Hey, What if we Just Started Over? – Editor-in-Chief, Kelly Fitzharris Coody

Hear me out.  I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently.

I know I’ve (we’ve) had lots of “almost shutting down” forks in the road, submissions email changes, editorial staffing and contributor changes, and a lot of confusion about themes, no themes, what status your work is in at the moment, etc, etc, etc ….. And you can basically just continue that ellipsis until infinity. Some of that comes with the whole “online-indie-lit-mag” territory. I’m simplifying some really important points, then I will promptly move it to our submissions guidelines page and we will move forward from there.

Here are some guidelines-slash-pointers moving forward with the new SLM: 

  1. FORGET past submissions that you never heard back from me or any other editor about. Just put it on a metaphorical (or maybe an actual) shelf for now. Otherwise, we’re all going to be chasing our tails forever. No thanks.
  2. If you submit and you don’t hear back from me, dude, you’ve got to relax. Do not chase me down on Facebook, Twitter, insert other social media here, or send e-mails to my personal e-mail. It’s just NOT okay. I have children, i.e., a family, too, just like you. I am busy trying my damnedest to make their childhood great and I also work a full-time job so I can put food on the table.
  3. Most definitely don’t establish a great working relationship with me and then post disparaging comments about the web site and how SLM is suddenly “the worst.” Dude, guess what? It’s still literally just me. It is me who is approving that comment you wrote. And it sucks. Don’t do it. Write me an e-mail. And don’t be a jerk.
  4. Don’t take advantage of my openness and generosity. If you send me plagiarized work and I publish it, I WILL find out about it.
  5. Basically, let’s wipe the damn slate clean and start writing again.

One more really important thing that I must touch on before we get to the fun part: 

TIMELINE and GUIDELINES: 

  • I don’t know when I will get back to you after you submit your work. It could be that same day. It might be a month later. If a really, really long time has passed, it’s safe to assume that it didn’t quite work.
  • WE DO NOT publish books, book-length material, nor do we review books at this time.
  • We DO accept simultaneous submissions and reprinted material.

Now that that’s out of the way, here’s what I want from you and here’s where I want you to send it: 

  • I know, I know, yet another new email. Just think of it as an official way to wipe the slate clean: kmfitzharris@gmail.com
  • What do I want? I still want originality, I still want writing that is genuine, sincere, and writing that is specific to the genre of YOU (meaning write what you write, not what you think I want you to write).
  • What do I look for in your submissions email? Be yourself. Don’t try to pitch me your writing or sell it to me – you are good enough just as you are. Be candid and tell me what’s up and why you’re submitting your work to me. You can either put your submission in the body of your email or attach it as a word doc. Please, no PDFs.
  • Word count: Unless it’s a Gone-Girl caliber page-turning suspenseful roller-coaster ride, for the love of God and all things holy, don’t send me 30 pages. Honestly, don’t send 20! Unless I get lost reading your work and can’t even tell what page I’m on, which is awesome, those are way too long for an online literary magazine. And it takes time away from other submissions I could be reading.
  • Genre / type of work: Really, anything and everything. Poetry, fiction, prose-poetry, erasure poetry, abstract art, photography, fan art for this magazine, a series of cool old letters that you found in a drawer in your attic, an op-ed, a personal essay, non-fiction, LGBTQ, flash fiction, fan fiction.

Have fun writing and be sure to submit your work to me at kmfitzharris@gmail.com

Happy writing!

I will talk to you soon,

 

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Kelly Fitzharris Coody,

Editor-in-Chief

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Allow me to Introduce Myself – Nikki rae Spano, Assistant Editor

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

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