Editor’s Desk – Week of January 29, 2016

January 29, 2016

Dear Intrepid Readers,

Last Editor’s Letter of the first month in the New Year, and wow, has this first month started with a bang for us here at Zoetic Press! First off—the most exciting news: We’ve finally launched the Litho store reader app, as well as our 7th issue of NonBinary Review, The Woman in White.

Lithostore collage
Read the new issue in style!

Also in the new store is the complete set of interlocking stories comprising the first full issue of Unbound Octavo. In addition to bringing you a brand-spankin’ new website, we’ll also be opening the submissions portal for UO #2, and we’re eager to see where the next 8 stories take your imagination! The new reading app and new store means that we’re just days away from our first Zoetic Press releases, The Six-Fold Symmetry of Snow by Christopher E. Grillo, and the re-release of Erin Elizabeth Smith’s The Fear of Being Found.


January has been a really exciting month for our press—we’ve published new issues of both of our imprints, we’ve launched the Litho store, we’re preparing to roll out our first book-length works. For us on the editorial side, we are still just reeling from the excitement of these new endeavors, coming hot on the heels of contributor Saba Razvi’s Independent Best American Poetry win for her poem, “O Dervish of the Restless Heart,” as well as AWP’s spotlight on Editor-in-Chief Lise Quintana. We’ve given the websites a bit of an update and have plans to “Spring clean” and really overhaul all of our sister sites (Narrative Technologies, Lithomobilus, Zoetic Press, Unbound Octavo, NonBinary Review, and Rhizomatic Ideas) so that visitors can easily navigate and explore all of the ways we’re working to change the future of narrative and how we share stories in the digital age.

We also launched a new blog series this week, on prohibitive contest fees, how economic disparity affects diversity in literary publications, and the fallacy of the “serious writer.” We’ll be following a different avenue of these interrelated topics in the weekend blogs on Rhizomatic Ideas, so make sure to check out the posts and see how this conversation develops. If you think we’re missing an important point in this series, or if you’d like to contribute a thread, hit us up in the Facebook group , or simply email us.

Our game plan for 2016


This week, we continued finalizing the line-up for NBR #8, The Art of War, because now that our store is live, keeping our publication production schedule on track is our #1 priority, and we’re going to launch this no-holds-barred issue right before AWP 2016. With every issue we curate, we discover an “issue zeitgeist”—a collective chord that resonates from piece to piece, through a number of writers from widely differing walks of life. Discovering this unifying chord has become my greatest joy from issue to issue: trying to guess what note of the source text will echo in the hearts and minds of the writers, the delight of surprise when contributors reach further, going past what I expect to deliver the unexpected stories. Because ultimately, these stories, from the liminal spaces of experience, are the ones that stay with us. Preparing this source text for the issue was my first exposure to The Art of War in its entirety, instead of simply a collection of out-of-context quotes—which are great, mind you, just not completely representative of Sun Tzu’s work. Discovering the source text at the same time as I was discovering how other writers approached these 13 principles (which hold true even now, centuries later) has been a transformative experience. We’re eager to present this timely, important collection of work to you at the largest North American convention of writers and publishers. We’ve also been working hard (well, Lise has, I’ve been saying “Oh yeah, that looks GREAT!”) to bring AWP-exclusive print copies of each issue’s Alphanumeric features, as well as a print copy of our award nominees (and winners/finalists!) from our first two years as a press.

If this is what we’ve accomplished in the first month, can you imagine where we’ll be by December?

Mostly this month has been about patience and then the payoff for that patience, so we think that this is an apropos way to end the first full month of 2016: celebrating the launch of a project that’s been literally 2 years in the making, enjoying the new reader app to really explore the new issue the way we want you to experience it, and being, as ever, humbled and overjoyed by the continued support of our press and all its endeavors by you—our readers and contributing authors—because none of this would be possible without you, and without you, we wouldn’t have a purpose, either. We’ve got even more good news, new writing, online features, and works-in-progress to share with you next week, so please, keep in touch with us here or on social media to keep on top of the latest. 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 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. 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