Editor’s Desk – Week of March 25, 2016

March 25, 2016

Dear Intrepid Readers,

I’ve kind of been in denial that AWP is fast upon us. Maybe you caught this week’s link about writers being notorious procrastinators? Welcome to my life.

I swear I’m going to look at the AWP schedule….eventually.

Honestly, it’s not just the writerly need-to-procrastinate that’s made the lead-up to AWP a whirlwind akin to Taz from Looney Toons ripping through my living room. As you read in last week’s editor’s letter, we’ve been making some big changes at Zoetic Press. And, as one might imagine, that’s been a fantastic distraction from AWP sneaking up behind us.

awp sneaking up
It’s behind me, isn’t it?

So let’s do a quick recap, in case you missed last week’s big news: The first and biggest change is that we’re moving away from the Lithomobilus platform for publishing and going with a more accessible digital/online publishing model. While we still believe in Litho, we also realize that it was becoming impossible to serve the needs of our authors (and ourselves, as publishers) with a model that is still years ahead of the curve in terms of technology. But sometimes the price of being avant-garde is that you can’t sustain real growth the way you’d like to, and that’s where we found ourselves. So we’ve started the process of re-invention, and we’re excited that you’re still here and supportive of the transition. The first step is the migration of issues 1-7 online.

Zoetic 7 collage
Just look at all these issues! Can you even believe it?

These are going to remain available and free to read for a few more weeks, but another big change we’ve made is our move to Patreon as a means of funding our press endeavors, paying authors, and keeping Zoetic Press up and running. So for a few more weeks, the back issues of NonBinary Review will remain free to read, but sometime this spring they’ll become one of the Patreon perks for backers. In fact, if you’re wondering how to read the newest issue of NonBinary Review, issue #8 Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, pop on over to the Patreon page—NBR #8 is available for just a $1 pledge. NBR contributors will be provided with digital copies of their issue, and as always, every Alphanumeric   feature will always remain free to read online for the quarterly run of the issue—after which, Alphanumerics will also be compiled into digital issues for contributors and Patreon backers to enjoy at their leisure. Likewise, we’ll be re-launching Unbound Octavo, and posting the eight stories of the first issue online for free for a limited time, before these stories become a digital issue for contributors and Patreon backers to enjoy—just $2 will get you all 4 quarterly issues of NBR and UO as well.

Seriously $1. I spend more to park in Berkeley for an hour.

Which brings us to AWP, the thing-what-snuck-up-behind-us. We’ll be reporting to you from LA this time next week (booth #1636), probably quite tired already (or possibly still drunk. YES. AT 9 a.m. WE’RE PROFESSIONALS). If you’re headed in the direction of AWP next week, consider meeting up with us on Wednesday at 7 p.m.—Zoetic Press will be chilling in the Mixing Room bar at the Marriott, and we’d love to raise a glass with you.

Throughout the year we’ve posted a lot about AWP, and navigating the convention can be all sorts of tricky. On one hand, we have to go in with our eyes open: AWP is definitely catering to a certain kind of writer. There’s a lot of privilege involved, and we usually have to unpack a lot of it both before we get there and again after we get back. It’s difficult to acknowledge that this convention—that for so many is a “college reunion” of sorts—leaves a lot of our peers out in the cold. There’s no easy way to resolve the issue that many of us grapple with when it comes to AWP—it’s hard to enjoy something when you know that privilege—in whatever form it comes—is a large part of the convention, and that there are other communities of writers who do not enjoy the luxury of a convention to bring them together. So as you choose panels, readings, and presses or writers to whom you’d like to give your money and support, remember to acknowledge your privilege, listen to views which offer you perspective, and use your power to do good in the world. Speak up. Fill out the surveys all over AWP and tell them that you want more inclusivity, less elitism, more economic membership options, more services for writers working with disabilities, more safe spaces, more accountability, and more real commitment to change. Every year that I am able to attend AWP is a joy at being able to connect and re-connect with writers from all over the country, as well as a reminder that many of my peers are not able to enjoy such a luxury. So as we all move through next week and enjoy the ability to take a sabbatical to “be professional writers” for a few days, do some good where you can—be a voice when it’s needed, know when it’s your quiet listening time, pay everything forward, and check out some of the offsite, non-AWP events happening around the convention that are a little off the beaten path.

So next week, we may come at you on Friday a little more frazzled, a little drunker, with a LOT less money (damn you, books!) and sleep deprived/jacked up on caffeine. It’ll be beautiful and you’ll love it because hopefully you’ll either be right there with us, or day-drinking to be there in spirit(s).

I’m going to close with our weekly rundown of social media, links, and pages, so you can always have our info at your fingertips. First off, we’ve launched the Zoetic Press Tumblr page, and we hope that you’ll subscribe to have our weekly content added to your reader for ease of access and a quick way to inject some lit into your life.  Like what you read there? Help us pay our authors and artists for their work by kicking us some cash through Patreon, where your pledges directly fund artists and the production of literary work.

We’re midway through re-vamping our Pinterest page and adding new boards to reflect some of the changes in the press, but it’ll still be a fun, relaxing, low-pressure way for you to engage with Zoetic Press, so pop over and enjoy some of the writing prompts, writer memes, and dream libraries that we’ve pinned for you. On Facebook, we’d love for you to connect with us at our Zoetic Press page or for a more personal connection, engage with your favorite NonBinary Review authors in the Zoetic Press Facebook group. If connection in 140 characters is your scene, Tweet us. We will still be bringing you a new Alphanumeric feature every Tuesday, and those will remain free for everyone to enjoy—we’ll be cross posting to Tumblr, too, so if that’s how you prefer to read, you’ll definitely be excited to subscribe and see what’s new. As ever, we encourage you to connect with our editors and staff to give us feedback about the transition, suggestions for Patreon perks you’d like to see, or just to let us know how we’re doing, because editors need love and reassurance sometimes, too. Our YouTube channel  will be getting a face-lift and will be updated to include book trailers, Patreon exclusives, as well as our storytellers entertaining you by reading their work to you in their own voice. Our blog Rhizomatic Ideas will also be changing to adapt to the new Zoetic Press model, so we’re always open for book reviews, blog pitches, and guest voices—we would love to hear your ideas, so send us a pitch! And remember, even though we’re transitioning, we’re still committed to bringing you NonBinary Review and more Zoetic Press releases, and our submissions remain open, even as we switch gears.

Until next week,

Allie Marini
Managing Editor