Editor’s Desk – Week of October 30, 2015

October 30, 2015

Dear Intrepid Readers,

sugar skull jack o lantern
We hope you get bags of candy!

Halloween is one of the few holidays that allows us to try on the personas of monsters, witches, superheroes, mythological creatures and all manner of things that go bump in the night—it’s a time for dressing up and exploring all the things that we aren’t, but could be, to embrace the things that frighten us, and see what it’s like to be a caped crusader for an evening. Hard on the heels of Halloween, Dia de los Muertos reminds us of something that American culture often sweeps under the rug—that our loved ones don’t disappear in death. The celebration of the lives of those we’ve loved and laid to rest reminds us that life is temporary, fleeting, and to be lived in the moment. However, as we celebrate this weekend, it’s important for us to remember that these holidays have cultural origins that should also be honored—so before you paint your face or slip into a costume, take a minute to think about the deeper implications. If you’re celebrating Dia de los Muertos, be respectful—attend events hosted by Latinx organizers, and most importantly, listen more than you speak. Cultural appropriation is a real thing, with bigger implications than just flowers and sugar skulls—when you take it for granted on a small scale, it promotes a climate where authors feel entitled to use cultural appropriation as a tactic to build a career. With that in mind, before you head out to the Halloween parties or start the trick-or-treating circuit, remind yourself that a culture isn’t a costume. But I’m pretty sure we can all agree that these costumes are both brilliant and terrible at the same time.

This is how we think scary stories are born.
This is how we think scary stories are born.

If it’s some spooky reading you’re in the mood for, then might I suggest revisiting the Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and The King in Yellow issues of NonBinary Review? They’re full of creepy stories, eerie poems, and modern takes on classic horror tropes that are sure to keep you up late. So settle down with some Halloween treats and get your spooky read on!

We want your skulls! ….and by skulls, we mean poems and stories, and art.
We want your skulls!
….and by skulls, we mean poems and stories, and art.

This weekend is the final sprint for submissions for NonBinary Review #7: Wilkie Collins’s The Woman in White issue, scheduled for an early December release. That also means that we’re opening up submissions for NonBinary Review #9, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland—which will stay open until June 1, 2016, so take your time getting to the tea party. Not only does this weekend mark the end of one reading period and the beginning of another, it’s also the kickoff weekend for NaNoWriMo—as we did last year, we’re again opening up submissions for NaNo novels at Zoetic Press. There’s no fee to enter your Great American Novel, and accepted manuscripts will be scheduled for the 2017 publication cycle at Zoetic Press. We mention this open reading period being a no-cost submission cycle because of an article published by The Atlantic making the rounds on social media this week—a look at whether or not literary journals and presses should charge prospective authors to read their work. While the author of this article raises some points that are, in fact, worthy of discussion—the fact remains that for most writers, access is a crucial part of equal representation, and reading fees limits access for a large cross-section of writers. In case you missed it, hop over to the Rhizomatic Ideas blog, where Editor-in-Chief Lise Quintana offers up a rebuttal to the Atlantic article and breaks down some of the fine print that comes with charging reading fees.
We’ll sign off this week 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 make time for it at your own leisure. If pinning’s more your way to relax and unwind, follow one of our boards at Pinterest, and see all the unique writing prompts and dream library pins we’ve got for you. If reading the work of other authors is what helps get the muse speaking to you, then download our app for iPhone or iPad and enjoy each issue of NonBinary Review completely free. On Facebook, you can follow our pages (Zoetic Press, Lithomobilus) to keep up with the latest happenings, online features, blog posts and book reviews. And 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 at blog@zoeticpress.com. 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!

Make the weekend bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.
Make the weekend bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.

Oh, and don’t forget to set your clocks back an hour—it’s the good part of Daylight Savings Time, so enjoy that fake extra hour that you’ll have until spring, when the cosmos will nastily rip it away from you again. It’s all a bunch of wibbley-wobbley timey-wimey stuff, anyway. Stay safe this weekend, and remember to honor and celebrate your dead.

Until next week—

Allie Marini
Managing Editor