July 17, 2015
Dear Intrepid Readers,
Today’s editorial letter is my favorite kind to write—today we publicly announce our nominees for Best of the Net!
Editor-in-Chief Lise Quintana and I have been working together for nearly five years, and we still get excited every time this season rolls around. We know that nominations—regardless of the winners and finalists—can make a huge difference in the lives of working writers. As a writer, one of the things we strive for is the knowledge that other people not only read our work, but that they get it. In each issue of NonBinary Review, there are always pieces that grab harder, hold tighter, speak louder and echo longer. These pieces change how we edit, how we read, and in many cases, how we write—they set the bar higher for us, as editors, curators, and writers in our own right. They’re the pieces that teach us things; that reveal things; that whisper secrets to us. To us, every piece we’ve ever published is a winner—after all, we loved it enough to want to share it with you. These are the pieces from the past year that we revisit, every time we open the Litho app and scroll through our past issues. These are, to me, the pieces that make me most proud as an editor. That said, it is my distinct pleasure to announce to our readers and contributors the editorial nominations for the 2015 Sundress Publications Best of the Net.
Before you jump ahead to see whose work we’ve selected to represent our press this year, let us provide you with a brief history of Sundress Publications’ Best of the Net award, because the story of this award is as scrappy and forward-thinking as we believe our press and our authors are. Best of the Net was launched in 2006 by Sundress Publications. Today, Sundress Publications are one of the largest and most well-respected names in independent publishing, with nearly a dozen imprints and affiliated publications, as well as the SAFTA program and writers’ residency program. In 2006, the landscape of independent publishing had drastically changed, with the rise of the internet and a transition from print media to online publication. At that time, the few competitions recognizing achievement in literary work were geared exclusively towards print publications. Seeing the disconnect between the work recognized by other “Best of” competitions and the work being produced each year, Sundress founded the Best of the Net award as a bridge between the traditional print format of literary periodicals and the future of those periodicals in the online world. In 2015, we take for granted the idea of online publishing. But in 2006, this idea was still gathering momentum, and one might argue that part of the reason online publication is now viewed as equal in importance to print publication is due to Best of the Net. According to the official Sundress Publications Best of the Net website, the idea that created the Best of the Net is as follows:
“This project continues to promote the diverse and growing collection of voices who are publishing their work online, a venue that continues to see less respect from such yearly anthologies as the Pushcart and Best American series. This anthology serves to bring greater respect to an innovative and continually expanding medium in the same medium in which it is published.”
Innovation and a continually-expanding medium are the ideas which prompted us to create the Lithomobilus reading platform, and to seek out work that doesn’t just think outside of the box, but which dismantles and re-constructs the box. We understand and respect the symbiotic relationship of editor/author. Without the authors who send out their work and are rarely paid for it anymore, literary publications—print or online—would have nothing to publish at all. Though a Best of the Net nomination won’t pay any bills or buy the author a cup of coffee, it’s a small gesture, a token of faith between editor and author, that all the hard work is worth it—because why do we write, if not to touch other people?
So without further fanfare, I am pleased to present you with the Zoetic Press nominees for the 2015 Sundress Publications Best of the Net. Where possible, we’ve linked to the piece for you to re-visit and enjoy. And next spring, when the winners and finalists are announced, we’re crossing our fingers and hoping to see some Zoetic names on the list.
2015 Best of the Net Nominees
- Tin Man Sings the Blues, Emily Cole (Alphanumeric, NonBinary Review #3, L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz)
- My Stripper Name is Medusa, Jaclyn Weber (NonBinary Review #4, Bulfinch’s Mythology)
- Bound to Her Father’s Spear Hurled Over the River’s Current (English andItalian), Alessandra Bava (NonBinary Review #4, Bulfinch’s Mythology)
- Eve and Pandora, Andrea Blythe (NonBinary Review #4, Bulfinch’s Mythology)
- Grown Dorothy Steps on the Scale, Jen Stein (Alphanumeric, NonBinary Review #3, L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz)
- listen, Hope Wabuke (NonBinary Review #5, Robert W. Chambers’ The King in Yellow)
- The Yellowed Press of an Ancient Power, Carina Bissett (NonBinary Review #5, Robert W. Chambers’ The King in Yellow)
- Here Proserpine Was Playing With Her Companions, Gathering Lilies and Violets, and Filling Her Basket and Her Apron With Them, When Pluto Saw Her, Loved Her, and Carried Her Off, Elizabeth Vegvary (NonBinary Review #4, Bulfinch’s Mythology)
- American Oz, Jessica Rogers , (NonBinary Review #3, L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz)
- Wandering Spirits, Selena Chambers (NonBinary Review #2, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein)
To read all the pieces we’ve nominated for this year’s Best of the Net, download the app for your iPhone or iPad and enjoy everything we’ve published, completely free. Stay in the loop and hit us up on Facebook (Zoetic Press,Lithomobilus), Twitter (@ZoeticPress andLitho) 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. Want to be a guest writer for Rhizomatic Ideas, or to profile one of our contributors? Send us a pitch at email@example.com. We’re interested in all kinds of blog posts, from First Person blogs about your experiences, challenges, struggles and triumphs as a working writer or writing student, to craft discussions. 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,