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New Lit on the Block :: Lodestar Lit

Twice a year online, Lodestar Lit publishes anything literary in style, including short stories, flash fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and one-act plays available as a downloadable PDF. Their mission is nothing less than grand transformations – both in literature and within the individual creators, both present and into the future.

The editors explain, “The initial inspiration for our magazine’s name came from Carl Sagan’s 1980 documentary, Cosmos, in which he says that we are all ‘starstuff,’ or, in other words, stardust. Based on ideas of cosmology, we are living, breathing stardust endowed with consciousness, and we create reasons to live through art, science, philosophy, etc. Thus, we transcend ourselves through art like how a mathematician discovers a formula and transcends themself in their discovery. As authors, our writing is a guiding star – a lodestar – that leads us to new ways of living and being.”

Transformation to Publication

These transformations are fostered from Lodestar Lit’s raison d’être, “Firstly, we wanted to offer an alternative space for literature so literary writings can blossom in a world dominated by commercial publications and a consumerist publishing sphere. We also wanted to push the envelope on what literature is. By bringing new conventions and challenges to literary fiction, we hope to make Lodestar Lit the seat of a fresh literary movement of young writers who can help redefine the literary. We want to publish authors who respond to the historical situation we live in, crafting from today’s culture, politics, and more. We aren’t only trying to contribute to the literary canon; we are trying to push the medium forward and attract the minds of the future.”

The Editorial Process

Lodestar Lit editorial team photo

For writers wanting to be a part of this emerging wave of new literature, Lodestar Lit’s editorial team is experienced in working with submissions. Keenan Travis Robinson graduated from Christopher Newport University with a BA in English and minor in linguistics and is a fiction and nonfiction author who enjoys existentialist themes in writing of all forms as well as film analysis. William Grey Cashwell is a grad student pursuing an MA in Philosophy at American University who has published his own works and also edits several other magazines, Witch House, Whetstone, and Waystation. And Brenna Alyse Walch is a fiction and poetry enthusiast who also graduated from Christopher Newport University with a BA in English with a concentration in writing.

The submissions process is managed cooperatively among the three of them. “We have one editor – Brenna – who specializes in poetry and plays, and two editors – Keenan and Grey – who specialize in prose. When submissions are received for those categories, they are organized into each editor’s section, and then begins the first round of deliberation. Each individual editor reviews their category’s submissions on their own in the initial phase, and whichever submissions make it past the first round are transferred to the second round. In this second round, we editors come together as a group and review all the finalist submissions, discuss each thoroughly, and put them to a majority vote for publishing. The ones that are rejected in either the first or second round receive detailed feedback from us to suggest improvements. Our response time is typically two to four months.”

The Philosophical Default

With such a careful selection process in place, Lodestar Lit editors believe readers “can expect to find writing that explores internal and external facets of reality, the quality of experience, ideas of consciousness, philosophy of language, emotional themes, and experiential concepts. We want to publish anything that starts with a philosophical stance, since we believe all great art is philosophical by default. In general, we want to provide readers with writing that luxuriates in the conflicts that arise in everyday life rather than embellish it or make it fantastical. Writing that engages in day-to-day dramas and tensions that are always present but that are usually taken for granted will find a home in our magazine. We love to read writing that takes the approach of valuing the moment in an avant-garde way, and we hope our readers love that style, too. But this is no strict guide – we will publish anything that draws our attention!”

Lodestar Lit’s first issue featured a majority of poets with one prose author, including Eric K. Auld, John Sweet, John Grey, Sofie Anderson, Lindsay Rogers, d. h. lane, Miles Harrison, Remson DeJoseph. Submissions are currently open for the second issue, which is scheduled for release in late August – early September.

Future Transformations

“We are excited for our future plans for Lodestar Lit!” the editors exclaim. “We intend to expand our community of writers by branching out into adjacent projects to drum up more enthusiasm for/about literature. We will also be finding ways to improve our website. Also, as a sneak peek into one of our specific plans, we will be creating a book club podcast on Spotify to help connect with readers and writers through discussions of literature! While our magazine does publish works with complex themes, we don’t want it nor us to seem unapproachable, so we figured a podcast where we discuss our current reading material would help make us more personable to those who only know us from a picture on our website.

“Eventually, we have plans to expand outside the continent. Once we get the resources to do so (and when we improve our ability to navigate technology in the publishing and social media spheres), we want to call for submissions from authors around the world. It would be wonderful if one day we could publish authors who don’t write in English, who had their works translated, or who use English as a second or third language.”

For readers and writers, this is a wonderful opportunity to grow along with this industrious and meaningful endeavor. Stop by Lodestar Lit today and catch the first issue and visit the submission guidelines!

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