Issues 1 & 2 & 3, Oh My! Lit Shark’s Friday Feed


Hi, readers, writers, and shark fans! Happy Friday! And welcome back to the Friday Feed! We haven’t hosted one of these in a LONG time; we’ve sure missed it and hope you have, too!

To get us all caught up, this is going to be a longer one, so here’s a breakdown of what to expect:

    • ICYMI: Lit Shark Magazine Series
    • Coming Up: The Saturday Shiver, NOTEBOOKS?!, and the Lit Shark Broadside Series
    • ICYMI: Our Latest Book Reviews and Author Interviews
    • YAYS for Our Lit Shark Community!
    • Our Last Submission Opportunities of 2023!

ICYMI: Lit Shark Magazine Series

This week, we published not just one but TWO issues of Lit Shark Magazine! Issue 2 came out later than we were originally planning, and we wanted to release Issue 3 for Halloween, so we embraced it and took this as an opportunity to REALLY talk about destigmatizing sharks and the image around sharks. We may enjoy horror movies that villainize sharks, but we have to understand the difference between the fictional villainous, agentic shark, and the real, powerful, graceful, far-from-evil shark you’d find in the ocean.

Issue 2 of Lit Shark Magazine: The SHARK WEEK EditionIssue 2 of Lit Shark Magazine: The SHARK WEEK Edition

Issue 2 of Lit Shark Magazine: The SHARK WEEK Edition is an incredible, 150-page follow-up to Issue 1 of Lit Shark Magazine, complete with poems, stories, and memoir essays that celebrate the self, the sea, and the shark.

Most importantly, we had the unique opportunity to work with Emmy-award-winning Paul Gasek, who was the Executive Producer of Shark Week for years 2016 to 2018. It was wonderful to work with him, and it was so incredibly heartening that he believed in what Lit Shark is aiming to do.

You can find Issue 2 here on our site, and the paperback edition is now also available

THEN, on Halloween, we issued Issue 3!

Issue 3 of Lit Shark Magazine: The Spooky (TEETH) Edition

Issue 3 of Lit Shark Magazine: The Spooky (TEETH) Edition is a spooky, creepy, haunting collection of nearly 200 pages worth of ghost stories, spooky poems, and dark retellings. From creatures lingering down in the deep to vengeful aliens to naturally occurring haunting moments found in nature…

It’s an impressive collection and so different from the other issues we’ve had so far. And while there are a few pieces in here where sharks or octopi or similar creatures are staged as the villains, most of the works contained here relate more so to ghosts, haunts, and grief, and these works are all at once fascinating and fun to read, especially with your favorite fall beverage and blanket combo.

I’m just so proud of these issues, and I both loved putting them together and love to reread them. I hope you’ll enjoy them, too!


Coming Up: The Saturday Shiver, NOTEBOOKS?!, and the Lit Shark Broadside Series

The Saturday Shiver Newsletter

At the moment, we’re getting back into posting the Friday Feed as a recap of our busy, busy week and also to share some upcoming information with you and celebrate our past contributors’ successes.

That all sounds wonderful, and we’re so excited to continue to host it for you. BUT we’ve decided to start a newsletter called the Saturday Shiver, which will include:

    • A recap of our busy week
    • Yays for our past contributors
    • Exclusive submission opportunities
    • Five submission opportunities I found out in the wild
    • Insider content: Tips on submitting, publishing, and writing, as well as Behind-the-Scenes Lit Shark content

    We’re really excited about the newsletter and can’t wait to release our first issue next week!

Notebooks and Writing Prompt Books!!

We absolutely love notebooks and writing prompt notebooks and decided to create a few for our Lit Shark community!

We’ve already created the covers for a few issues, and we’re currently formatting the interior pages with blank pages, lines, dot grids, and short pieces/excerpts from our past Lit Shark Magazine issues. We’re also creating a few notebooks specifically for teenagers, as well as a coloring book/writing prompt book/notebook for children!

We can’t wait to share these with you and be a part of your writing journey! More information coming VERY soon!

Poem of the Month Broadside Series

As a part of our Poem of the Month contest, winners will receive a unique digital broadside of their winning poem. We’ve decided to also make these broadsides available for purchase.

You can find our broadside series for sale, as well as our Shiver Collective Services for Authors, over here.

ICYMI: Our Latest Book Reviews and Author Interviews

America Fantastica by Tim O'Brien

America Fantastica by Tim O’Brien

Includes an EXCLUSIVE Interview with Tim O’Brien!!

Reviewed by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

“Tim O’Brien made a statement that rippled through the literary community when the book was announced for publication: this very well may be his final book. I will say simply that America Fantasticis already a book I would have advised you not to miss… but now, the reasons abound. Quick-witted, funny, thoughtful, raw, vulnerable, dark, haunting, striking, lovely… fantastical tropes for those who enjoy road trips, the underdog, gangster scenes, revenge fantasies, and more… There’s something for everyone in this book if they only take the time to look.”

Read Our Full Review

Purchase the Book

Someone Somewhere Maybe by Sophie Diener

Someone Somewhere Maybe by Sophie Diener

Includes an EXCLUSIVE Interview with Sophie Diener!!

Reviewed by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

“Sophie Diener’s Someone Somewhere Maybe is a beautiful and raw examination of the human condition, and it’s easily related to by all readers. Those in need of a warm hug, a good listening ear, and someone who understands them would love this book. Poets and those who love poetry will love this book, Diener’s turns of phrase, and her use of the page. And again, those who love Rupi Kaur and Taylor Swift, as well as Cleo Wade and Amanda Lovelace, and we’ll throw in the nostalgic fans of poetry by Jewel and Halsey, too—they’re going to absolutely love Someone Somewhere Maybe by Sophie Diener.”

