lit mags, updates, writing

Introducing Chronically Lit

chronically lit jay summer

Today is the official launch of a major project I founded and have been working on for hours a day–Chronically Lit. You can support the project by following it on twitter or instagram, and by signing up for the weekly email list (I’ll be sending out the first email today).

I’ve been doing so much writing for the site, I think I’ll just let it speak for itself rather than explain here. Consider checking out the following:

  • In an “In Conversation,” I and the site’s other editor, Annalise, discuss our vision for the site
  • For the past three weeks, I’ve written “Link Roundups” on Friday, which are collections of links related to chronic illness in literature and culture
  • Today, my first “official” piece of writing went live, the first part of a multi-part book review of Sonya Huber’s Pain Woman Takes Your Keys and Other Essays from a Nervous System

I’ve also been working with several writers on essay edits, and those essays will go live over the next two weeks. Exciting stuff!

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fear, lit mags, personal growth, weirderary, writing

Goodbye, weirderary

Yesterday, I wrote a goodbye post for weirderary, the online literary magazine I began with friends and classmates back in 2015. (I’ve blogged about it a few times before.)

Creating weirderary was fun, and I’m glad we did it. First-hand experience is an excellent teacher, and I learned so much reading the thousands (yes, thousands!) of submissions we received, editing those we selected, conducting interviews, and writing book reviews. I’m grateful I gained that experience and also proud of myself for pushing forward and starting a lit mag in the first place–something I’d wanted to do since high school but hadn’t, for various reasons, but mostly fear.

After us three weirderary editors graduated from the MFA program we were in and began seeing each other much less often, I could feel the energy and excitement around weirderary fizzling. Instead of the thrilling endeavor it felt like before, it became, to me at least, unpaid labor. A pile of tasks. And they weren’t horrible tasks, sometimes they felt rewarding, but when I looked at my overarching career, I knew they weren’t the best tasks I could do with my limited free time in order to move the direction I want to move.

When I was trying to decide if I should let weirderary go or not, I tried to envision the future best case scenario. It involved a lot of work on my end, with a disproportionately small reward. It also involved missed opportunities.

Being an independent lit mag editor is a labor of love, and I now understand why so many small lit mags don’t have staying power. I’m writing about all of this openly here because I think the burnout and at times even resentment editors can feel are things people don’t often talk about with transparency. (Hmm, should I write an essay about that?) I loved weirderary when we began it, and I love it still, now, but I think if I’d stuck with it another year or two, that love would’ve soured.

Thanks to anyone who read it. Stay tuned…I’ll soon announce my newest endeavors.

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lit mags, weirderary, writing

weirderary is open to submissions until 3/20/17

weirderary sticker

Hi all,

weirderary.com, the lit mag I co-founded and co-edit, is open to submissions until 3/20/17. We really want more visual art and comics especially. We are also open to fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and experimental stuff that doesn’t fit under a label.

Click here for the submission guidelines.

Jay

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lit mags, writing

New flash fiction publication!

I am happy to share my recent publication in Lime Hawk–check it out! I had fun writing this one. I don’t usually write from a male perspective. I was thinking about how women’s insecurities are openly spoken about, while men’s often are not. I wrote this as an exercise in imagining insecurity in a man.

Lime Hawk is a super cool lit mag that also has social justice tendencies. Follow them on twitter after you read my short story.

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lit mags, weirderary, writing

New issue of weirderary!

Click here to read issue four of weirderary!

(Okay, so the issue came out back in October, but I forgot to share it.)

I am so pleased that we’ve been doing this for over a year now. weirderary is a project I want to continue investing in and growing in the years to come. My hope is that we’ll have a print version some day–something physically small, with short single-page pieces, each one paired with visual art.

In light of the election, I’m happier than ever that we decided early on to have our definition of “weird” evolve to mean that we celebrate diversity and difference not only in writing content and style, but in the writer’s perspective and background.

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