LitMag has been accepting submissions without any fees for almost two years. Our first year, we were open for 11 months, this year 8 months. Kenyon Review, in contrast, is now open only 1.5 months, Virginia Quarterly Review for only 1 month. Since we opened for submissions, a number of other literary magazines have shrunk their submission periods. And with so many of the top literary magazines either closed to submissions for most of the year or charging fees, or both, LitMag is now receiving more fiction submissions than we can handle with our small staff. On February 1, 2018, we will therefore begin charging for fiction submissions. Submissions in poetry, nonfiction and LitMag Online will remain free. And we will have a window for free fiction submissions so that LitMag remains an opportunity open to all writers.
LitMag’s Virginia Woolf Award for Short Fiction is now closed. Winners and finalists will be announced on March 31, 2018.
Below are the guidelines.
First Prize: $3,500, publication in LitMag, and agency review
Second Prize: $1,000 and agency review
Finalists: Five finalists will receive $100 each.
Agency review by Sobel Weber Associates (clients include: Viet Thanh Nguyen, Richard Russo, Laura Lee Smith)
All finalists will be considered for possible agency review.
All entries will be considered for publication.
Deadline extended to January 2, 2018.
Contest Fee: $20.
Submission Guidelines: Entries must be short stories between 3,000 and 8,000 words. Please use 12pt type, preferably Times New Roman, and submit your short story as either a Word doc or a PDF. Only previously unpublished short stories are eligible. Writers may submit multiple stories, each of which requires a separate submission. Submissions through Submittable only.
Notification: The contest will be judged by the editors of the magazine. The winning short stories and finalists will be announced publicly on our Web site and social media as well as by email to all contestants in March of 2018.
We received an email from Joseph Massey, the owner of Ubiquity, the Brooklyn-based distributor of literary magazines to independent bookstores for almost forty years. The bad news: Ubiquity Distributors is going to be closing.
In the few phone calls we’ve had with him, Massey was always a siren for what is wrong in the literary magazine world. The most glaring example: university book stores refusing to sell the literary magazines sponsored by the very same universities they’re book stores for.
Diminished sales. Leading to refusal to stock. Leading to…well, now it’s led to the end of Ubiquity. Not a good spiral. (more…)
Thank you to all who came out to join us in celebrating the first issue of LitMag. It was a thrill to offer readings by Chinelo Okparanta, Bette Pesetsky, Sarah Wang, Jonathan Greenhause, and Emily Saso. It was standing room only, and there was something in the air.
Those in attendance were there for the same reason we started LitMag, A hunger for words. A hunger to read them. A hunger to hear them—words put together in ways you haven’t seen or heard before, with sounds and rhythms that have both skillful and mysterious effects, words that deliver not only stories but visions. It is a hunger that binds us all.
We cannot say how thankful we are to all of the contributors to our first issue. They entrusted us, a new, yet-to-be-published literary magazine, with their work. We were honored and grateful, and we remain so.
The first issue of LitMag is on the shelves at Barnes & Noble across the country, and it’s selling well, better than even we had hoped. We want to thank every one of you who has purchased a copy, every one of you who has told a friend, every one of you who has emailed us or posted on social media to tell us how beautiful it is (cover and layout), and how much you love the stories, essays, and poems.
We started LitMag because we saw a need. And we’re very excited to that so many people saw the same need.
Thank you again for buying LitMag. Let us keep hearing from you. Happy reading!
One year ago today, LitMag opened for submissions. Many thousands of submissions later, we are sending Issue 01 off to the printer. It has been a very heartening year.
A devotion to the literary life.
Respect for writers.
These two principles motivated us. We thought there was a need. And the literary community has shown us that there is indeed a need for LitMag. Readers started subscribing back in October 2016, a full six months before we were scheduled to publish a single word. Great writers believed in us and sent us their work. Unpublished writers believed that we were going to be the literary magazine that would devote itself to their bold new voices. (more…)
It’s been a couple thousand submissions since we last blogged. Guess we’ve been taking care of priorities first—which means reading all the stories, poems and essays writers have been sending our way. One can get wonderfully lost in the slush pile. We recently accepted a poem by an unpublished Brooklyn poet. That was a good day here at LitMag.
Oh, about slush. We just read somewhere something by an editor from one of the other journals, perhaps in one of the reviews named after a state, but don’t hold us to it, something about the need to stop calling it slush. Something about slush being that ugly dirty concoction of impure snow on the streets of northern states long after the storm has passed. But slush isn’t a dirty word at all. It just depends how you tend to it. We can’t say how others tend to theirs. But we dive in, and we do our best to respond within two months, and we dance ourselves silly when we find something we didn’t know we were looking for and it makes our heads spin. Guess we think of slush more the way kids think of snow. You just want to get your hands in it, lie in it, bring some of it home. (more…)
We had to get this in, our last blog post of the summer, on the last day of summer, where here in NYC it hit 85 degrees. We have been very busy reading submissions (well, more than very busy). And we’ve been reading more than just your submissions. We’ve also been receiving expressions of excitement about LitMag as well as good wishes.
Good wishes go a long way with editors who are reading tirelessly. And we want to thank all of you who’ve been taking the time to cheer us on as we do our labors. Good wishes make us feel good.
Here’s one example: “Thanks for doing what you do – thanks for making author compensation a priority, thanks for not charging submission fees. I’m looking forward to the first issue!” (more…)
We started accepting submissions only eight weeks ago. And since then we’ve been receiving many and wonderful submissions.
We dedicated ourselves to making LitMag a meaningful addition to the literary landscape, and to do this we need writers who can make it meaningful. And you have, and you are.
We dedicated ourselves to charging no fee for submissions to our print and online journals. We dedicated ourselves to paying our writers, and paying them well (and fast), in the belief that fine writing deserves remuneration. We dedicated ourselves to the hard work and splendor of the slush pile (which we think of as a grand opportunity with no negative connotations). Every day, in many journals, unknown writers are found. But we believe we are making a special effort with our slush pile. It has been only eight weeks, and you – our submitters, our community – have responded in the way we had hoped when we launched. (more…)
As you ponder liberty and independence this long weekend, and perhaps think of liberty in some relation to your ability to read, and perhaps to write, we recommend to you highly these two fine interviews on reading and writing and the strictures and freedoms of the writing life.
Here’s a snippet from Gary Shteyngart’s interview of Sam Lipsyte in 2011:
“People no longer have to fake reading books the way they used to. There’s no basic assumption from which to work from anyway. So, very urbane, literate people talk about video games at cocktail parties. That’s the new Dickens — it’s Halo. Dickens—it’s Halo.”