Editor’s Desk – Week of February 26, 2016

February 26, 2016

Dear Intrepid Readers,

The past few weeks have been really busy for us at Zoetic Press—overwhelming, in fact, because we leveled up. And we had to hit the ground running. It’s hard to take a pause with AWP right around the corner, and the last few weeks have left us breathless.

This is actually me last week. My makeup was really good that day.


While we applaud anyone who in this modern age can take a break from social media, if you have, then it’s possible you missed some of our big news. If you haven’t…then this is probably the 43,000th time you’ve heard this, and I would apologize for that, except I’m really proud, so I won’t: This month, we launched the new Litho Reader app, rolled out the Zoetic Press store, released our first two books, The Fear of Being Found by Erin Elizabeth Smith  and The Six-Fold Radial Symmetry of Snow by Christopher E. Grillo, and began migrating our digital issues of NonBinary Review online. (So far, we’re up to NBR#3, L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. So go enjoy some writing!) And don’t forget, as we’re migrating the back issues online, we’re still rolling out the newest series of Alphanumerics and we invite you to explore the issues with the Lithomobilus platform—don’t forget to check out last week’s chilling story Hitchcock by Tatiana Ryckman , or this week’s call-and-response poem, On the Road to London by Sierra Ortega. We’re also amazed by how much our newest installment in our blog series on contest fees has resonated with readers—thanks so much for making the “Fallacy of the serious writer” installment one of our most popular blog posts ever!


After last Friday’s letter posted, we received some MORE good news. Remember a couple weeks ago, when we told you about our contributors and editors being nominated for Elgin Awards  by the Science Fiction Poetry Society? Well, those same fine folks have nominated more of our contributors, specifically for their work with NonBinary Review. We are thrilled to congratulate authors Jenna Lê and our Independent Best American poetry winner  Saba Razvi on their Rhysling nominations  for their work with us, as well as congratulate multiple-issue NBR contributor Deborah Guzzi for her nomination as well! You can read work by these poets (as well as our Elgin award nominees) in our newly migrated issues: “Ode to Dorothy Gale” by Jenna Lê appeared as the “bridge poem” connecting our Wizard of Oz issue to our 4th issue (online next week), Bulfinch’s Mythology: The Age of Fable. Saba’s IBAP award-winning piece, “O Dervish of the Restless Heart,” graced the digital pages of NBR#6: 1001 Arabian Nights. Deborah Guzzi has contributed to both our King in Yellow and Woman in White issues, which will be online in the coming weeks. We hope you’ll stay tuned to read more work from all of these great writers, and as the SFPS moves forward with their decisions, we want to wish all of the nominees from the Zoetic Press family the very best of luck: we think each and every one of you deserves to win, and even if you don’t take the ribbon this time, know that your work is important, resonated, and echoed enough to be nominated to begin with. So give yourselves a hearty round of applause!

This is what we did when we heard about all these nominations. SUIT UP.


I wanted to end this week’s letter not just telling you about all cool stuff that we’ve been doing, but giving you a heads up on what’s in store, as well as one of my favorite things of all time, turning the spotlight on our contributors and their good news. Don’t forget that we’re about a week out from publishing the next issue of NBR, Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, and that means we’re still reading submissions for our next 2 upcoming issues: Sherlock Holmes A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.

We know that many of our readers and authors are affiliated with AWP in some way, so we get it that this is crunch time and that your own submissions may be tabled until after the convention—but bookmark the portal links, because we are excited to read what you’ve got! And speaking of AWP, if you make it to LA next month, stop by our booth 1636 and take some pictures with us, use our tablet to explore the new platform, grab some NBR cover art prints by MANDEM, a copy of last year’s anthology Mythmaking, or this year’s anthology, Dreamspinning—but that’s not all the swag we’re bringing! We’ve got our awesome Zoetic Press shot glasses (or as we like to call them, “artistic inspiration delivery devices”) and check this out: this year, we’ve printed up chapbooks for every issue’s online Alphanumeric features! We didn’t launch Alphanumeric until NBR#3, so sadly, we don’t have a chap-ette for those issues, but we’ll have all the Alphanumerics—from The Wizard of Oz to the Art of War—available for you to take home a print copy. (Can you see why we’re breathless? ALL OF THIS WORK, FOR YOU, DEAR READERS!)

