We’re at a turning point and, if you’d allow me to be your tour guide, I’d like to walk through the last few months of Sick Lit Magazine.
As has been noted in brutally honest Letters from the Editor, 2016 ended in a nightmarish blaze. Not only did Melissa, the previous Senior Editor, step away to better handle the events of her personal life, but Kelly’s life…well, I’m sure you read the letters. She was not doing well. The result was that the magazine was suddenly helmed by one woman who was involuntarily unable to handle the rigors of running the magazine. Kelly did her best to hold it together, but I think we can all agree that, when your life is imploding, your priorities rearrange considerably. A stroll through the archives shows the result.
I was hired in as Senior Assistant Editor on February 10th. When Kelly pointed me towards the submissions inbox, she warned me it was a mess. She wasn’t wrong, but my first goal was to locate and publish the remainder of the accepted pieces from 2016. I passed a schedule on to Kelly, and the results are what you’ve been reading the last few weeks. I’m pleased to announce that the 2016 backlog will be caught up on February 26th. If your submission was accepted for the themes and you haven’t seen it published by that date, please email me at the submissions and I will get you on the schedule.
Somewhere in there, Kelly promoted me to Senior Editor, for which I was humble and expressed much gratitude.
While tackling the inbox, I found unanswered submissions dating back to July that were just lost in the shuffle of running the magazine. Some of you may have received an email from me stating as much: The Internet ate your submission. My next goal was to give those submissions priority for March’s schedule, which is now full and will begin rolling out on the first.
With those intimidating dragons slayed, I moved on to the more recent submissions that had been patiently waiting to be addressed. Those accepted have rounded out the remainder of March, and I am now scheduling April with current submissions.
Does it sound like a lot of work to fit into two weeks? It was. But when Kelly fell sick with the flu on Sunday, I temporarily took on her duties, too. I have been working to fill the magazine’s queue with February’s posts so that they will go live on the promised dates. (As I’m the behind-the-scenes editor, there will likely be mistakes. If you see something I’ve botched up, for the love of everything good in this world man, please tell me!)
TL;DR: There was much chaos and not enough able hands to put things in order. Things are now in order, and we’re moving forward.
Let’s talk about what’s happening at Sick Lit in 2017 and beyond. With the magazine going through such a rough time, we are grateful to those who stuck with us. We also understand why some writers pulled their submissions and moved on. It is our hope to begin winning writers and readers back by putting failsafes in place so that the disaster of 2016 never repeats. Our submissions process has been rebuilt to prevent anyone else from falling through the cracks. Our detailed monthly schedules will ensure no one will be overwhelmed with the responsibility of getting the works from the inbox to the magazine. Sixty pieces is much easier to deal with, mentally, than 600.
Consistency will foster confidence, and we want our writers to trust once again that their hard work is in capable hands at Sick Lit. Kelly captured lightning in a bottle when she founded the magazine, and together we have worked to bring it back from the brink. Time will tell if we have succeeded.
If you believe in the mission of Sick Lit Magazine, there are a few things you can do to help. For one, you can comment on the stories and poems that are published, which will give new or jaded writers the confidence needed to keep writing and keep submitting. Two, you can interact with us on social media to help spread the word about the magazine fighting back after The Great Kersplosion of 2016. On Twitter, we are @sicklitmag and on Instagram, we are @sicklitmagazine. Three, you can send us more of your work and encourage your writer-friends to send their work as well. Without our writers, Sick Lit is just two redheads sitting around making bad puns.
True to the candid nature of Sick Lit Magazine, there you have it. There’s all our dirty laundry, out in the open, and our plan to never let things get this bad again. We’ve been busy for the last few weeks setting things right, and we’ll continue to be busy keeping them right in the future.
Thank you, again, for sticking with us. Now, let’s get back to work.
-Nicole Ford Thomas, Senior Editor