The HitchLit Review: A Secular Literary-Arts Journal publishes online twice per year, poetry, fiction, and non-fiction, and would consider short, stand-alone scenes from plays and screen plays as well as visual art and cover design. “There are many literary magazines,” The HitchLit Review Founder and Editor Daniel Ruefman tells me, “but in a growing community of secular voices, few publications are focused on giving them a platform. In addition to that, there are a lot of misunderstandings about what it means to be secular today (atheist, agnostic, freethinker, skeptic, etc.). By highlighting secular voices through literature and art, HitchLit hopes to confront stereotypes and demonstrate just how diverse the secular community is.”
So how does the name fit? “As a secular literary magazine,” Ruefman explains, “HitchLit derives its name from two sources. First, The Oxford English Dictionary defines ‘hitch’ as a verb, meaning ‘to move [something] into a different position with a jerk.’ For many secularists, this is a fitting description for how they parted ways with former ideologies.
“Second, and perhaps most notably, our name is a nod to the memory of one of the world’s greatest defenders of reason – Christopher Hitchens. His writings, lectures, and debates have inspired countless free thinkers around the world to step out of the wings and speak out against injustice in all its forms.”
Ruefman’s own background is varied and vast. His poetry and stories have appeared widely in periodicals, and his chapbook, Breathe Automatic, was released by Finishing Line Press in 2014. Daniel holds a B.A. in Creative Writing from Edinboro University, an M.A. in English (Literature) from Slippery Rock University, and a Ph.D. in Composition & TESOL from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He currently teaches writing at the University of Wisconsin–Stout.
Also on the Editorial Board are fiction writer A. G. Cochran, M.F.A in Writing from Hamline University, with a specialization in Young Adult and Children’s Literature and currently a Lecturer in the Department of English and Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin–Stout; Kevin Drzakowski, chair of the Department of English and Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, where he also teaches composition and creative writing; and Rickie-Ann Legleitner, an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, specializing in American literature and culture, women writers, identity studies, disability studies, and coming-of-age.
Readers coming to The HitchLit Review can expect to find “poetry and prose that examines the state of the human condition, with all of the joy, sorrow, and absurdity it has to offer.” The December 2017 issue featured the “Secular Special: Women’s Voices.” Some recent contributors include Mark Danowsky, William Doreski, Gail Peck, Jenny Yang Cropp, and Sarah Brown Weitzman.
HitchLit accepts submissions on a rolling basis via email. “Our greatest joy in starting this publication,” Ruefman shares, “has to do with the quality of our submissions. Our acceptance rate for 2017 was around 4% – the sheer volume of submissions has been wonderful.”
Looking to the future of HitchLit, Ruefman says, “We hope to grow into an online quarterly journal, published around the solstices and equinoxes, but we would ultimately like to secure the funding to publish an annual print edition of The Best of HitchLit .”
The deadline for the next issue (Volume 2, Issue 1) will be May 15, 2018. The editors hope to have this issue out for the Summer Solstice. In addition to their regular submissions, the next "Special Issue" the editors will read for will be a "Global Voices Issue."