of writers, editors, and publishers.” Learn more about Women Who Submit here.

This same issue covers PERIPLUS, “a new mentorship collective serving BIPOC writers across the United States.” The collective’s mission is “to provide fellows of all ages with mentoring and guidance so that they can achieve their professional and artistic goals as writers—and a vision: to make the publishing industry more welcoming and accessible to BIPOC writers, who have been historically excluded from it.” If you’e interested in learning more, e-mail peripluscollective@gmail.com


And n+1 has announced a new award for fiction. The Anthony Veasna So Fiction Prize will honor the author, who passed away suddenly this past winter. “Mark Krotov, the publisher of n+1, said that the idea for the prize came when the magazine’s staff was considering who to honor with this year’s Writers’ Fellowship. ‘Anthony was an extremely important writer to n+1,’ Krotov said.” The prize will offer $5k to “an outstanding fiction writer whose work has appeared in n+1, in print, or online.” 

Are you a reader or writer of flash fiction? Did you know that celebrated flash writer Kathy Fish has her own Substack? In her most recent edition she discusses the use of second person in flash. “There’s a weightiness to the second person. Perhaps that’s why we writers love it so much. Think about it: This is not how we tell a story orally! It powerfully conveys a sense of both intimacy and universality.” Fish links to a number of stories in both renowned and lesser-known lit mags, all which use second person.

If you’re working on a story collection, you may want to read this interview with Iwalani Kim of Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. “Before submitting your collection to an agent, it’s a good idea to first submit some—but not all—of the stories for publication in established, highly regarded literary journals and magazines. Publication credits are especially important for writers of story collections, as they demonstrate the strength of each stand-alone story and indicate an existing audience for your work. You’ll want to be sure that at least half of the material you’re submitting hasn’t yet been published.”

This last part was interesting and I’m curious about additional views on the matter. If you’ve got insights, please chime in!

A few lit mags received recent news coverage. In this interview, Gettysburg Review Editor Mark Drew “discusses the challenge of reading through the ‘slush pile’ of over 6,000 submitted manuscripts every year, the dedication of the magazine to nurturing new writers, and the many awards that have been won by the authors who make it in.”

Here Poetry East is profiled, in honor of its 100th issue. “Over the decades, [Editor Richard] Jones has read hundreds of thousands of submitted poems and has seen themes come and go…Through it all, Jones’ eye for the right kind of work for Poetry East has remained steadfast.”

And Trish Hopkinson interviews Linda Blaskey, Editor of Quartet, a poetry journal for women over 50. “Just as there should be no limit to the ways in which people identify as women, so there should be no limit to the audience for their work. We choose to showcase the poetry of women 50 years and older because their work reflects a lifetime and the freedom earned by experience to express it.”

Need more places to submit your darlings? In this interview Alex McElroy discusses the lit mags which helped him “think through and develop my obsessions as a writer.” Eric Scot Tryon has posted twenty of his “favorite online flash publications.” S. Kalekar has listed 33 Themed Calls for Submissions for April 2021. And icymi, some people are discussing their fave lit mags here.

If you’d like to hunker down on your work this summer, you might be interested in American Short Fiction’s “first-ever, limited-entry manuscript consultation and virtual craft series.” Here “Each registrant will receive detailed feedback on their submitted story and attend a series of three live virtual seminars focused on honing and refining their work with an editor’s eye.”

One Story has also extended the deadline to apply to its annual fiction conference. “Twenty-four conference participants will be divided into three intimate eight-student workshop cohorts, each of which will be led by one of our workshop instructors.”

Finally, save the date! I have another upcoming Ask the Editor installment. On Tuesday April 27 @ 11am est, I will be speaking with Marcela Sulak, Editor of The Ilanot Review. “The Ilanot Review is an international journal based in Israel, publishing a variety of poetry, fiction, nonfiction and genres in between.”

(And yes, I have heard your pleas for varied times and days for these interviews. I will have some late-afternoon and weekend chats lined up soon!)

And that you dear writers, struggling to revise and yet feeling so often busted flat, in Baton Rouge, waiting for a train, you for whom every submission is another piece of your heart, just take it, go on, take it, take it you know you want it!, you, dear ones, eagerly awaiting all the easy living of summertime with those jumping fish and good-looking moms, you out there begging the lord to buy you a car while you dive for dollars and make amends and work hard all your lifetime with like literally only five likes on your last Facebook post, you and you, everywhere, working it working it getting it getting it, with your dirty harpoon, your red bandanna, your feeling good that’s good enough for you, and you for whom freedom is just another word for daring to send your work out for publication, is the news in literary magazines.

Have a soul-sweet week, pals.



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