Hi friends! I’m Nikki, I’m new to the SLM team, and I’m excited to be here.
Let me introduce myself. I was born and raised in Staten Island, NY; I’m currently living by the beach in New Jersey, and I’m planning on moving somewhere far away in the spring. Where exactly? I don’t know yet. It’s part of the adventure.
I got my Bachelor’s degree in English Literature, with minors in Psychology and Creative Writing, from Chestnut Hill College, which probably none of you have heard of. It’s a tiny college on the outskirts of Philadelphia and it’s notorious for looking like Hogwarts.
I graduated in 2015 and my mind was set: I was going to get an internship at a publishing company and work my way up to the title of Editor. I fluffed up my resume. I applied to every publishing company in NYC that you’ve ever heard of, and then some. I went to the mall and bought the perfect suit for job interviews but I never got to wear it. It’s still hanging on the back of my bedroom door at my parents’ house with the tags on it.
At some point during the process of applying and reading job descriptions of the position I thought I wanted to end up in, I realized that it wasn’t at all what I thought it was, so I gave up. I got a shitty retail job and quit that to move to Jersey with the woman I (stupidly) thought I’d spend the rest of my life with. I ended up in the restaurant industry—which, if we’re being honest, is soul-crushing.
So there I was, heartbroken, angry, and alone, working in a restaurant at the Jersey Shore in the dead of winter.
Creeping into my consciousness was the thought that there was nothing left for me in this place now that she was suddenly gone and marrying her ex on the west coast. (Still bitter. But that’s a different story for a different day.) It was then that Kelly tweeted that she wanted a creative counterpart to help revive Sick Lit Magazine. I sent a DM, and now here I am.
I strongly believe in the mission of SLM. Back in 2015 when my job applications were going ignored and my email inbox was piling up with rejections from literary magazines, I sent what I believed to be the best piece of flash fiction I’d ever written to SLM. It was my last hope. And for the first time, I was published, and I had something to be proud of. Now I get the chance to be that last glimmer of hope for another talented writer out there. I’m ecstatic to be able to keep the dream alive. Not only for great writers disillusioned by rejection, but for myself. I have a renewed sense of hope and purpose.
I can’t wait to work with Kelly and all of you to bring Sick Lit Magazine to its full potential.
Nikki rae Spano