Join Us in Saying Happy 1st Birthday to Lit Shark!


Happy Thursday, readers, writers, and shark fans! …and Happy 1st Birthday to Lit Shark!

We knew this day was coming, but now that it’s here, we’re reeling. It’s so exciting, isn’t it? It feels like we just got started yesterday, so how could it possibly be a year already? But at the same time, we’ve done so much in the past year, so how has it ONLY been a year? We’re so grateful.


Since the beginning, we’ve committed to having Lit Shark fulfill its name: to develop a large, inclusive, and accessible writing community that celebrates core stories (LIT) and a safe and supportive safe for learning more about conservation, volunteering, and making a difference, especially for coral reefs, marine ecosystems, and destigmatizing the image of sharks (SHARK).

Admittedly, we have a long way to go! We’ve published four issues of Lit Shark Magazine, and we’ve been working hard this week on our Best Of 2023 anthology, and we’re also collecting submissions for Lit Pup Magazine. We’ve even published a few essays that are conservation- and sustainability-focused, and we’ve started making connections in the conservation space, with marine biologists, etc. But while we’ve gotten off to a good start, we want to go a lot lot lot lot deeper.

We’re here to make a difference, after all! In the literary community AND for the earth.

Grateful for Writers

We’re so grateful to all of the writers who trusted us with their work for our first year of issues and anthology, as well as for the writers who trusted us with their books for our book reviews and author interviews. Sharing your work with someone is no small feat, and giving them the space to creatively critique you is admirable.

We enjoyed every single book that we reviewed in 2023 (really), but some of our favorites had to be in the second half of the year, including: Tim O’Brien’s America Fantastica, Alyssa Harmon’s Seven Years and Treading Water, Millicent Borges Accardi’s Through a Grainy Landscape, Patrick T. Reardon’s Puddin’, and Ransford Doherty and Angie J. Sanders’ Dear Starving Artist, Get Something to Eat. While we enjoyed every book that we read and reviewed, these were the ones that struck us deeply, that we especially loved and enjoyed, and who keep calling us back.

We’re also excited to share that we’ll be reviewing in a wider range of genres in 2024—starting with multiple fantasy titles that we’re head-over-fins for.

A Multi-Passionate Team

We also have so many ideas in the works that, admittedly, when we say them all it once, it sounds like we can’t make our minds up about what we want Lit Shark to be. But that isn’t true. This team is made up of multi-passionate people who want to make a big difference and who also want to help writers and the earth in as many ways as possible, and what we’re doing reflects that.

Our submissions for Lit Shark Magazine and our Poem of the Month contest are officially open for 2024, and we’re excited to begin working on those issues!

We’re also working on, as we said, our 2023 Anthology and also notebooks, creative writing prompt notebooks, bookmarks, and a short list of services for authors, like line-editing, interior design, and marketing strategies. In the future, we want to assist in publishing books, as well, but for now, we’re going to focus on a la carte services, all of which will help us to pay our writers and to start making donations to important ecological movements.

And did we mention we’re working on a little bit of merch, too? Because mugs for coffee, tea, and matcha with little sharks on themmm are important.

If You’re Still Reading, Thank You

Thank you so much if you’re still reading; we know this is a longer post. We’re just so excited about what has happened in the past year and how far we’re hoping to go in 2024.

It was such an incredible year, but that wasn’t because of us. It was because of you, your support, your involvement, and your enthusiasm. We truly appreciate you so much and would not have all of this to look forward to in 2024 if it weren’t for you. So thank you.

We’re looking forward to continuing to share our love of words and animals in 2024, through posts, reviews, issues, and poetry contests, getting sneak peeks into our Editor-in-Chief’s writing life and writing goals, and finally getting out to the sea, exploring, diving, and volunteering. There will be interviews. There will be film reviews. There will be a lot more book reviews. It’s going to be a great year! We’re so happy you’re going along for it with us.


Happy Birthday to Lit Shark and everything it has been so far… and Happy Birthday to Lit Shark and everything it’s going to be.

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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