by Matt Sailor and Emma Smith-Stevens
This is my last issue of The Mondegreen. This issue marks (for now) the end of close to six years of editing literary magazines. Before this little monster I was an editor at NANO Fiction, and before that the editor in chief of New South. That’s a lot of submissions, a lot of editorial meetings, a lot of discussions about art and literature and putting beautiful things into the world.
I’m proud of all that work. At the same time, it’s hard for me to take ownership of it. I look back and I don’t see a list of accomplishments—I see a list of work I was able to help bring into the world. Editing a literary magazine is not a gig for someone looking to stroke their ego, or make a fortune. It’s a gig for someone who wants to help writers find an audience. It’s never been about me. It’s always been about the writers I’ve published and the readers I’ve tried to do right by. It’s about building a community.
When I took that first editing position at New South, I couldn’t have predicted how much this journey would transform me. It would introduce me to some of my dearest friends, and expose me to voices I’d never have discovered otherwise. It would drive me absolutely crazy at times, and reward me on an almost spiritual level at others. I’m grateful for every moment.
The Mondegreen has always been about trying something a little different. When Jenny and Diya asked me to come onboard as founding fiction editor, we knew exactly what we wanted to publish: whatever the hell we wanted, no matter how bizarre or weird or unexpected or low brow. I think we’ve done a great job of that, and I can think of no better person to carry on that work than Emma Smith-Stevens.
Emma (if I remember correctly) was the first person to submit work to The Mondegreen. Somehow she knew, looking at our bizarre, long-winded call for submissions, that this was a place she belonged. I couldn’t be leaving this beautiful, misshapen beast in better hands. I can’t wait to read issue 10.
Founding Fiction Editor
As a reader and fan of The Mondegreen since its inception, I want to offer tremendous thanks to Matt for the brilliant work he has done as The Mondegreen’s founding fiction editor. Matt has created and curated a loving home for intrepid and lively fiction, encompassing an exciting range of aesthetics and voices. In short–he is the bomb. I am thrilled that Matt, Diya, and Jenny have invited me on board as the new fiction editor, and I wish Matt continued and dazzling success in his literary career.
My intention in this new role is to carry on in the spirit that has always defined The Mondegreen by publishing bold, innovative, exquisite, odd, and captivating fiction—stories crafted with care and abandon at once, by a diverse array of writers. One of the best feelings as an editor comes from discovering and publishing amazing work from the pool of unsolicited submissions. For some words on the kind of writing I’d love to see, check out our guidelines for fiction submissions. Thank you in advance to the writers who will entrust me with their work—and much gratitude to The Mondegreen’s readers, old and new.