Category Archives: Blog

July 16, 2018

Interview of Meghan O’Toole, winner of LitMag’s Virginia Woolf Award in Short Fiction for 2018

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LitMag: This will be your first publication.  What was it like when you heard the news that you won the contest?

O’Toole: To be honest, I was shocked. I had just been rejected from all the M.F.A. programs I applied to, and I was feeling stuck. The news that I was accepted for publication validated me as a writer, and when I found out about winning the award, I thought I was going to pass out. It was the best news that came at just the right time in my life because I was questioning my decision to pursue writing. I am looking forward to applying to more graduate programs with a better resume in a year or two. This award and publication will help with that, which was my first thought when I received the news. (more…)

March 15, 2018

LitMag #2 Is Here — and On Its Way

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Litmag #2 Is here! We received a box of advance copies yesterday. Today copies are being mailed out to subscribers.

Copies are being shipped to the distributor warehouses, which means copies should hit the shelves at Barnes & Noble across the country within the next two weeks (a few days at the warehouses, reshipping to the bookstores, a few days in cartons at the book stores…). So give it a couple weeks, then ask if you don’t see it.

Someone recently wrote us, “Dear Lovely LitMag….”  Well, we’re trying. Let us know what you think of issue #2

Our deep thanks and gratitude to all of our contributors: Jamel Brinkley, Michael Byers, Christopher DeWeese, Chelsea Dingman, Denis Donoghue, Mindy Friddle, DeWitt Henry, Logan Newby (debut), Sigrid Nunez, Lynda Sexson, George Singleton, Michelle Sleater (debut), Cutter Streeby, Ojo Taiye, Justine Taylor, Lee Upton, Matthew Vollmer.

Subscribe today. Or head to your Barnes & Nobel in a couple of weeks. (We might eschew Amazon, for so many reasons).

Get your copy.  Hold it in your hands.

January 31, 2018

Submission Fee

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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 submissions than we can handle with our small staff. We will therefore begin charging for submissions. We will have a window for free submissions so that LitMag remains an opportunity open to all writers.

January 2, 2018

LitMag’s Virginia Woolf Award for Short Fiction is now closed

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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) (more…)

December 29, 2017

Bad News for Literary Magazines: No More Ubiquity

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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…)

October 13, 2017

LitMag at McNally Jackson on 10/12/17

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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.

August 28, 2017

LitMag in Barnes & Noble

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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!

May 25, 2017

LitMag Turns One

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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…)

January 23, 2017

Slush

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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…)

September 21, 2016

Good Wishes

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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…)