Discover more from Lit Mag News
That's the Power of Lit Mags!
Bad Art Friend conclusion; Whiting Awards; book festivals; poetry scam alert; query letter for poetry books; signs of an unreliable lit mag; lit mags for older writers; jobs & volunteer work; and more
Welcome to the bi-weekly news roundup!
Greetings Lit Magstronauts,
Remember the whole Bad Art Friend situation? The scandal, which captured the attention of many in the literary world and beyond, centered around a short story that was published in a few places, including American Short Fiction. For those who have been curious how the legal case has developed, the judge delivered her findings last week.
Also last week, many prestigious awards were announced. Winners of the Whiting Prize for literary magazines include n+1, Guernica, Orion and others. “Prize-winning magazines are invited to work with the Foundation over the course of three years and receive outright grants of $10,000 - $20,000 in the first year followed by matching grants in the second and third years.”
Mizna, one of the literary magazines that received an award, was profiled here.
Founded in 1999, Mizna — the “parent” platform for the journal — has as its mission “to reflect the depth and multiplicity of our community and (a commitment) to being a space for Arab, Muslim, and other artists from the region to reclaim our narratives and engage audiences in meaningful and artistically excellent art.
Personally, I wish more of the awardees were smaller and lesser-known magazines such as Mizna. Seeing The Paris Review win this award feels a bit like all those years when The Best American Short Stories chose work almost exclusively from The New Yorker and The Atlantic. Sometimes it would be nice to see the love (and money) get distributed a bit more among the little guys.
But hey, what do I know?
The Poetry Foundation announced its 2023 Pegasus Awards “[r]ecognizing poets for achievement in craft, criticism, and service to the literary arts.” Among those is the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, which “recognizes a living US poet for their outstanding lifetime achievement with an award of $100,000. Presented annually, it is one of the most prestigious awards given to American poets and one of the nation's largest literary prizes.”
Meanwhile, ‘tis the season for book festivals! The Boston Book Festival will take place Saturday, October 14th. The Brooklyn Book Festival is the weekend of September 30th (and September 24th for virtual events). You can find a longer list of book festivals by state here. (Not all these festivals feature lit mags and tables with lit mag editors.)
And Barrelhouse’s Conversations & Connections conference is just around the corner, taking place September 23rd. This “is a one-day writer's conference that brings together writers, editors, and publishers in a friendly, supportive environment.” I have just been asked to moderate the editors’ panel, which will include editors from Taco Bell Quarterly, American Short Fiction and more. If you attend the conference, YOU ARE HEREBY REQUIRED TO COME OVER AND SAY HI TO ME.
Other stories that caught my eye this week:
The Guardian profiles Mich Maroney, who launched lit mag Swerve recently, at age 61. “When she turned 60 last year, Maroney decided it was time for the next big challenge – she wanted to set up a literary and arts magazine.”
The Conversation posted a piece on Substack newsletters dedicated to literary topics. “Might Substack newsletters emerge as a viable alternative to print and digital books, and the conventional model of literary publishing?”
At Medium, Janice Harayda asks, “Is It Fair To Ask Writers To Be ‘Good Literary Citizens’?” “In the past decade or so, the phrase ‘a good literary citizen’ has been cropping up in articles about what writers are supposed to be. It’s become a publishing cliché when — that’s right — writers are supposed to avoid clichés.”
On her Substack,has advice on Writing a Query Letter for Your Poetry Book Submission. There is some good advice here for writers of other genres too.
On the ChillSubs Substack,identifies the four “signs of an unreliable literary magazine.” He notes,
Since we were founded in January of last year, 138 magazines have gone defunct or been abandoned. As of writing, there are 2969 active magazines in our database. We have roughly 200 that are currently on hiatus, have expired calls, or are not confirmed as “dead.”
On Twitter, Rattle Editor and Lit Mag News contributor Tim Green raises red flags about Realistic Poetry International.
And at Sub Club, I wrote about my love of saunas, hanging out in hot rooms with people from my neighborhood, and my desire to see lit mags create more space for older writers:
For those of you looking for work in the fast-paced industry of lit mags:
One Story seeks an Assistant Editor.
Changes seeks a Managing Editor.
Oyster River Pages has several open positions.
The Metaworker seeks volunteer readers and interns.
Also, Lit Mag News needs writers! You, dear readers and lit mag lovers, are the churning engine that drives our wonderful weekly Thursday columns. Submit your work! Send me a pitch! All ideas (so long as they’re lit-maggy or sorta kinda lit-mag-adjacent) are welcome. Click the cat to learn more and please tell your friends!
Finally, lots of activity coming up this week.
I’ll be interviewing Shanghai Literary Review Editor Juli Min tomorrow, September 19th at the ungodly hour of 8:30 am est. This interview is free and open to all to attend. Learn more and register here.
On Friday, September 22nd there will be a Submissions Study Hall. And next week will be two events for our Lit Mag Reading Club. The registration links for these subscriber-only events are here.
For our October read in the Lit Mag Reading Club, we’ll be reading Ecotone. Keep your eyes peeled for more information about that later this week!
And that you gorgeous granny smiths, so sour and so sweet, you blushing pink ladies, rounding the curve into your full and magnificent rose-colored bloom, you who are the envy of all your peers, you out there throwing parties so large with so many imaginary characters that every day at the desk is something like a gala, you charmers full of sweet effervescent jazz and pazzazz, you who are so simple, so straightforward, and so reliably red and delicious, you walking on stage in another person’s daydream or movie cameo, you whose beauty is tucked away in a quiet secret hidden rose, you sturdy empires and you valiant liberties, you who have fallen so very far from the tree and you who occasionally bruise far too easily, you and you, everywhere, so versatile, so vital, so undeniably valuable, varied and virtuous and very very good for every single living thing, is the news in literary magazines.
Have a most vibrant week, pals.
Got a question, comment, afterthought, vision board, previous commitment or lipstick trace?
Know some teachers, students, readers, pet lovers, misguided philanthropists, lonely dentists or unsettled window cleaners who need this newsletter right now? Substack posts are still shadow-banned on twitter so every effort to share this work is appreciated!
Want to attend monthly info sessions, join the Lit Mag Reading Club, attend exclusive editor interviews, and help keep this wild project alive forever?
Oh, and check out our new referrals program! Refer 25 people to Lit Mag News and get a free one-year subscription to the site plus a free critique from me on one of your short stories!