Longleaf News!

the new news

We’re growing and growing and growing.

We’ve learned lots over the past year: about where we’d like to take the journal, what we believe we can contribute to this literary community that we love so, as well as about the amount of passion and sweat it takes to successfully run a publication. All of this is to say that our phenomenal growth has led to the expansion of our team, as well as the decision to make some changes to our publication cycle, and we’re so excited to make this announcement!

From here on out, we’ll only be open for two reading periods a year: The first will run from November 1st–December 31st, and the second will occur from June 1st–July 31st. Rather than adhere to traditional print publication cycles, too, we’ll be publishing each piece accepted for a series once a week, alternating between poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. We believe this will give us more time to spotlight and market our contributors’ work throughout the year.

We couldn’t do any of this without our wonderful team of volunteer readers and editors though, of course, and we are so thankful for and pleased to announce the addition of our new editors! Please welcome Sarah Arantza Amador, who will be serving as our new Fiction Editor; Kate Finegan, whose work we featured in Issue 3 and who will now be joining us as Assistant Fiction Editor; Paige Perez, whose been a fantastic reader and is now joining us as Creative Nonfiction Editor; and Adelina Sarkisyan, our new Poetry Editor.

We’d also like to welcome our new readers: Mary Hanrahan, Thea Swanson, Nell Smith, and Lillian Schneider. They will be joining Moylin Yuan, Allison Kubu, and Constance Owens, who all continue to be rock stars.

welcome the new editors!

Sarah Amador // Fiction Editor

Sarah Amador // Fiction Editor

Born in Los Angeles and currently residing in the Santa Cruz Mountains of Northern California with her dog Roscoe, Sarah Arantza Amador writes about longing, ghost-making, the endearment of monsters, and the weird twists and turns of human loving-kindness. Her flash fiction has been nominated for Best Microfictions (2018). You can find her fiction, CNF, and poetry all across the web. Sarah tweets @ArantzaSarah.

What literary magazines do you admire most?

I love the accessibility of web-based lit journals and mags and how easy it is to read and share all the phenomenal work being published online. Some of the online journals I most admire are Paper Darts, Split Lip Magazine, Cosmonauts Avenue, CHEAP POP, and Jellyfish Review.

Do you have a favorite flash fiction or short story writer, and what do you love about their work?

This is too hard – I don’t know how to choose just one, so I’ll mention a few! Richard Brautigan, Julio Cortázar, and Augusto Monterroso inspired me to write my first vignettes and short shorts as a teenager. I loved how they played with form and challenged me to expand my own notion of narrative. Their work is imaginative and whimsical, but still serious and thoughtful. I find Brautigan’s writing more tender and heartbreaking than ever now, 15+ years after reading him for the first time, and love it still. I like irony only when it’s done well and gestures to vulnerability and beauty; Monterroso and Cortázar taught me that. I’m in awe of Diane Williams and Joy Williams’ work, and like to think that theirs is similar to the best of Nietzsche’s writing: funny, puzzling, dense, aggressively challenging. I recently read Manuel Gonzales’ short story collection The Miniature Wife and admire his sensitivity and humor, and his control of pace and focus. Gloria Anzaldúa’s hybrid creative work on intertextuality and transgression influenced my scholarly work as a graduate student and I look for it everywhere now. I’m excited by writing that has traction and is difficult to pin down.

What does the ideal submission look like for you?

Slippery, fanged, lightning-fast. If looks could kill, knock me dead.

Do you have any submission pet peeves?

Review the masthead and read the submission guidelines before you submit! They’re there for a reason!

You’re a writer, too. How do you think this affects your editorial decisions?

I know that it takes guts to put yourself and your written work out into the world and have always valued the kind, generous editors who have taken the time to engage with me and my words, cheer me on, and help me along the way — whether they choose to publish me or not! That generosity of spirit is catching, and I enjoy paying it forward. It’s always an honor to read you, and it’s a special privilege to collaborate with you when the stars align and we offer to publish your work.

Kate Finegan // Asst. Fiction Editor

Kate Finegan // Asst. Fiction Editor

Kate Finegan recently published the chapbook The Size of Texas with Penrose Press. Her work has won contests with Thresholds, Phoebe Journal, Midwestern Gothic, and The Fiddlehead, and been runner-up for The Puritan's Thomas Morton Memorial Prize, shortlisted for the Cambridge Short Story Prize and Synaesthesia Flash Fiction Prize, and longlisted by Room. You can find her at katefinegan.ink and twitter.com/@kehfinegan.

