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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weirderary, writing

New issue of weirderary!

weirderary Issue 5 dropped recently! I can’t believe that the lit mag we started has been around for two years and five issues so far. We will be making some changes to weirderary soon, as you can read about in my letter from the editor in this issue.

I’m now the editor in chief of weirderary, which is good because trying to distribute work evenly and make decisions as a team wasn’t always working. Plus, with all of us graduating and (possibly) moving away from Tampa, working collaboratively in equal capacities would become even more difficult. ¬†The other founding editors still want to be involved, and moving forward I plan on devising a new structure for the lit mag, figuring out each person’s title and responsibilities.

I’d be grateful if you’d check out weirderary‘s latest issue, follow weirderary on twitter, and share your favorite pieces that we’ve published¬†either on social media or privately with anyone you think might like them.

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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, 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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internet, twitter, weirderary, writing

Submit to weirderary!

weirderary logo

My friends and I started an online literary magazine, weirderary. We are reading submissions until September 1st. We’ve received a lot of good poetry so far, but really want more flash fiction, short stories, and creative nonfiction. We also accept art and comics. If you write or draw or photograph or do something else that you think we might be interested in, please send it our way! Here are the official weirderary submission guidelines. Also, please follow us on twitter and instagram.

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