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Editor interviews; new speculative fiction mag; writer conference in Philly; submissions advice; new workshop; hundreds of markets for your work; and more
Welcome to our bi-weekly news roundup!
Greetings Lit Magispheres,
Happy Labor Day.
We talk so much about how to go about submitting to lit mags, I thought some of you might find a recent interview in BOMB Magazine of interest. Here, Robbie Meyers interviews poet and journal editor Michael Chang. On publication strategy Chang says,
Magazines always say “read our issues to find out what we like” but that’s BS. First of all, the art must be good, so I’d focus on making sure that part is squared away, rather than tailoring the art to some magazine because you want it to appear in. It’s understandable, though—there are certain magazines that everyone wants to get in, and they’re usually old-school and dusty.
On some of the work being published in lit mags today:
I didn’t start this process with friends from the industry, and I still don’t think I have many friends within it, but I have a lot of people who respect me. Part of it is the challenge of editors publishing their friends. When an issue is stuffed with work by friends of the editors, it’s discouraging to people who work really hard to get that publication’s attention.
Another interview which might be of interest is this conversation with S.L. Wisenberg, author and Editor of Another Chicago Magazine. On the way ACM supports writers, Wisenberg says, “ACM has a section called ‘Forthcoming.’ We excerpt pieces from people’s forthcoming books. That helps small presses (we only do small presses). It makes me feel we’re more a part of this community of small presses.”
Additionally, César Ramos, Founding Editor of Raspa Magazine, was recently profiled here. Writes Zachary McKenzie,
Early in his career as an editor, Ramos began to explore his identity and ultimately came out as gay. His search for published stories that reflected his own experience led him to find a host of works written by women who were, as Ramos puts it, “writing about sexuality and oppression they faced because of their sex.” Although he could relate, somewhat, to these stories, he was frustrated by the lack of queer Latinx literature. “Why can’t I have greater access to some poetry, essays, and nonfiction works that more closely mirror my own existence—my own experience?” he asked, before taking matters into his own hands in 2012. “That was the inspiration for the magazine. My goal was to make queer stories that closely mirror people’s existence more accessible for people to view, understand, and experience.”
[V]isually, as a digital magazine, the team of SWC has done a tremendous job. In his bio, Mehrul Bari, the editor of the magazine, states that he is a visual artist and the website designer. From that, I assumed he might be the man behind the website. And I have to say it is one of the best looking magazine websites I have seen in a long time. Be it in terms of design, the user interface or choice of visuals, the SWC website is top tier.
Finally, if you’re looking to get out and about—and visit lovely Philadelphia!—Barrelhouse will be hosting its annual writing conference on September 23rd.
With your registration you’ll get: the full day conference, including three sessions of panel discussions and craft workshops, your choice of 1 of our 4 featured books, more literary stuff from our partner presses, 1 ticket to speed dating with editors, a 10 minute, and a 1-on-1 meeting with a literary magazine or small press editor.
For those of you seeking gainful employ in the land of lit mags:
Dipity Magazine has a number of volunteer staff positions open.
For you out there seeking homes for your latest & greatest:
The Sub Club newsletter lists, sorts and classifies a head-spinning array of lit mags, including journals with submission windows about to close.
Erika Dreifus’s newsletter offers “85+ carefully curated, fee-free opportunities that pay writers for their fiction, poetry, & nonfiction.”
The latest issue of Poets and Writers Lit MagNet profiles Cleo Qian, whose short fiction “predominantly feature characters from the East Asian diaspora.” Qian found homes for her work in Shenandoah, Witness, as well as Zoetrope where—readers take heart!—she “had submitted to the prize at least three times” until her eventual second-place win in 2022.
Some of you have wondered when the best time might be to submit your work. At Authors Publish Emily Harstone writes,
In general…it’s always best to submit to journals at the start of the month. Many journals close to submissions when they reach caps on their Submittable account, that can be anywhere between 24 hours and 3 weeks of opening to submissions. Of course, some journals never hit these limits. It’s also important to note that even though this article focuses on publishing in literary journals, the same is also true of publishers, and agents. Many of them re-open to submissions in September as well.
Know of other resources to find out about submission calls and contests? Let us know all about it.
Speaking of calls for submissions…Most of you know that I publish a weekly column dedicated to the ins and outs of the lit mag world, written by writers, readers and editors around the world. If you’ve got something to say, a strategy to share, a gripe to explore, a story to tell, I want to hear from you. Pitches welcome. Tell your friends. Click here for more info:
As for the rest of us, later this month there will be an interview with Juli Min, Editor of Shanghai Literary Review, a Submissions Study Hall, a Gettysburg Review Reading Club discussion, and an interview with Lauren Hohle, Managing Editor of Gettysburg Review. You can find more information about these events here.
Registration links, in case you missed them, are here.
And, in case you missed it, the preliminary calendar for our Lit Mag Reading Club is here! This year we will be reading, discussing, and hearing from the editors of Bellevue Literary Review, Ecotone, Zoetrope, American Short Fiction, Florida Review, and more. I’ve already read Gettysburg Review for September (ha! For once I’m far ahead of schedule!) and the issue is honestly gorgeous. I can’t wait to discuss it with all of you in the club!
Lastly, are you thinking of starting a Substack of your own? Do you have a new book coming out and want to start publishing online to build your author platform? Want to enter the fray of online conversations with thoughtful opinion columns of your own?
My friends, I am very excited to be teaching a class with Write or Die this fall. We will cover all these topics, and more, such as how to pitch articles to online venues, how to persevere in the face of rejection, how to come up with new ideas for your newsletter on a regular basis, and even more.
I had the pleasure of teaching this workshop with Creative Nonfiction Magazine for a few years. I love love love teaching this class. I love helping writers find their voices and their passions, and inspiring writers to produce new work on subjects that excite them.
If you’ve wanted to start a Substack and need an extra kick, this could be great for you. If you have any questions at all about this course, you can email Kailey (who runs the program) or reach me directly by replying to this newsletter.
The class begins September 11th. There are a few spots still open. Click below to learn more:
And that you job jugglers hustling through the hushed halls of eternally harried higher-ups, you gigging your way around town in an inverted day-is-night refraction of a world, you with a steady nine-to-five (ha ha, what’s that again?), you whose work never ceases because you’re an around-the-clock wonder, you who shuffle from one thing to another in a state of open endless structure-defying wander, you with your day job, you with your night poems, you out there doing all the myriad, mighty, mundane and magnificent things that in this world maybe don’t bring much money but you who do it anyway because what is money? no, really, what is it? what is money when the cost of not writing is a fee you would never in a million years wish to pay, you in your beautiful sung and unsung hard, hard labor, working, toiling, efforting and making waves from the more-powerful-than-light-itself oceans of your minds, is the news in literary magazines.
Have a most wonderful week, pals.
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