What literary magazines do you admire most?

Oh, I love so many. Room and Minola Review because they’re feminist and Canadian and consistently jaw-droppingly good, Pithead Chapel and Split Lip because they start every month off on the right foot, Pidgeonholes because of their postcards and penchant for the offbeat and stunning, The Puritan for championing emerging writers alongside established voices, Humber Literary Review for pairing beautiful words with beautiful art, One Story for its elegant simplicity, FlashBack Fiction for providing a platform for a subgenre that deserves a whole lot of love…and the list could go on and on and on.

Do you have a favorite flash fiction or short story writer, and what do you love about their work?

I love so many short story writers, and I absolutely hoard short story collections, but I think my favorite might have to be Lauren Groff. I love how her stories are often very, very dark, but always compassionate. I enjoy her sense of humor; her descriptions of bodily, sensory sensations; her use of atmosphere and setting. I also love how unapologetically feminist her writing is. Oh, but there are so many brilliant short story writers. I love so many.

What does the ideal submission look like for you?

On Rachel Thompson’s Lit Mag Love podcast, there was one interview in which the editor talked about the feeling of full-body relaxation, a shrugging off of tension, that happens when you realize you’re in the hands of a skilled storyteller. That’s what I want—a strong narrative voice and a story that has to be told.

Do you have any submission pet peeves?

Not following the guidelines, of course. Also, really sick of reading stories in which men describe women using food words—chocolate-brown skin, strawberry-red lips, milky-white legs. Really sick of the male gaze in general, actually. And also, I am so sick of reading gratuitous rape stories.

You’re a writer, too. How do you think this affects your editorial decisions?

I think my work as an editor has a strong effect on my work as a writer, because it helps me to see what makes a story stand out, but I’m not sure how my work as a writer affects my editorial decisions. I really try to use my reader-brain when I’m reading a submission, just thinking about where this story is taking me and how it feels. In editorial conversations with a writer, of course, I would be using my writer brain to encourage changes that would make the work stronger on the writer’s terms, rather than trying to twist the story into what I might want it to be. I guess being a writer has given me a good ability to judge the work on its own terms, to try to find what the author’s intent is and then to assess whether that intent has been achieved. Reading submissions is subjective, but I think being a writer has made me better able to appreciate the merits of work that is quite different from what I would normally choose to read.

Adelina Sarkisyan // Poetry Editor

Adelina Sarkisyan // Poetry Editor

Adelina is an Armenian-American writer whose poetry has been nominated for Best of the Net and appeared in various publications, online and in print. Besides writing, her insatiable curiosity has led her to pursue a BA in Anthropology, with Minors in Women’s Studies and Criminology, and a Master of Social Work. When she's not working, she takes ballet class, explores all things odd and eerie, and roams the streets of Los Angeles. She is currently working on a novel, a collection of poetry, and the occasional short story.

What current publications (or publishers) do you admire most?

I always enjoy reading Literary Hub, Electric Lit, The LA Review of Books, and Womankind Magazine. The Paris Review, The Poetry Foundation, and Poets.org all have a poem-a-day series that I love waking up to.

Who are your favorite poets?

In no particular order: Jack Gilbert, Mary Oliver, Louise Glück, Anne Sexton, Rilke, W.S. Merwin, Sylvia Plath, Emily Brontë.

Do you have any submission pet peeves?

Poetry that is about self expression and reads like a journal entry. Sexism, racism, and other isms. Writing about experiences that aren’t yours. Crazy, unintelligible formatting. Being provocative or risqué just to be provocative or risqué. Romanticizing abuse or mental illness. Grammatical errors and typos.

You’re a writer, too. How do you think this affects your editorial decisions?

I’ve been (and currently am) on both sides of this metaphorical fence, so my editorial decisions and correspondence with our writers will definitely reflect this. The process of submitting your most private and cherished work can be wonderfully grueling. One of the biggest traits I can offer is empathy.

About the author

Stephanie Lachapelle

Stephanie is a writer, weird butterfly lady, and the Editor-in-Chief of Longleaf Review.