I come to The Lion's Tail with a background in publishing -- years of writing and editing, working on literary and popular magazines, and connecting with publishing companies for many roles over the last 15 years. From the moment of my own first publication, I have needed to be involved in the literary world.
So when Meg and I decided to create Paper Lion Press, it seemed a natural fit that we would combine our skills (me as editor, her as designer) to craft something unique -- a place for raw, complicated stories about life and death, hunger and desire, and so much more. Each of us writes memoir and nonfiction from the place of truth in experience, a place we aim to cultivate and hold sacred in The Lion's Tail. These are the stories we want to be sharing -- the stories we don't always talk about, the real-life and the grit and the emotions that flood our veins.
When you submit to Paper Lion Press and The Lion's Tail, your essay is read by no fewer than two people. We discuss the work, share our thoughts/edits/raves, and follow up with writers. Sometimes an essay is ready to publish exactly as it is submitted, and we line up a publication date and contract. Sometimes, a piece needs some work before we feel it is ready. If this is the case, we invite the author to work with our Editor-In-Chief Sara Blackthorne to prepare the essay for publication. It's a collaborative process, one that helps both The Lion's Tail and authors cultivate powerful, meaningful work.
It does happen that we receive essays that aren't ready for publication. Sometimes the theme isn't quite developed enough to be a cohesive essay. Sometimes the author hasn't provided sufficient support for the narrative arc. And sometimes, well, things just aren't finished. In these instances, our editorial team will decide the best course of action. Typically, we return a piece to the author and ask them to resubmit when it is further along in the writing/editing process. If the theme isn't appropriate for The Lion's Tail, we may ask the author to consider submitting again with a different piece.
In any situation, it is a huge honor to be trusted with the work of a writer. These words are blood, sweat, and tears -- often literally -- and as writers ourselves, we understand the fear and the anxiety that goes into the submission process. We are committed to a compassionate, collaborative submission process, one that acknowledges privilege and intersectionality at its core. We are hungry for writing by people of color, trans* and gender non-conforming folks, and other groups deemed "minority" by the dominant hetero-patriarchal culture.
If you yourself are not a writer of long-form work, please do us a favor and share The Lion's Tail and Paper Lion Press with your writing communities. Together we can create a shift in the lion's share of voices being heard by mainstream publishing. We are all responsible for giving diverse voices a platform. The Lion's Tail is our contribution to this commitment.
Our first issue of The Lion's Tail goes live here in August, and will continue publishing monthly long-form essays on a range of topics. Our submissions are always open, and we are committed to paying our writers. As a not-for-profit organization, our nominal submission fees go directly back to the writers we publish; having an accessible submission process is important to us, so please contact us if the reading fee is not possible for you to pay.
In literary community,