BigCityLit is an online literary magazine founded over twenty years ago publishing fiction, creative non-fiction (personal essay, book reviews), and poetry. They are currently open for submissions and would love to see more prose submissions. You can check out their current issue to see what types of work they accept. For more information, see my interview with editors Alyssa Yankwitt and Christopher Cappelluti and a link to submission guidelines below.
HOPKINSON: Tell me a little bit about BigCityLit.
YANKWITT/CAPPELLUTI: BigCityLit is an eclectic journal with roots in New York City. While the journal has been active for over 20 years, we are presently in a phase of rebirth as the upcoming summer issue will be our third installment as the current editors. Our aesthetic tastes are rather varied, though we tend to lean more towards edgier topics, themes, and ideas. This isn’t to say we are only interested in “dark” work, but we find the off-beat, quirky, and more vulnerable aspects of humanity more interesting and endearing. All of this said, we are voracious readers who approach all our submissions with an open mind and open heart.
HOPKINSON: How/why was BigCityLit originally started?
YANKWITT/CAPPELLUTI: BigCityLit was originally established in 2000 by Nick Johnson and his partner Maureen
Holm. Sadly, Nick had passed away in August 2019, while Maureen had passed some time
earlier. Nick’s good friends and contributing editors, Barry Wallenstein and Richard Levine,
took the reins and put together the 20th anniversary issue. When Barry and Richard decided to turn the journal over to younger editors, we were the obvious choices!
HOPKINSON: Who is your target reader audience?
YANKWITT/CAPPELLUTI: Since we are “relaunching” the journal, our target audience remains to be clearly defined.
We absolutely want to continue providing a venue for the readership and contributors that have
been loyal to the journal for the last 20 years. That said, we are eager to find fresh voices to champion and new readers to engage.
HOPKINSON: What type of work are you looking for?
YANKWITT/CAPPELLUTI: Prose that is well-written and makes us think about it long after we’ve finished reading. Work that pushes the boundaries of poetry whether it be in form or content. We love work that leaves us holding our breath. A good poem makes me wish I wrote it; a great poem makes me wish I’d lived it. If we can’t remember much of a submission later in the day after reading it, then it is not necessarily for BigCityLit.
HOPKINSON: What do you wish you’d see submitted, but rarely comes in?
YANKWITT/CAPPELLUTI: We’d love to see more quality fiction and creative nonfiction, whether that’s memoir, flash memoir, book reviews, or essays. Some more flash fiction would also be great.
HOPKINSON: What are some of your favorite lit mags/journals?
YANKWITT/CAPPELLUTI: One Story, Missouri Review, American Short Fiction, A Public Space, Neon, Sewanee Review, Rogue Agent, Stirring, Bowery Gothic, Drunk Monkeys, Up the Staircase Quarterly, Bad Pony, Gargoyle, Halfway Down the Stairs, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, and of course BigCityLit.
HOPKINSON: What is your favorite part of being on staff with BigCityLit?
YANKWITT/CAPPELLUTI: Working together as co-editors has been so much fun. Our vision is the same and our aesthetics really compliment each other. Our launch party at The Bitter End, in January 2020 (which feels like eons ago), was an incredible way to meet so many contributors and readers of BigCityLit. It’s really cool to be a part of a magazine that has such a long, solid, appreciated history, but then also have the opportunity to subvert that a bit and add a new dimension to its voice. We are currently looking into hosting an online reading/ gathering in the near future. We’re very excited to see how the journal evolves.
HOPKINSON: Where can we send submissions?
More details can be found here: http://nycbigcitylit.com/submission-guidelines/
Please (and we can’t stress this enough) follow all submission guidelines and do not submit outside the submission window. Submissions are open through June 1st.
HOPKINSON: If someone has a question, how can they contact you?
SUBMISSION DEADLINE: June 1, 2021
SUBMISSION FEE: None
SUBMISSION METHOD: Email
SIMULTANEOUS SUBMISSIONS: Yes
FORMS: fiction, creative non-fiction, and poetry
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