I recently (today, actually) got a submission to our FUTURE writing prompt from SLM regular, Don Tassone; and it brightened up my entire weekend the minute it landed in my inbox.
So, that being said, let me address a few of your comments, questions, and concerns on a broader scale for you.
- Is SLM back?
Yes. And no. I have discarded the format I used while Melissa and Nicole worked for me. I am going back to small scale submissions sent to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I no longer can stomach checking email@example.com because, as I’ve previously told you guys, I’m back running SLM solo once again, and it’s a beast. I had to delist the magazine from Duotrope just to try and cut some of the submissions to a workable load for one person.
I’ve also scratched the previous theme schedule in favor of the new writing prompt. It’s so specific that I don’t think I’m going to get any simultaneous submissions or withdrawals or anything.
Any emails that address previous submissions, will be, unfortunately, discarded for my health and sanity. Sorry not sorry, this is the new SLM. In order to truly, truly move forward I have to keep my head up and stop looking behind me.
2. What’s with the themes?
Okay. I addressed this in Question number 1, but I will address it again. The old theme schedule that I’d proposed before I completely lost it while working alone and threatened to close up shop altogether is GONE. Forget it, scrap it, I’m sorry.
I can’t run the magazine solo like I did while I had interns, senior editors, assistant editors and junior editors.
It’s a different animal.
Bear with me.
3. Okay. I’ve submitted my work to the FUTURE writing prompt but still haven’t heard back. What gives?
I’m in the woes of my first trimester, so, again, bear with me as I traverse this shaky terrain. I’m hopelessly listless most days, too nauseous to function, taking two naps a day as the baby growing inside me triples in size in three weeks’ time.
At 33, my body is going through a whole lot of change and leaving me tired and groggy.
This doesn’t mean that I’m not receiving your submissions. If you’re sending crap to firstname.lastname@example.org, then, no, I’m not getting it and I don’t really care. I cannot, for the life of me, manage two emails for one magazine.
Part of the reason you guys don’t hear back from me immediately is because I don’t have an automated response system; I don’t believe in that. I believe in a tailored, individualized response for each submission, as each submission is inherently unique.
4. What’s this new direction about for SLM? What can I expect?
Well, I’ve been through a lot in the last year or so. A lot. I’ve changed a lot, as has my day to day existence. I’m remarried, pregnant, and also split custody of my beautiful children from my previous marriage. Only seeing my kids 50% of the time is excruciating. Watching them walk out my front door every Sunday makes me die inside a little as I see my five year-old son’s blonde head bob down the sidewalk and as I see my nine year-old (who’s nearly as tall as me) listlessly wave goodbye to me and smile at me with her hormonal, sideways grin that says, Don’t worry. Stop being sad. We’re fine.
But are they fine? What has the last year done to them?
I’ll never know. My parents are still together. This isn’t to say that divorce is a bad thing. Absolutely not. I would have never met my current husband, whom I love and cherish more than I ever knew myself capable of loving and cherishing another human being. But that’s not to say that just because I’ve found someone with whom I’m sublimely happy that it erases all the bad that was done to me and that it makes my children whole again. My kids are still bright lights on this earth who make me so, so happy; but they have also built up walls that sometimes I can’t even scale.
So, what does that mean for the magazine?
It means patience. It means trust in me that I have every writer’s best interest at heart. SLM is not, nor will it ever be, easy access. I expect every one of you to work for what you want in terms of your writing capabilities. I can not peddle writing that I deem to be sub-par or lacking in creativity just because you’ve written me a flashy submission.
When I say ‘Bringing the Real,’ I mean exactly that. Stop putting on a stupid show in your submission email and copying a literary agent’s template as you write to me. I can spot that stuff a million miles away and, well, being that I’m in the early stages of pregnancy, it sort of makes my gag reflex go a little crazy.
If you think that copying from a template will get you far in this magazine, you are wrong.
I’d rather read a spirited piece of work that needs some semicolons and paragraph breaks than a watered down, over-edited, overworked piece of prose that makes me fall asleep multiple times before I even reach its middle.
If you like anything you’ve read in my editorial note thus far, then this might be the home for your writing. Drop me a line at email@example.com – come shake up the literary horizon with me.
Over and out,
my beautiful readers and writers 😉
Kelly Fitzharris Faulk, Editor-in-Chief