Editor’s Desk – Week of June 5, 2015

June 5, 2015

Dear Intrepid Readers,


It’s been a heavy couple of Fridays for the Editor’s letter, hasn’t it? It’s important to keep the weight of words in mind as we move through our literary communities & interact with other writers, publishers, & editors—but all that weight needs balance. For every instance of gravitas, we should counter with a bit of levity. So this Friday, I’d like to take a moment to focus on some of the great things the past week has brought us, and some of the things we’re very much looking forward to for the summer.


First things first—as you remember from last week’s letter, part of our team (the Error! Hyperlink reference not valid. arm—aka, the magicians) went to BEA  in New York to showcase our app to a crowd of readers and techies scouting around for the next big thing in books. For a company at our stage of development, we performed really well—we made it to the semi-finals for the Startup Challenge, and we placed in the top 4 for the People’s Choice Award—so thank you to everyone who follows us on social media and took the time to vote for us. We made a lot of new friends and contacts at the conference, and we feel good about where we are, but more importantly—where we’re going, and what we’ll have to show off at BEA 2016.


These annual conventions and literary events are really important to who we are and what we do. Writing tends to be a solitary endeavor, and many writers are introverts, so these literary events allow us to indulge in trying on the shoes of an extrovert and walking around long enough to get a feel for it (but taking off the shoes before we get blisters.) In addition to camaraderie, these events allow us access to the literary community at large. These conventions and festivals all broaden the scope of what we do as ereader developers, as publishers, as editors, and as writers. They allow us to open dialogues about everything from digital innovation in the publishing industry to issues of social justice in the artistic and academic communities. They bring new people and new ideas into our orbits and allow us to celebrate divergent ideas while connecting over literature, the thing we all love that brings us together. They also give us a great excuse to buy more books.

willow excitement

All of these things. ALL OF THEM.


In just over a year, we’ve attended BEA (twice), New York Poetry Festival, Litquake, NaNoWriMo’s Night Of Writing Dangerously, AWP, and countless readings in both the Bay Area and Los Angeles. This weekend, you can find us at the Bay Area Book Festival in Berkeley, where we’ll have a booth on Makers Lane (that’s near City Hall, in the Allston/Milvia corridor. Which is, conveniently and perhaps irresponsibly, located cattycorner to the Beer Garden). For the meet & greet part of the festival, we’ll be showcasing the Error! Hyperlink reference not valid. (aka letting you poke stuff on a tablet and read the available issues of NonBinary Review). We’ll also have some Zoetic Press swag for sale, including (but not limited to), broadsheets, print edition samplers of our first year of NonBinary Review, Zoetic Press shot glasses, and, depending on her behavior, possibly our managing editor.

Just kidding.

Unless you make us a really good offer.


For the academic and serious side of the festival, our own Editor-in-Chief Lise Quintana (did you catch her recent essay on Role/Reboot?) will be presenting on one of the festival’s panels and bringing her years of experience in the Bay Area tech industry together with her experience as a working writer. The panel is entitled “New Views of Narrative: How Technology Interfaces with Story”—which, as you know, is how Error! Hyperlink reference not valid. came into existence. The roundtable discussion/ Q& A session will also feature Eli Horowitz and Russell Quinn, with the event moderated by Robin Sloan. If you’re local and want to check out the panel, it’s on Saturday (6/6) at 11 a.m. at The Marsh Arts Center (just off Allston Way). This panel is completely free to attend, but panels tend to fill up fast—if you’re interested in checking it out, score a ticket on Eventbrite. If you make it out, be sure to drop by and say hello. We like books, selfies, and drinking, and we’re pretty sure that you do, too.


Artistic representation of Lise after the panel


In the past couple of weeks, I’ve touched on some of the dicier issues in the literary community at large—the controversy surrounding Vanessa Place and AWP, and the stubborn lack of inclusivity at major writer’s conferences such as Bread Loaf. Which makes this week’s Lambda Literary Awards ceremony a much-needed ray of light beaming through a few weeks of darkness. The finalists list features many of the writers excluded from the major conferences—and reaffirms their importance in the literary conversation. We recommend broadening your reading horizons by reading some of the authors on this list (might we suggest Danez Smith, Saeed Jones, Jericho Brown, Hieu Minh Nguyen or Elizabeth Earley?) We want to extend our congratulations to all the winners and finalists, as well as all of the working writers who are working towards social change in their writing. May you make that list next year!

Guess who else are winners? WE ARE. I know it feels like just yesterday that we debuted NBR#4: Bulfinch’s Mythology, but we’re in the very last stages of getting NBR#5: The King in Yellow into your hot little hands. This issue is decidedly different from our previous issues, in a way that we hope you’re going to enjoy. The stories are denser, and the issue features a significant amount of fiction from female authors taking on the usually male-dominated genre of cosmic horror. We love the eerie stories they’ve spun for us, and we’re confident that you’re going to be impressed by what you read (or it’ll summon a tentacle god from Carcosa. We can’t promise anything.) If you’ve never read The King in Yellow, we hope that you will enjoy this introduction. If you loved True Detective and couldn’t get enough of their take on King in Yellow stories, you’re in for a treat.


Yeah, get excited.


So come out and see us this weekend, or hit us up on on Facebook (Zoetic PressLithomobilus), Twitter (@ZoeticPress and Litho) and Pinterest, or see some of our authors reading their work on our YouTube channel. If you’re interested in hearing more from us, sign up for our monthly newsletter. We’re serious about your privacy, and promise not to flood your inbox. If you haven’t already seen what we’re about, download the app and get to reading—it’s free, and available for your iPad and iPhone.


Until next week,




Allie Marini, Managing Editor