In creative non-fiction, we’re looking for much the same characteristics as our fiction—writing that is surprising, descriptive, and unusual.  - Emma Nichols, editor of Petrichor Review
Greetings Lit Magucumbers,

Did you know that Amazon now has its own publishing imprint? "Little A," writes Publishers Weekly, is "an imprint that, although it happens to be owned by a multibillion-dollar company, could just as easily be a niche indie in a Brooklyn basement." Imprint editor Ed Park, who helped launch The Believer, says he "likes work that is 'complicated' on some level." Park also works on Amazon's new lit mag, Day One

Speaking of editors, The Washington Post reports this week that Electric Literature is "relaunching by aligning itself with the way most people interact with the site." Gigantic Magazine editor Lincoln Michel has recently joined the staff as the online editor. 

What insights into publishing have editors been proffering lately? At the North American Review, the editors write, "Lit mags that accept online submissions are getting swamped with submissions. Swamped. Maybe even buried. Even with explicit 'no simultaneous submissions' is pretty evident that writers are sending their work to several different journals...What this means for editors is a spike in submissions since going electronic. As a result (like many other lit mags), we’ve had to decrease our reading period to the academic year."

On the Gulf Coast blog, Frances Post (Gulf Coast poetry editor) advises poets on how to put a manuscript together. "I am not ashamed to tell you that my debut book of poetry, Beast, was rejected 70+ times...before it was finally accepted." Post advises, "Make your book invincible and clear."

At Scholastic, Nancy Barile encourages school teachers to try to put together a lit mag. She writes, "A literary magazine is a fairly inexpensive way to provide students with a voice, as well as an audience for their writing. In these times of standardized testing, the literary magazine provides a great opportunity for students to write creatively and explore topics outside of the classroom." 

The summer is nearly upon us. But, now that you may have more time to submit, which journals are open? Writer Diane Lockward has put together a list of "Summer Journals A-F." And if you want to save your hard-earned bread, here is a list of "25 Literary Magazines You Can Submit to Without a Reading Fee." 

Two lit mags got some nice press this week: at The Anxiety of Authorship, Summerset Review editor Joseph Levens discusses "The Literary Magazine Process (and Struggles)." Says Levens, "We really don’t have a slush pile. All submissions are objectively evaluated. We do not solicit, and we take pride in that." And in HuffPo, Cobalt editor Andrew Keating discusses his roles as publisher, editor and writer. Says Keating, "[I] don't think there is a specific style that Cobalt looks for overall. Each editor has total control, which makes our publication a hodgepodge of cool and exciting new work."

If you are the author of a YA book, reviewer Zara Adcock wants you to find her. Zara reviews books for Thailand magazine Approach. She hopes to "spread the word that there [are] plenty of books for children and teens to read, and enjoy!" Read about Zara's quest to review YA books and get her contact deets here

As for us, when we're not topping our favorite flavors of ice cream with generous helpings of indecision and self-scrutiny, we are attaching lit mags to our ceiling fans and laughing as they whirl wildly around our rooms. This week Chelsey Clammer reviews Salt Hill, whose spring issue features an interview with Mary Karr and George Saunders. And Christopher Lowe reviews Sewanee Review, a Tennessee lit mag founded in 1892!

Our interview this week is with Emma Nichols, founder of Petrichor Review (and that sunglasses-sporting sweet one up there to your right). And our publishing tip comes from a whole bevy of fantastic folks: "Ah, Cover Letters: Do They Even Really Matter?

Finally, our May classifieds are up for just a few days more, people. Check out these contest deadlines before they roll on by. 

And that you love-a-lot bears, you bears who stare, you cloud dwellers and adventure seekers, you who come down from the sky to make sure all the humans are being nice, you who radiate rainbows, you who emit light from your adorable round bellies, you funshine bears, birthday bears and laugh-a-lot (a lot a lot) bears, and you there, rubbing your chin, not getting any of these references because, clearly, you were not a child in the eighties who watched way too much TV, is the news in literary magazines.

Have a warm and caring week, pals.


Interview with Emma Nichols—Editor of Petrichor Review

The literary and arts online journal Petrichor Review is the love child of three young editors “digging for viscera, for the fleshy inner-workings of things.” Petrichor means the scent of rain on dry earth and the editors believe “writing and art are forces for joy and illumination, but only if observed.” Editor in Chief Emma Nichols, along with Poetry Editor Pete Viola and Fiction Editor Sean Case, want to feature writers and artists who would “defamiliarize” them and show them “what it means to create art.” The editors want work that will “intrigue and surprise through writing that is evocative, distinct, and unconventional.”

Emma Nichols enjoys writing that makes her feel elated, upset, uncertain, disturbed, intrigued, in love, and a little bit turned on. She loves being shown the strange hiding within the mundane. Her favorite punctuation mark is the oxford comma, closely followed by the semi-colon.

Interview by Stanley Trice

Review of Salt Hill, Spring 
2014 by Chelsey Clammer
Conventional (i.e. not experimental), 
Theme issue

We at The Review Review have been wondering: Do cover letters matter?

So we asked this question on Facebook:

To anyone who works or has ever worked at a literary magazine, how important are the cover letters?

Here is what people said...

Join Columbia College’s Steven Teref online this June for Conceptual Writing: A Pre-Existing Condition. Concoct conceptual strategies à la Kenneth Goldsmith’s Traffic, Caroline Bergvall’s “VIA (36 Dante Translations),” and Vanessa Place’s Statement of Facts. Just five seats remain!
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