Why Lit Jo? So glad you asked!
Who is to say what is literary? In my mind, if it is a story and it is well-written, it’s literature. But I find that stories considered “genre” are often deemed to be a different universe than literary fiction. Is it possible to have a literary werewolf? Would he have to wear a tuxedo and enunciate like Lord Mountbatten before he is considered literary? Can a witch be literary? Only if she goes to Harvard? (Believe me, I’ve befriended more than one unusual creature with a Ph.D. from that place.) I dislike the idea that literary fiction really means boring fiction, and that it is somehow valued more than anything with a teaspoon of imagination to it.
Lit jo is staffed by improbable characters, all of us volunteers, and improbable characters are welcome in the stories we print, as long as they are well written. There *is* such a thing as bad writing, and I've seen my share of that as an editor, and been guilty of it often enough when I was a newer writer. But for the most part, writing is subjective. There are as many voices and styles in this world as there are pens to ink them. A journal, to me, is a means by which to give voice to a small fraction of those stories that appeal to the sensibilities of the editorial staff here. Given that we're all writers here, I may as well add Tom Waits' assertion that "We're all mad as hatters here." To wit, Santa Barbara Literary Journal, or SB Lit Jo, founded in 2018.
Keep writing, keep improving your craft, and keep bringing stories worth telling into this world. And when you've got a good one, please submit it to us!
Editrix, Santa Barbara Literary Journal
Volume 6: Saturn's Return
Submission Window Jan - March 2021
Novelettes are short stories that careened out of control and dove down the rabbit hole, well past the usual 5,000 word limit of a journal. In Volume 6, we will feature one longer story, between 5,000 and 15,000 words. More details to come.
Lit Jo News
Volume 6: Saturn's Return
Jan - March 2021
In European astrology, every thirty years, the planet Saturn returns to the same position it was in when you were born. This is when we are said to experience Saturn's Return, a time when people change directions, leave relationships, start new paths, transforming into the next phase of their lives. If you live long enough, you will experience Saturn's return at 30, 60, and 90. We do not require literal adherence to the theme; in fact, we'd prefer you be as creative with it as possible. Everything from literary fiction to science fiction and fantasy are welcome.