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Holly Jolly Newsletter November 2020

Dear friend of the Santa Barbara Literary Journal,

Happy Holidays from the desk of literary shenanigans! I hope that you have stayed healthy and happy during 2020. It has not been an easy year for anyone, but I hope that good things are ahead for us all. After many delays related to the pandemic, Lit Jo published Volume 5: Wild Mercury in August, and we are not done with 2020 just yet. Like everyone else, Lit Jo has had to adapt to the times and press forward in our publishing endeavors. So, what treats and goodies are to come? Read on!


First things first. Join me in congratulating my nominees for the 2020 Pushcart Prize!

Row 1: Max Talley, Zane Andrea, Aram Saroyan

Row 2: Laezer Schlomkowitz, M. M. De Voe, Jack Eidt


Although this is the season of sugarplums and snowflakes, just on the periphery something mysterious and a little sinister this way comes. In December, Borda Books will publish Delirium Corridor, an anthology curated by Max Talley. I will relay to you an interview on the topic, conducted by the peculiar Mr. Goldman from the Cyborg Corporation.

Oscar Goldman: What is a delirium corridor?

Max Talley: It's not a place you go looking for. Delirium Corridor is somewhere you end up in—to your regret. Maybe you decided to take a different route home late at night. You tried a shortcut that led you somewhere unexpected. It's sort of a limbo between reality and what we don't understand. The dictates of logic don't apply there.

OG: What made you want to put together this anthology?

Mr. T: I had a bunch of my own stories that fit the concept, but then I decided to invite authors I knew and respected to submit a story each. The plan being that I would do the first titular story and the final one, while the rest would be written by others. I like collaborative efforts, going back to music and bands. It is generally accepted that a Beatles album is a bit stronger than a Ringo Starr album.

OG: And what exactly was that concept you spoke of?

MT: To produce an anthology influenced by Alfred Hitchcock or collections by Ray Bradbury that I read as a kid. Mix in David Lynch and TV shows like Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, and Black Mirror.

OG: Were you surprised by the contributions?

MT: Yes. The writers had every right to give me the single-digit New Jersey salute, but most everyone I contacted sent something. I just had to choose work that fit the dark, surreal, and weird theme. Artists like Stephen Vessels and Grace Rachow added their wild artwork, and the writers (Zane Andrea, Jack Eidt, Jesse Krenzel, M.M. DeVoe, Stephen Vessels, John Reed, Shelly Lowenkopf, Trey Dowell, Sacha Wamsteker, Fred Williams, Genna Rivieccio, et al) turned in superb stories that inspired me.

OG: So, let's cut to the chase. Just the facts.

MT: Delirium Corridor is about 240 pages long with fifteen new stories. Basically, a dollar a story and 99 cents for the art. They didn't even have bargains like that on Coney Island when I was a kid.

OG: Any final words?

MT: Redrum, redrum...


Lit Jo mugs are here! With beautiful art by Mary Freericks,

Robin Gowen, Max Talley, Grace Rachow, Laura Hemenway,

Stephen T. Vessels, and Mary Heebner.

Each Volume of Lit Jo is now available as a cuppa Jo(e)!


I'm excited that starting in January, Lit Jo will be accepting submissions for Volume 6 via submittable, a step forward in our growth as a journal. The theme of Volume 6 will be "Saturn's Return." We'll be accepting the usual suspects of fiction, and inviting one novelette or short novella to be part of the proceedings. Shelly Lowenkopf, our poetry editor, will be looking for poetry "of the sort Sharon Olds read off the back of an envelope, one rainy day ago in my classroom, or the incredible energy from that afternoon in Dudes, the beer parlor of my undergrad days, getting drunk on 3.2 beer and the improv of W.H. Auden, “out West” for a reading tour. Not to forget the vibe from picnicking with Christopher Isherwood on hamburgers made to his taste by Hindu nuns, listening to him deconstruct Auden’s poetry, called him Wystan, he did." If that is not an enigmatic invitation, I don't know what is.

I hope that you are not just surviving but thriving through these strange times, and above all, I hope that you are writing, painting, singing, dancing, even cutting the dinner carrots in funny shapes, whatever your form of creative expression may be. I look forward to a fun 2021 with you all.

With visions of sugarplums,

Silver Webb

The Editrix

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