The Hardest Part (of this editing gig),

The Hardest Part (of this editing gig), is reading amazing work and having to turn it down. This upcoming issue, ISSUE10: Bettie, has been hands down the worst for this. Given that we gave ourselves an extra month off between issues for the holidays, and given that our submission count was higher than it normally was anyway–we ended up with a “shortlist” of over 42 fantastic submissions (and that was just for fiction). Each one I would have been happy to have included. But that’s not what people don’t pay me for. What people don’t pay me for, is making the tough decisions. I had the unenviable of having to whittle this down to just TWELVE pieces, to go along with another 8 pieces already accepted. Poetry was similar, with 26 pieces shortlisted that I cut down to just ten. It’s been tough–and it’s moments like this I feel it’s so necessary to make an announcement.


Thank you for trusting us with your work, submitting to us. Thank you for reading our magazine. Thank you for believing in us and the work we do here. If it’s any consolation, you’re at least 15% responsible for the heart palpitations I’m going to end up with when I hit 50. This magazine is nothing without you and your faith. I know, rejections are the worst. Boy do I know. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that rejections can be arbitrary when you get to this level. Sometimes the only thing that stands between you and a publication is the fact that the editor had a bad dish of moussaka the night before and you wrote  a piece sympathetic to eggplants. I wouldn’t blame you if you resent us–hell, I used to be the same. There is one magazine out there that has rejected me about ten times, and I used to hate them. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I still kept submitting–but you better believe I was grinding my teeth and looking up their stupid pictures with their stupid hairdos while I was filling out their stupid cover letters.

I want you to know, we believe in you. We only publish the same author every other issue–so that means you can only be in 3 of our (general/unthemed) issues a year! And besides, who does that? Only very special people who are specially prolific. Most of us do not. Most of us get published in a magazine, and while we may read it throughout the year, we rarely submit to it again in those 12 months–we’re looking to expand our territory into new markets! And you know what? We at Literary Orphans want your very best. We want you to look back at the time you were in Literary Orphans, and be so proud of the piece you had in here, that it gets placed in your portfolio and the acceptance letter on the fridge.

I want you to know, if it means anything, that I’m sitting here waiting for you guys to keep doggedly submitting while making fun of my hair. Keep pushing the next thing to spring from your brilliant and flawlessly combed heads on us, so we stop and call our grandparents who are in the hospital and say, man, you won’t believe this amazing story I read! I believe in you. We believe in you. Thank you for believing in us.

It was truly an honor to read all of your work, tonight I am HUMILITY personified,

Mike Joyce

PS, below is a list of the lucky bunch that made it back to America alive, you can read their work on January 8th, less than 72 hours from this post: