I tell you this so you’ll understand … I always felt exactly this way while reading literary magazines because I always wanted one. All through college and most of my adult life, I fantasized about starting one, discovering great poetry and short stories--becoming an editor, a publisher, speaking at conferences, discussing writing with young (or old) wannabes. Or great Pulitzer winners.My friend Jan Rider Newman had the same dream and we decided to go for it. We met in coffee shops again and again and again planning, dreaming, creating our roadmap. We didn’t want to embarrass ourselves and we wanted the experience (the magazine) to be … wonderful, perfect. I would have backed out at any time. I was pretty much “window shopping” but Jan challenged me to step forward.
Check out Swamp Lily Review HERE.We accomplished our dream because we did it together. We encouraged, challenged, worked hand in hand to grab something we both truly wanted. We made it happen even though, along the way, we had fear and doubt. It wasn’t easy and it still isn’t. We cringe every time we have to send a rejection slip to a friend. We panic every time we miss a deadline because we don’t have enough material for an issue. We’re still brainstorming and dreaming.
I’ve left Jan pretty much holding the literary bag since I’ve moved to Oklahoma but then she did most of the work anyway. She designed the site and continues to tweak. She posts all the work. I’m more her first reader, who probably way too often asks, “what does he mean by that line? Doesn’t make sense at all. If he'd cut that word, that sentence, that paragraph, it would be great."I’ve learned that owning a literary magazine is responsibility because while we’ve accomplished our dreams, every time we read a poem, a short story, view a photograph or receive some creative nonfiction, we’re “judging” someone elses dream. I’m not sure I’m having fun yet … but I sure do like the title I toss around. I’m co-owner/co-editor of Swamp Lily Review - a beautiful literary magazine with some fine work inside its digital pages.
Thanks Jan! And thanks everyone who has submitted and continues to submit. Never, never give up your dreams.