Lucky Jefferson is an online literary journal founded in 2018 currently open for their next themed issue as well as submissions of poetry year-round into its 365 Collection, a 100% digital collection of poetry and other literature. Upon acceptance, submissions will be included on our website and social media account(s). They have a quick response time of just 3-4 weeks. “Lucky Jefferson isn’t your typical literary journal—we generate constructive and interactive conversations around poetry, art, and publishing and redefine the way journals are produced and shared with readers and writers.”
This is an open call to all the playwrights (and those new to the craft) for their first collaborative script issue. To join the production, send a short unpublished scene that is a continuation of Act I, Scene I:For more information on Lucky Jefferson, see my updated interview with Founder and Editor-in-Chief Nabeela Washington and a link to submission guidelines below.
HOPKINSON: Tell me a little bit about Lucky Jefferson.
WASHINGTON: Lucky Jefferson is an award-winning publisher that takes pride in publishing new, emerging, and established writers, especially those who are BIPOC, LGBTQIA, or people of color-identifying. Established around 2018, our mission isn’t simply to publish but to educate our literary community and expose them to diverse perspectives and worldviews—to generate and sustain conversations around new contemporary literature and art. We spent much of 2018 dreaming up what Lucky Jefferson is currently. Our first issue debuted on November 17, 2019.
HOPKINSON: How/why was Lucky Jefferson originally started?
WASHINGTON: Lucky Jefferson was born out of weariness—we were sick of seeing writers of color have their stories misrepresented or grossly distorted or omitted in favor of other, less diverse stories. We were agitated with how disengaged certain publishers seemed; how archaic certain aspects of publishing are. In everything we do, we aim to reimagine publishing. We aren’t really trying to reinvent the wheel, more like, we want readers and authors to seek connection and engage with our work not just once, but repeatedly. We wanted to create a literary community that truly champions everyone involved, from the artists that create our art, to the editors, to authors dreaming up new realities.
After failing to ignore this surge of emotions a moment longer, we spent 24 sleepless hours building our initial website, which was pretty bare-bones at the time, and began informing everyone of this dream we had, this dream of Lucky Jefferson. And this all happened on a hazy Saturday, late August of 2019; we didn’t launch the site until that following Sunday.
Fun fact: this is why we normally release things on Sundays or weekends. Call it a throwback to our humble beginnings 🙂
HOPKINSON: Who is your target reader audience?
WASHINGTON: Our core readers are really a quirky, diverse bunch—they embrace our message and what we are trying to do and are eager to join us in our vision. They are sassy and hungry for the world to hear their stories, whether they are fresh to the writing game or on their second chapbook. We honor emerging authors, especially those who didn’t have the courage to pursue writing earlier on. But really, all are welcome.
HOPKINSON: What type of work are you looking for?
WASHINGTON: We are looking for work that makes our heart and soul go “damn, that’s good”. Whatever form this work comes in (poem, flash fiction, etc.) we embrace it with open minds and arms. We’re lucky we don’t have to turn over too many rocks to find authors we want to publish.
HOPKINSON: What do you wish you’d see submitted, but rarely comes in?
WASHINGTON: Illustrated stories or poems and flash fiction that fall under the genre of fantasy. More hybrid forms.
HOPKINSON: What are some of your favorite lit mags/journals?
WASHINGTON: We really admire A Public Space. Their entire aesthetic and purpose is really interesting and purposeful.
HOPKINSON: What is your favorite part of being on staff with Lucky Jefferson?
WASHINGTON: While I love reading and editing submissions, my favorite part has to be working with our interns. They are some of the smartest, most creative beings I’ve ever been so fortunate to work with and they are the heart of our journals and ability to sustain relationships with authors well after their publication. I love supporting our students, educating them about LJ, and most of all, I’m also so eager to see what art they’ll make each week. I’m an artist myself so our conversations are just so enlightening and therapeutic.
HOPKINSON: Where can we send submissions?
HOPKINSON: If someone has a question, how can they contact you?
DEADLINE: August 22, 2021
SUBMISSION FEE: None
THEME: Aria — The curtains are drawn, the house lights dim to dark, a spotlight illuminates the center stage, and an audience anticipates your dramatic verses.
FORMS: For the Aria themed submissions, submission must be in the form of a scene.
FORMAT: Print and Online
ISSUE FREQUENCY: quarterly
AVERAGE RESPONSE TIME: 3 – 4 weeks
SUBMISSION METHOD: Submittable; Students may email us submissions
SIMULTANEOUS SUBMISSIONS: yes
PAYMENT: 1 complimentary copy of the issue
If you like this post, please share with your writerly friends and/or follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. You can see all the FREE resources my site offers poets/writers on my Start Here page.