To be honest, when I put out a call for a Fiction Editor, I didn't know what to expect. Bracken had been my baby for two years, and I wanted only the best for it.
We received many applications for the role, some even with impressive editorial backgrounds, but I could tell these lovely and very qualified people didn't quite get what Bracken was.
I was feeling quite depressed about the whole thing when one morning I received an email from Amy Lee Lillard that in three bullet points (love them bullet points) summarized exactly why she would be a perfect fit for the job. I could tell she got what we were about. I immediately forwarded the email to Jed Myers, our Poetry Editor, with a note "She's the one." After I interviewed many others, she was still the one.
It is then my absolute delight to introduce Amy Lee Lillard, Bracken's new Fiction Editor. I cannot wait to see what she picks for Issue VI.
Here is a note from Amy:
I grew up in a Midwestern city, on a street with a dead end, one that led to a patch of trees. We called that plot “The Woods,” my brothers and I. We’d hang out there on summer afternoons, picking through the dirt patches, the gnarled roots, the broken bottles left from the neighborhood teenagers and the people who frequented the drug dealers a few houses down. In that anemic wood we’d sit on tree trunks and climb low-hanging branches, and we’d tell ourselves stories, things we stole from Star Wars and Terminator, and other modern fairy tales. We’d play, and we’d pretend we weren’t scared of the things that could be hiding in the trees.
Bracken is inspired by “the wood and what lies in its shadows.” And because the wood can be so many things, including a place for old and new worlds to collide, the stories you read here are unlike anywhere else. I love Bracken as a reader, because of this particular mix of beauty and melancholy, hope and ruin. I love it because the stories here use speculation, magical realism, and other hard-to-classify methods to reveal something powerful about who we are and where we’ve been.
As Fiction Editor, I can now help find these stories. And I can’t wait to read your tale.
In addition to our submission guidelines, here are some things I’m particularly drawn to:
- Tales of the urban woods
- Stories told by and about the “others:” the strange, the weirdoes, the left behind, the ones that don’t fit in
- Unique formats and experimentation, if it’s in service to the story
- Beautiful prose that reads like poetry
- Surprises. I may know what I like right now, but I love to be shown something new.
We’re all writers at Bracken, so we know the hard work and love you put into your pieces. Give us your best, and we will treat it with fairness and affection. Thank you!
-Amy Lee Lillard