November 6, 2015
Dear Intrepid Readers,
Last week, I went to a poet’s wedding. Weddings/commitment ceremonies/ handfasting/civil unions (or however you choose to define/celebrate a union of people) are traditionally celebrations of people joining their lives together. But a lot of weddings seem to focus on things like flowers, seating arrangements, and dresses; glossing over the passions of the peoples’ lives that brought them together in the first place. What was special and unique about this poet’s wedding was the way that capital-P Poetry was a 3rd person in its own right. The pre-wedding celebration wasn’t about a bachelor/ette party: it was an open mic/informal event, wherein guests shared words with the couple.
I bring this up because every week, I write this letter encouraging readers, writers, comedians, dramatists, and artists—anyone involved in, or who appreciates, the arts—to get involved in their community. Go to a reading, a panel discussion, a write-in, a library event, a book launch, a workshop—no matter where you live, there’s bound to be a way to get out into the literary community and actively support the arts. But I realize that in encouraging you every week to go out into your community and be a good literary citizen, I have also failed to mention that you can make your own literary community.
As writers jumped on the mic at the wedding, I remember one sentiment resonating—“I didn’t feel like part of a community until I met them.” Sometimes being a good literary citizen means going out to events and showing support. Sometimes it means welcoming newcomers into the community and making them feel that support. But sometimes, it also means being the community, creating the literary community you want to be part of. Try to bring your passion with you, wherever you go. Whether you’re getting married and turning the event into a community celebration, reading something to your sweetie, turning the grocery list into a William Carlos Williams poem, or writing silly stories with your child on the way to school, you create a reality where what you love isn’t something you only do on weekends or open mic nights, but instead becomes a chosen family.
It’s already November; surely you know what that means, right? #NaNoWriMo15 is upon us, and everywhere you look on social media, you’re seeing traces of Mr. Ian Woon and The Traveling Shovel of Death, and numbers followed by #nanowrimo. By November 30, you’ll have more words written than you did on October 31, and that’s always a good thing. More of a poet than novelist? So don’t shoot for 50K words—try making it a 30/30 poem-a-day challenge, and join forces with your fiction-writing friends—who knows, maybe they’ll return the favor and join you for NaPoWriMo in April. There are a lot of great reasons to jump into NaNoWriMo: the write-ins, the camaraderie, the competition, and the companionship.
Speaking of literary chosen families, you’re ours. And in our family, we like to give gifts for no reason. Which is why you can download our app for iPhone or iPad and enjoy each issue of NonBinary Review, completely free. We put a lot of love into curating these issues and our authors put an equal amount of love into creating the pieces that comprise each issue. Take an afternoon to read a classic work and then hopscotch to the places that narrative took our writers. Who knows, your new favorite writer might be as yet undiscovered in our digital archives!
In just a few short weeks, we’ll be rolling out our seventh issue of NonBinary Review, Wilkie Collins’ The Woman in White. It’s a tight, lyric issue that takes on the source text in a wholly different way. Never read The Woman in White? Here’s your chance to do it (free!) and have a whole issue’s worth of extras—new narrative threads to follow, new poetic interludes, new art that reflects the interior world of the characters. NBR#7 is scheduled for December, so as you’re crafting new worlds for #nanowrimo15 or building a literary family of your own, check back with us here or on the Rhizomatic Ideas blog for updates, op-eds, book reviews, and more. Submissions for Sun Tzu’s The Art of War are still open, and we’re opening up submissions for two new issues of NBR, scheduled to publish in 2016: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s A Study in Scarlet. We anticipate a big uptick in submissions for these issues, so take your time and send in the work you love most—competition is certain to be fierce (and we love you for making editorial choices so hard.) Also, we’ll have new updates to back issues of NBR available on your device! Alphanumeric content, new additions to Unbound Octavo, and sooner than you know it, more full-length stand-alone works for you to add to your device and enjoy at your leisure.
I’ll sign off this week by reminding you that our 2015 Litcrawl event, Mythmaking, is archived on our Livestream channel, so if you haven’t had a chance to check out the reading, you can still see what our live readers were doing for Litquake. But if pinning writing prompts and silly memes is more your speed, follow one of our boards at Pinterest, and enjoy all the writing prompts, memes, and dream library pins we’ve traveled the internet to find for you.
On Facebook, you can follow our pages (Zoetic Press, Lithomobilus) to keep up with the latest happenings, online features, blog posts and book reviews. We also like to promote the new work of our contributors, so if you’ve been published in our pages, shoot us a note and we’d be happy to turn the spotlight in your direction. If you like a more personal touch, we invite you to engage with us through the Zoetic Press Facebook group. All of our Facebook forums provide you with daily links to read new blogs, book reviews and Alphanumeric features! We’re also on Twitter (@ZoeticPress and @Lithomobilus), and you can even 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. Want to be a guest writer for Rhizomatic Ideas, or to profile one of our contributors? Send us a pitch: firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a book you’d like to tell the world about, or know a writer that everyone should know? Send us your reviews and author interviews!
Until next week—