(Your daily dose of inspiration, brought to you SLM-style)
Welcome to 2016, guys!
My last letter wasn’t positive or uplifting—and I won’t apologize for that. Pretend I’m a man, just for a second. And then re-read my letter.
WOMEN: stop apologizing for being who you are. Stop, stop, stop. Stop apologizing for writing—or saying a curse word—or for speaking.
Women’s equality is NOT: expecting our reproductive organs to vanish or become perfect—it’s not relinquishing the proper amount of time for maternity/paternity leave, telling a female coworker she should “smile more” or calling a female coworker a moron because she giggled.
Tell me something.
Why is it that statistics show women to be scholastically superior to their male counterparts, yet as adults, we are paid less than they are and pre-judged in job interviews to “know less” than these same male counterparts?
Women writers suffer from a similar disservice. Guess who tends to subconsciously self-censor as we write? WOMEN. Why? Because we’re programmed to. WHY? Countless reasons. We’re worried about being “exposed” or “called out.” We’re worried we’ll be perceived the wrong way; we’re worried about speculation.
“Don’t publish this under my name, Kelly. It will leave me exposed.”
But all the cis gender males write unapologetically, often boastful. Oh, hello double-standard. I didn’t realize you transcended the boundaries of literature, too. Get the fuck out of here!
You know what, ladies? You know what I say? FUCK THAT.
Men are more likely to get in car accidents than women, get behind the wheel and drive recklessly, yet the myth of the “terrible women drivers” prevails! How does it do that? I mean, even despite those masculine, hiked-up, vehicle insurance premiums?
ONTO our WINNING THEMES for 2016!!
- Kate Jones: INVISIBILITY (FEBRUARY, 2016)
- WOMEN’S WRITING MONTH (MARCH, 2016)
- Hillary Umland: LETTING GO (APRIL, 2016)
- Gene Farmer: NOSTALGIA (MAY, 2016)
- Christopher Iacono: FIRST LOVE (JUNE, 2016)
- Rob True: THE JOURNEY (JULY, 2016)
- Tino Prinzi: PERCEPTIONS (AUGUST, 2016)
- @voimaoy: WHAT IF? (SEPTEMBER, 2016)
That’s right, guys. An entire MONTH. Get yourself some. Submit, submit, submit. Now is your time; it’s everyone’s time. Write from your gut; write like your life depends on it. But never, never sell out or change who you are or how you write for anyone. Ever.
Oh, one last thing I almost forgot to mention. THE LAST TWO PUSHCART PRIZE NOMINEES FOR 2016.
- OWEN CLAYBORN, “DUTY OF CARE”
- CHUMKI SHARMA’S COLLECTION OF POETRY, including “Making Room for Light/Dirt Builds a World/Adjourned Sine Die/The Disappearing Act/Rescue Operation/Futile/Writer’s Block/Stranger in an Autumn Forest”
Everyone, make sure to congratulate the hell out of Owen Clayborn and Chumki Sharma for their outstanding work! And, please, keep congratulating our other nominees: Annabel Banks, Kate Jones, Prerna Bakshi, Chris Milam and Ron Gibson.
Who’s ready to start fucking writing?! I am. I can’t wait to see your submissions when we re-open on January 31st, 2016.
A FEW SMALL GUIDELINES: All I ask is that you please put the theme you’re submitting to in the subject line of your e-mail. And if you’re not submitting to a theme, then just write “non-themed submission.”
Make sure you’re sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org since I changed the submissions e-mail address.
Happy New Year, readers, writers and Sick Lit Mag enthusiasts. You rock. We kinda like having you around.
Peace and love,
Kelly Fitzharris Coody
Sick Lit Magazine
*Landscape photography courtesy of Brian Michael Barbeito*