Read Our Full Review

Purchase the Book

Through a Grainy Landscape by Millicent Borges Accardi

Through a Grainy Landscape by Millicent Borges Accardi

Includes an EXCLUSIVE Interview with Millicent Borges Accardi!!

Reviewed by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

Through a Grainy Landscape is a beautiful collection that celebrates family, coming of age, and nature through the act of longing. Pairing celebration with longing may not at first seem to make sense, but it’s through this act of longing and remembering that the persona discovers what she misses most about her family and what is worth longing for. It’s details and emotional stakes like this that so many of us have felt and processed in the past few years, and having a collection like this to turn to is, both, cathartic and deeply relatable. It’s also a beautiful, accessible launching point for anyone interested in exploring more Portuguese poetry and celebrating more Portuguese-born poets.”

Read Our Full Review

Purchase the Book

Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney

Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney

Reviewed by Krystina Quintana

“While some reviews may claim this book is unrelatable, I find myself easily in the characters portrayed in the book. Their awkward mannerisms and reactions to events (like first dates) seem all too real in the 21st century. I’m sure many people have felt this same awkwardness upon meeting new individuals, especially in a romantic setting, like Alice. Perhaps those who claim the characters are too awkward never grew up as awkward individuals trying to find their way in the world.”

Read Our Full Review

Purchase the Book

Blackfish Documentary, Directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite

“Nature’s Reality Check: ‘Blackfish,’ Sea World, and How Entertainment Comes at a Price”

Written by Ellen Acconcia

“Do I feel guilty for my active participation in viewing the orcas, and even the dolphins, soaring and plunging for my entertainment? Admittedly, after all my research and viewing Blackfish, I’m disappointed in myself for not thinking harder about how these splendid creatures were captured and treated over decades of forced bondage . . . As society learns more witnessing the modern evolution of our culture’s mores, we can own our mistakes and with that knowledge hope that we—and future generations—don’t repeat them.”

Read the Full Essay

Purchase or Stream ‘Blackfish’

YAYS for Our Lit Shark Community!

Ellen Acconcia just had a micro memoir called “Patterns” published at Five Minute Lit!

KB Ballentine‘s poem, “Bring What You Have,” was just published in The Red Branch Review.

Catherine Broadwall (Winner of the first Poem of the Month Contest)’s poem, “Darling,” was just featured in Blood Orange Review!

Barbara Anna Gaiardoni had a haiku featured in Under the Bashō!

Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas‘s poem, “How to Fall in Love with Robert Bly,” was the featured poem in Tipton Poetry Journal’s Summer 2023 issue!

Christy Howitt launched her own magazine, Calla, and Issue 2 was just released. It’s well worth the read!

Sarah Hozumi ‘s short story, “The Remaining Ashes,” was published on the Coffin Bell literary website.

RescuePoetix was nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Brownstone Poets!

McKenzie Lynn Tozan contributed to the Global Perspectives on the Liminality of the Supernatural: From Animus to Zombi critical theory anthology last year (her chapter is titled, “The Yara-ma-yha-who, ‘Real’ Vampires, and Aboriginal Erasure: The Uncovered and Retold Vampires of Australian Horror Fiction”), and the anthology just received an incredibly impressive sterling review!

Lit Shark Magazine‘s community is growing! We’re so pleased to have been featured in Amber Petty’s “Writing Jobs in Your Inbox” newsletter, as well as Lou Piccolo’s guide, “44 Children’s and Teen Magazines Looking for Writers.” We’ve also been included on The Grinder submission portal and Cathy’s Comps & Calls! And Issue 2 of Lit Shark Magazine: The SHARK WEEK Edition is already in the Top 1000 titles in Poetry Anthologies! YAY! Looks like the shark is out of the bag!


Our Last Submission Opportunities of 2023!

Don’t Forget Our Poem of the Month Contest!

We’re currently reviewing submissions to select the winner of our November Poem of the Month Contest, but since it’s November, submissions are officially open for December’s contest!

Submissions are ALWAYS open, but if you want to submit to our CURRENT contest, you have to submit within the month of November! If you submit in December, your poetry will be considered in January… and so on.

FREE TO SUBMIT. Do it here!

The winner will receive:
– $20
– An original broadside of their poem
– Featured on our website
– Featured in our next issue of Lit Shark Magazine
– You can see our previous winner, Catherine Broadwall, and her original broadside here

Honorable Mentions will also be considered, and they will receive a shoutout on our website, and their poem will be featured in our next issue of Lit Shark Magazine.

Happy Submitting! We can’t wait to read your work!

FREE TO SUBMIT. Do it here!

Lit Shark: Issue 4Be a Part of Our Final Magazine Issue of the Year! Submit to Issue 4 of Lit Shark Magazine!

For our final issue of the year, we’re leaving the submissions open to you to choose what you would like to send! Just make sure to double-check our submission guidelines for word count/page count requirements!

We want to end this year on a high note and come into 2024 with a “Best Of” anthology of all of our favorite pieces from the first four issues this year. It’s been such a wonderful first year at Lit Shark Magazine, and we can’t thank all of you enough for your support and your submissions.

You can use our usual submission portal here. 

Poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and short plays are all welcome.

As always, we love marine-themed work, but your work can contain any theme you wish!


Thank you all for reading today! Happy Writing and Happy Submitting!

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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