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Submit to Issue 5 of The Lit: Small Town Stories

Want to see your work in Issue 5 of our literary journal, The Lit? We want your short fiction, creative nonfiction and visual responses around the theme of Small Town Stories.

What we’re looking for: Telling the untold  

Delving into themes of class, identity, community and belonging, in the next issue of our online literary journal The Lit, we want to shine a light on small town life. There is a wildness to rural communities, a freedom that comes from living on the edge, a magical sense of being an outsider yet an insider at the same time. Small towns shape you. For many, they never leave you, even if you leave them.

For Issue 5, we are looking for the following:

  • Short fiction
  • Essays
  • Memoir
  • Photo essays
  • Video poems (please note, we are not accepting written poetry submissions for this issue).

You might be a writer inspired by Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood, and the rich characters that live behind closed doors, or a short fiction author who like Raymond Carver in What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, is interested in exploring the invisible, of saying the unsaid, of confronting the horrors of home. You might be a photographer who shows the seduction of suburban life through your lens, or a journalist with a new angle or insight on rural communities. You might take inspiration from Brit Bennett’s The Vanishing Half; the story of the Vignes twins, who yearn for escape from their small, fictional town in the Deep South.

We are based in South West England, but The Lit has an international readership, with contributors from India to Ireland. This will be our first cross-Atlantic issue of The Lit, and within the pages we are keen to provide a global view on small town stories. Please bear this in mind when planning your submission.

Image (c) Helena Bonastre

How to submit: Please read

Each participant can send one submission each. Written content should be no more than 2,000 words, please. The submission deadline is midnight Friday January 20th. Please email your submission to [email protected], with the subject title ‘Issue 5 Submission’, including the following details:

  • Your full name
  • Title and word count (if applicable) of piece
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Social media details
  • 100-word artist bio

We will accept pitches (rather than finished articles) for non-fiction pieces, but it should show a clear angle and include details such as planned interviewees and / or voices.

If it’s photography, please email a download link, rather than attachments. If it’s written content, please send as a Word document or PDF in a legible font. If it’s a video poem, please include a link to your video (i.e., on a website, via private Vimeo link, YouTube, etc).

Published authors will also be invited to a networking and magazine launch event in Exeter, to meet with editors and other contributors. This is part of a multidisciplinary collaborative project between University of Exeter and the University of British Columbia, Okanagan campus. Issue Editors are established creatives and academics Anna Kiernan and Michael V. Smith.

Unfortunately we are not able to pay for published content. However, The Literary Platform is a creative incubator and as such, if your work is accepted for publication, our team of experienced editors will provide feedback at every stage of the editorial process to act as a form of mentoring.

The Literary Platform is committed to pursuing equity and inclusion in the publishing industry, starting with our own publications. Creatives with diverse and / or underrepresented personal and / or professional backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.

We look forward to reading your submissions.

About The Literary Platform

The Literary Platform became an internationally renowned agency working with books and technology after launching in 2011 and was listed in the British Council Creative Economy’s Top TenUK Creative Entrepreneurs.

In 2019, with funding from Arts Council England, The Literary Platform relaunched as an initiative dedicated to publishing and promoting new writing in all its forms, building audiences across the South West and beyond.

The Literary Platform supports aspiring writers and publishers via free professional development sessions, mentoring, publication opportunities, a membership scheme (The Lit Salon, free to those from underrepresented backgrounds) and an online literary journal, The Lit.

Bonus content

Small town stories we love:

  • Erica Woof – Mud Puppy
  • Annie Proulx – The Shipping News

Illustrations by Helena Bonastre. Find her website via the link below, or on Instagram @helenabonastre.

Read more
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