Five Days Left to Submit, Telling Our Stories, & More in the Friday Feed

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Happy Friday, readers, writers, and shark fans! Another week in the summer has flown by, and we’re excited to share another Friday Feed with you—what’s going on right now, publishing yays for our past contributors, and what to expect next from Lit Shark.

Five More Days to Submit to Issue 2: The SHARK WEEK Edition 

In case you missed the news earlier this week, we extended our deadline for Issue 2 to August 9, 2023. We’re accepting general submissions but are giving special consideration to works that are centered around SHARK WEEK (of any year) or the shark genre. Send us your favorites, and if you want to write in the genre but aren’t sure where to start, we shared some SHARK WEEK creative writing prompts over here.

TO SUBMIT BY AUGUST 9: Please see our guidelines and submission portal here.

What’s Next for Lit Shark: The Power of Telling Our Stories

McKenzie, the Editor-in-Chief at Lit Shark, believes deeply in the power of people telling their stories—but what has always fascinated her more is the story behind the story, the importance behind the story. What inspired your story, and why is it so important that you write it? Often these behind-the-scenes details are the best part, but while the urgency and passion may leap off the page, readers likely will never hear the story behind the story.

To assist writers in the telling of their stories and the ownership of their “core stories” (the story behind the story), Lit Shark will be releasing a self-paced program for writers to identify their sources of inspiration, their favorite stories, and what is at stake for them in telling these stories. The goal of this program is to increase inspiration and confidence while quieting the imposter syndrome that makes us question the quality of our ideas and our abilities as storytellers and poets. This will be available in September, and all funds will be put toward paying our future writers and donating to important conservation efforts and research.

We’ll also be offering individual services, including writing coaching, editing, design, publishing assistance, and marketing, and those will be ready to book later this month! Stay tuned!

Yays for Our Past Contributors!

J.D. Gevry, writer of “All That Can’t Be Said” in Issue 1 of Lit Shark Magazine, has published multiple stunning works in the past few weeks since Issue 1 of Lit Shark Magazine went live, including “Prayer for the Fallen” in Remington Review and multiple poems, including “I’m Not Ready Yet” and “Revisions” in the Querencia Summer 2023 anthology. Congratulations, J.D.!

Carolyn Martin, whose poems “Dreamscaping” and “Shall I?” were featured in Issue 1 of Lit Shark Magazine, had her poem, “My Mother is Dead,” in honor of her mother, published by Leon Literary Review. It’s absolutely stunning.

Cassandra O’Sullivan Sachar, writer of “Trapped in a Studio Apartment for Eternity” in Issue 1 of Lit Shark Magazine, has a new horror short story, “Tunnel Vision,” at Rosette Maleficarum. It’s startling good.

And our EIC, McKenzie Lynn Tozan, received some fun news this morning! She was involved in the writing and development of the nonfiction horror anthology, Liminality of the Supernatural: From Animus to Zombi, edited by the wonderful Rebecca Gibson and Jay VanderVeen. She wrote Chapter 4: “The Yara-ma-yha-who, ‘Real’ Vampires, and Aboriginal Erasure: The Uncovered and Retold Vampires of Australian Horror Fiction.” Today, the President of the Vampire Studies Association reached out, asking if they could feature her work in the next volume of the Journal of Vampire Studies. Very exciting!

Stay Tuned!

We’re getting in the habit of posting more regularly on the Lit Shark website now that we have gotten into a rhythm with reading submissions and publishing our issues of the magazine (thank you all for your patience while we worked all of this out; this has included a steep learning curve but has been so worth it).

We have several reviews of incredible books coming out this coming week in nonfiction, supernatural romance, and poetry, and we also have several essays in the conservation space, including a fascinating piece about audio ecology and another about the relationship between shark populations and coral reef health. Not to mention a few highlights we loved in Issue 1 that will get us all in the mood for Issue 2. We can’t wait to share all of this with you!

Something Positive to Take Us into the Weekend

We love ending off these Friday Feeds with something positive to carry us into the weekend. Last time, we went with the simple pleasure of happy couples interacting with a social beluga whale on their wedding days. Today, we’re turning the script quite a bit and talking about a conservation mission trip (covered previously by Publishers Weekly).

Nine children’s book authors have committed to completing a volunteer program in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, in October 2023. These nine now refer to themselves as the Children’s Book Creators for Conservation, and they intend to spend two weeks with the stewardship organization, Wild Tomorrow, to support the communities and ecological landscape of the South African province. They plan to visit the children in area schools and orphanages, learn about the region, collect information to share these local stories on a global level, and participate in hands-on conservation efforts.

The nine authors include Hayley and John Rocco (the married couple credited with coming up with this mission), Candace Fleming, Meg Fleming, Brian Floca, Jessica Lanan, G. Neri, Eric Rohmann, and Corban Wilkin, who are each well-known by children’s book readers for creating beautiful and accessible depictions of wildlife, the natural world, and our place (and helping hands) in it. They believe that children’s books can convey the awe that should be inspired in us by nature and our neighboring species, and they hope these stories might lead their readers to commit to advocacy and direct action.

This conservation trip is a great example of something that the Lit Shark community wants to do for marine life and their surrounding on-land ecosystems of plant life and land animals—and we couldn’t be more inspired by the work the Children’s Book Creators for Conservation are doing…

…and what Lit Shark’s team WILL be doing in the not-so-distant future. Growth mindset!

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. You will not be charged extra, but a portion of your purchase will help support Lit Shark’s causes in inclusive and accessible literature and writing resources, as well as our growing movement in conversation education, rescue, and revitalization.

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Written By McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan (she/her/hers) lives and writes in Europe with her family (originally from the Midwest). In addition to being the Editor-in-Chief of Lit Shark Magazine and the Banned Book Review, she is a novelist, poet, and book reviewer. She received her MFA in Poetry from Western Michigan University and her BA in English/BS in Education from Indiana University South Bend, where she began her work in publishing. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, Young Ravens Review, The Birds We Piled Loosely, and Encore Magazine, among others; and her book reviews and essays have appeared in The Rumpus, Green Mountains Review, Memoir Mixtapes, The Life Collective, Her Journal, Motherly, and more. When not writing, she enjoys reading, appreciating nature, and spending time with her husband and three children.

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