Zoetic Shot Glass

We want you to begin to get excited about the next two releases we’re busily working to bring to you, Telomeres by Nicole Oquendo  , and a re-release of the groundbreaking experimental memoir by Ariana D. Den Bleyker, prosthesis. Nicole Oquendo is a multi-modal author, whose work straddles multiple genres while dodging easy classification as any one thing—which is how we fell in love with the harrowing, haunting complexity and raw humanness of Telomeres: part poetic interpretation, part memoir-in-verse, part familial transcription of PTSD, addiction, and the family heirloom that is trauma—I can give you my editorial guarantee that Telomeres is unlike anything you’ve ever read before, and we mean that as the highest compliment possible. Likewise, Ariana D. Den Bleyker’s experimental memoir prosthesis is an exploration of bipolar disorder and our digital age’s ability to form connections through the common denominator of mental health. Reviewers have said of prosthesis, “Bipolar Disorder is a homegrown tornado, a swarm of insects buzzing in your ear,a picture of an eye that winks back at you. Discover it in a way you’ve never have before. Discover prosthesis. Discover in prosthesis mental illness, the human mind, hope and fear, love and hate, dream and defeat. It is a place of struggle, planning and realization, willing and creation. Walk a journey unlike any other, meeting fellow travelers, obstacles and unexpected turns, a labyrinth of recovery that seems to suspend time and invites you to embody the experience of mental illness in a completely new way.”

And since we’re talking books, we want to take a moment to give a shout-out to some of our favorite contributors who have gotten some great news about their own books. Upcoming Art of War contributor Alex Pruteanu announced this week that his novel, The Sun Eaters will be published by Červená Barva Press, joining their canon of Eastern European literature. This book is tentatively scheduled to drop in the early fall of 2017, so stay tuned for updates.

NBR #7 The Woman in White contributor Jessica Walsh was featured in an interview with Nicole Ross Rollender (who we’re trying to sweet-talk into sending us her work!) for Carpe Noctem, about Jessica’s new collection from ELJ Publications, How To Break My Neck.

Our two Rhysling Award nominees, Saba Razvi and Jenna Lê, are also making waves in publishing: Saba’s   full-length manuscript, In the Crocodile Gardens, is under contract with Agape Editions, an imprint of Sundress Publications (you know, the folks who bring you Best of the Net every year.) And Jenna Lê’s newest collection,   A History of the Cetacean American Diaspora  just dropped this week from Anchor and Plume Press—the cover art is simply gorgeous, which is perfect, because so are the poems inside.

Pre-orders opened this week for the Belladonna Press anthology, Strange Little Girls, which includes the stories Pinhole, by multiple-issue NBR contributor Tantra Bensko, and Teeth Bite Harder in the Dark, by upcoming Art of War contributor Sierra July. So of course, we’re in. Congrats to every single author we’ve profiled in this letter, and we hope that every week you give us more and more reason to be proud to be curators of your work!


In case you were wondering how we publish so many talented authors.


So I’ll sign off as I do every Friday, with all the links, pages and places that are going to entertain you, inform you, update you, and give you all the reading material you can handle.  Our Pinterest boards are always available for your browsing pleasure, and it’s a relaxing way to connect with us and our followers, find new reads and spark your creativity. On Facebook, we hope that you’ll follow our pages (Zoetic PressLithomobilus) to keep up with the latest happenings, online features, blog posts and book reviews. The Zoetic Press Facebook group   is where you’ll find new Alphanumeric features, contributor spotlights, and other literary community news—it’s also the best forum for you to connect with our editors and staff to tell us what you want to see more of on our pages. We’re also interested in working with other publishers to bring their books to the Lithomobilus format, so if you’re a publisher who’d like to trade beta tester feedback for Litho publication, send us a note and a brief overview of your project.We’re also on Twitter (@ZoeticPress and @Lithomobilus), where we bring you micro-updates and retweet the most interesting links we come across. We have a YouTube channel   for those of you who like to hear the authors reading their work, where in the coming weeks we’ll be featuring our first two Zoetic authors, Ern Elizabeth Smith and Christopher E. Grillo, reading their work. So if you’re interested in hearing more from us about updates, new releases, and some of our plans and projects for 2016, sign up for our monthly newsletter. We’re serious about your privacy, and promise not to flood your inbox. If you want to be a guest writer for Rhizomatic Ideas or profile one of our contributors, we’re always interested in hearing about the topics that interest you, or your responses to blogs we’ve published. We know that there are some topics that pique your interest more than others, and we want you to tell us what you want to see more of. Or if you want to grab the mic and tell us more, send us a pitch: blog@zoeticpress.com. We’re always interested in reviewers for book review swaps, so check out our submissions for reviews, or contact us to get in on the review swapping!

Until next week—

Allie Marini,
Managing Editor