Monday Munchies (AKA: A Belated Friday Feed!)


Happy Monday, readers, writers, and shark fans! And welcome to last week’s belated Friday Feed!

There were no technical difficulties this week, thank goodness, but the youngest in our little Shiver team DID have a third birthday! Our original team was made up of McKenzie (Editor-in-Chief), her husband, Dragan (Operations and Technical Director), and their three children, Cadence (8), Grayson (4), and Landon (now 3).

It wasn’t the most eventual birthday or weekend because of a stomach bug that hit our house, Landon especially, but with movies, popcorn, a gluten-free chocolate cake, and presents, we had a fun, relaxing time together.

Landon says hi to all of the Lit Shark community, and when I asked him to say, “shark,” he said, “SHAARRRRRRRK,” and then proceeded to dance in place (rocking from one foot to the other) and singing, “do-do… do-do, do-do…”

I should have seen that coming.

Anyway! Thanks for joining in for the birthday fun, and now time for our regularly scheduled programming! Read on for our ICYMI features, an update on Issue 2 of Lit Shark Magazine: The SHARK WEEK Edition, and more about what to expect from Lit Shark next.

Issue 2 of Lit Shark Magazine: The SHARK WEEK Edition

We’re happy to report that we’re excitingly working away at reading submissions for Issue 2—and we’re even happier to share that the pieces submitted this round live up to the hype, passion, and talent shown in Issue 1. We’re aiming to notify everyone by this Friday of whether or not their submission will be featured, and then we’ll dive into the design work!

Issue 2 will also include a Foreword by a special guest, and we cannot wait to reveal who it will be…

Issue 2 of Lit Shark Magazine: The SHARK WEEK Edition is scheduled to publish the week of September 15th, and the print edition will be available without delay this time!

Also! Be on the lookout for our next submission call!

We’re releasing Issue 3 of Lit Shark Magazine: The Spooky (TEETH) Edition just in time for Halloween and our final issue of the year, Issue 4 of Lit Shark Magazine (no theme) will be released in December!

ICYMI: Our Top Features from August 12-20, 2023

Author Interviews

The Vitruvian Heir series by L.S. Kilroy

McKenzie Lynn Tozan conducted an interview with indie author, L.S. Kilroy, about her book series, The Vitruvian Heir. The interview includes a book review of The Vitruvian Heir, Book I: The Unraveling, and what McKenzie is looking forward to in Book II: The Awakening.

Read the Interview Here: ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Meets ‘Bridgerton’ In This Steampunk, Neo-Victorian World—Plus Exclusive Interview with L.S. Kilroy

Book Reviews

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Krystina Quintana wrote a thoughtful book review of Matt Haig’s surrealist novel that those who enjoy alternate realities, multiverses, and the complexities of literary fiction would love. The Midnight Library follows the story of Nora Seed who finds herself unhappy with a life full of low points, and she decided to end it. But what she finds on the other side instead of darkness, Heaven, or Hell is a library of infinite choices: a library of books that tell the story of what her life would have looked like if she’d kept that job, dated that guy, married that other guy, or adopted that dog. It’s an incredible story of longing and the perpetual human condition, and it challenges our perceptions of “what-if” and our constant concern about what life could have been like if…

Read the Review Here: Haunted By What-Ifs, Alternate Realities, & Multiverses In Matt Haig’s ‘The Midnight Library’

Writing Prompts

Every Wednesday, we love to share writing prompts, and we just recently shifted from sharing one writing PROMPT to sharing one writing prompt THEME instead to give our community more flexibility.

Try out one of our prompts, and then share your work with us! When you send it, it may be featured on our site or even in the next issue of Lit Shark Magazine!

Try Our Latest Writing Prompt Theme Here: Wednesday Writing Prompt: Following Cheryl Strayed

Essays on Conservation and Sustainability

This news piece is more so just for fun, because we really enjoyed Harrison Ford’s reaction to having a “creepy crawly” snake named after him, but his commentary on the event reminded us of the importance of advocacy for ALL animals, not just the beautiful tigers, elephants, and pandas.

So often, animals with scales, big teeth, and cold blood are dismissed as ugly, evil, and villainous —something that should have remained locked away in Pandora’s Box and of no real “use” to our world than to cause harm. But in reality, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

This way of thinking greatly impacts sharks, as well, and their health and presence is VITAL to the quality of their marine ecosystem. We have an essay coming about this that we LOVE that walks us through how the population of sharks reflects the health, growth, and vitality of a coral reef—and what their absence means for that reef’s and its other habitants’ future. By casting sharks and other similar animals as “villains” and even something that is “intentionally” harmful (sharks are often referred to as “agented” because of entertainment like Jaws where the villain, Jaws, is clearly cognizant of his choice to attack), they’re rewarded far less support and advocacy than they need—and they need us now more than ever.

Read This Article Here: Yes, Harrison Ford, It HAD To Be Snakes: The Importance of All-Animal Advocacy

What’s Next at Lit Shark: Core 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. 

Ironically, why were deleted scenes and bonus creator content SO POPULAR on DVDs, often even more popular than the movie? Because people liked to see the thought process that went into the story, why it mattered to the creators, and how it was made.

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.

ALSO What’s Next at Lit Shark: The Shiver Services

Lit Shark already offers for authors to reach out to us about writing a book review, conducting an author interview, and/or including a title in an upcoming listicle. But we want to continue to do more for our community.

If you’d like to hear more about this and get our Early Bird pricing, contact us now!

For writers who are working on their first major project and are in need of more assistance, we will offer: 

  • Our Core Stories Program (self-paced and/or 1:1 assistance)
  • Writing Coaching
  • Developmental Editing
  • Early Author Readership Growth (Strongly Recommended!)
  • Early Author Website Development (Strongly Recommended!)

For writers looking to publish their books, or looking to improve their readership and sales, we’ll also be offering individual book services, including:

  • Line-Editing
  • Proofreading and Fact-Checking
  • Interior Design
  • Cover Design
  • Publishing Assistance
  • Book Marketing
  • Author Readership Growth/Branding/Social Media
  • Virtual Book Launch
  • Book Merch Design and Distribution
  • Author Website Development and Maintenance

Thanks for joining us for last week’s Friday Feed / today’s Monday Munchies! We’re so happy you’re here and can’t wait to share more.

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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