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