Editor's Note

 

Kaitlyn Andrews-Rice, Editor-in-Chief

 

 

 

 

 

 

                         


 

 

 

 

 

 

Writing is a solitary act, a private, personal thing. And then suddenly it's not. You want to get published. If no one reads, what's the point? 

 

All writers navigate doubt. For many years I decided not writing was better than dealing with rejection. It wasn't personal, but it felt personal. Every rejection like another billboard, Hey you, you're not good enough! So I gave up, distracting myself with "normal" jobs and happy hours, all the things I thought might fill the void.

 

When I began working on Split Lip Magazine, first as Flash Fiction Editor, and then as Editor-in-Chief, I hadn't published a thing (other than a story in an undergraduate lit mag). I had an MFA, sure, but hadn't been around other writers in years. Did I even know how to write a story? Would anyone care what I had to say?

 

 

But you all took a chance. Writers submitted and I read. Hundreds of stories each month, many from writers just like me, maybe just like you. Writers who had yet to publish widely and who were looking for someone to say, Your words matter. Your work matters.

 

Eventually I felt comfortable sending out my own work. I'm slow and controlling. Revisions take forever. Ten, twenty, thirty drafts later I might be ready. This process isn't for everyone. Some writers are prolific. Some are slow. There's no manual for publishing success. (And if there is, I haven't found it yet.)

 

Before hitting submit,  I had the worst case of imposter syndrome. I did it anyway. Even if no one accepted my work, submitting felt like a radical act of self-love.

 

It’s easy to think publication is the end game. It’s not. Even with one, two, twenty-seven publications under your belt, the doubt and fear doesn’t go away. A story, essay, poem has a short shelf-life. Twitter's attention span can be fickle, never giving us enough time to stop and truly appreciate the hard work that is making art.

 

Our main mission at Split Lip Magazine is to discover and nurture new voices. To find those writers who have been told their voices are too loud or silly or experimental, too {insert workshop word of choice}. In our submission queue, we have writers from all over the world. Those of you with MFAs and PhDs and those of you working outside of academia.

 

Three years ago I attended AWP for the first time since graduate school. I was terrified, frequently escaping to my hotel to breathe deep. It felt like walking (sans friends) into the high school cafeteria. AWP is a microcosm of the larger literary world, and yes, it can feel like there's a hierarchy: university magazines, indie magazines, indie presses, big presses, writers with agents and book deals, students, people just starting to wade into writing, all of us wandering around the edges of the book fair looking for a way in. It can be overwhelming and discouraging. Maybe you muster up the courage to introduce yourself to other editors, and experience those agonizing, awkward moments as an editor struggles to remember your name, even though they may have recently published you or sent you a positive rejection. Of course AWP is also full of supportive writers and editors, magazines who truly treasure their contributors and their staff, who want you to feel included and welcome.

 

Twitter brings us a vibrant literary community, sometimes when we don't have one in person. It brings us many voices, exposing us to writers we may never have known of otherwise. It also brings advice and suggestions, and when you get a peek into someone else's writing life, it's easy to feel like you're doing it wrong. As a writer and an editor, I can tell you this, and only this, with certainty: there's no one way to be a writer. You write, you revise, you submit. You write, you write, you write. You never submit. You publish in a literary magazine only your mom reads or you publish in a glossy magazine we all read at the doctor's office. Whatever it is, wherever you write or publish, keep going. You aren't alone.

 

From all of us at Split Lip Magazine,  send us your words. We want them.

 

KAR and the Split Lip Magazine team