What’s with the name? It’s vulgar, no?
No, it’s not. For the founder of Sucker Literary, the name comes from one of her favorite candies as both a kid and adult (especially when she journeys to the bank with her 3-year-old). The sucker style lollypop (as opposed to those other kinds with gum or Tootsie roll inside of them) is an inspirational candy (similar to a cup of Awake tea with foam from Starbucks).
The word “sucker” also neatly describes the founder’s high school experience (at times).
Also, it’s a funny word with a kind of punch (pun intended).
Do you accept YA literature written by teens?
We are interested in quality writing from writers of YA fiction. We do not discriminate based on age.
Why don’t you accept creative non-fiction YA?
Because the founder (me) craved a place for her favorite kind of writing–YA fiction. She does enjoy creative nonfiction (huge fan of The Burn Journals by Brent Runyon ) but adores YA fiction and feels like there’s no literary magazine out there that publishes this type of literature–exclusively. There are places that publish teen writing (which is different from YA literature), but no place for adults writing YA fiction only.
Why just YA? What about middle grade?
Again the founder feels that there are places in the literary magazine world for children’s and middle grade and that YA has been lumped with children’s lit for too long and should have its own special place. The godfather of YA, Michael Cart, was one of the first people to say YA is different from children’s and middle grade and that even within YA, there’s young YA and older YA. The founder of Sucker agrees with him. In fact, The Rush Hour anthologies were one of her inspirations for Sucker.
What exactly are you looking for?
Since I’ve been on the other end of the submissions process far longer than this side, I know how pressing this question is for a writer trying to get his or her work out there. So here it is: I want writing that is literary and sharp but gritty and authentic. I want to see stories that make me forget where I am. I want to connect with your protagonist deeply. Think character driven, most of all. Don’t distract me with heavy plot. Above all else, make me feel…something, anything!
Can you define YA?
Yes, but it might take pages. Just kidding. YA literature, for me, is stories that have a teen protagonist, and the age range for these stories is between 14 and 19, or so. The audience, however, for YA is really anyone ages 14 and up. I don’t think stories that feature older characters looking back at their teenage years is really YA, but feel free to convince me otherwise!
How do I become a reader for SUCKER and how much work will it be?
The simple answer is… send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The more complicated answer… requires some bullet points:
- LEVEL OF COMMITMENT: Because we are all volunteering our time, the commitment level for being a reader for SUCKER is up to the individual. For example, you may take on only 4 stories or you may take on 40. It’s up to you.
- WHAT THE JOB ENTAILS: Readers are required to read the entire manuscript and fill out a critique sheet. This is for each and every story that comes in.
- WHO QUALIFIES? We do require that our readers meet certain standards and qualifications (that they are avid YA readers and/or writers with some level of professional(ish) experience in the publishing (indie, mainstream) world. Most prospective readers forward a copy of their resume to us.
- TRAINING: Hannah does a quick training with everyone; she has a specific vision regarding giving feedback to writers and critiquing manuscripts. This is all through email.