How I Found Sucker, Mary Malhotra author of “Superpower “

My super supportive family helped me find Sucker. My son and his wife Mia (a published poet who is an experienced citizen of the world of literary journals) gave me a birthday card including advice on great journals to submit my work to — and Sucker was on the shortlist. Meanwhile, my mom (and fellow SCBWI member) pointed out an SCBWI article featuring Sucker and editor Hannah Goodman. I got my hands on Volume 1, devoured it, and knew I wanted to be part of the Sucker family! I can’t say enough about the wonderful feedback Hannah and her amazing team give, whether your story is almost there or almost-almost there. Even if a story is rejected outright — I’ve been there too — the feedback makes it not like a slap in the face but rather like an invitation to keep working.

-Mary Malhotra author of  “Superpower ”

To purchase volume III, click here.

How I Found Sucker, Shelli Cornelison, author of “Halfway From”

I actually can’t remember how I first found Sucker. It had to have been online, but I don’t remember the specifics. I feel like I’ve always known about Sucker! Being a part of Sucker and watching it grow has been a great experience. The editorial suggestions have been spot on and I now interact regularly with writers I know only because of Sucker. I can’t wait for Hannah to make it to Austin. There’s a margarita here with her name on it.

– Shelli Cornelison, author of “Halfway From”

To purchase volume III, click here.

How I Found Sucker, Claudia Classon author of “Valentine’s Day”

In 2011 my agent and friend, Erzsi Deak (of Hen and Ink Literary Studio) sent me Hannah’s announcement requesting short YA fiction for a new teen lit magazine coming out in 2012.  I polished a story I’d written some weeks before and sent it in–and a few weeks later received a note from Hannah that my story was her first YES.  I was thrilled!  The rest (two more stories in SUCKERs #2 and #3) is history!  Hannah and her team (too many names, too little time) are fantastic–great editors, designers, readers.  Everything about working with them has been positive.

Claudia Classon, author of “Valentine’s Day ”

To purchase volume III, click here.

How I Found Sucker, Kacey Vanderkarr

I found Sucker on Duotrope when I started querying “How to Fall.” At that point, I hadn’t written much short fiction and boy did I hit a gold mine with Sucker! Everyone is ridiculously hard working. I’m so proud to be a part of the Sucker family and I can’t wait to see what the future brings!


To learn more about Kacey,  go to her website.

To purchase volume III, click here.

How I Found Sucker, Lina Branter author of “Her Tree Boy Blaze”

How I found Sucker? I think I was trolling the internet to see what kind of magazines or journals were out there that showcased writing for young adults. I think Sucker Literary popped up right away!

My experience? My experience has been one of the most rewarding of my writing career and I say that with not even a hint of hyperbole. My writing has never been subject to such careful scrutiny and respectful critique. The care the Sucker editors took in helping me mold my piece and the seriousness with which they did it was shocking at first, gratifying during and resulted in me having more respect for myself as a writer (because if these smart ladies thought my writing was worth it, then who am I to argue?) and a desire to have all my stories go through such a rigorous editorial process. Thank you so much Sucker ladies!

Lina Branter, author of “Her Tree Boy Blaze”

To purchase volume III, click here.


How I Found Sucker- Founder Hannah R. Goodman

How I found Sucker? Well, I found it by looking around and seeing there wasn’t anything out there that fit my writing style. So I made Sucker. . . and how has it been? The very best experience in my writing life and the serendipitous connections to my staff and writers is truly mystical and magical. xoxoxox

To order a copy of volume three, go here.

To learn more about Hannah, go to .

The Story Behind The Story, “The H8TE”

My inspiration behind the story came from a newspaper article I read when I was young on how these parents chained up their daughter because they believed she was possessed. That article always stayed with me and because I’m a zombie fan, I thought it would be an interesting twist to have a teenage protagonist forced to take care of her zombie mother.

-Lilliam Rivera

To purchase volume III, click here.

The Story Behind The Story, “Halfway From” by Shelli Cornelison

I was driving when the spark for this story happened. A helicopter flew over and I looked up to see if it was the medical helicopter, the local news, or a military chopper. For some reason that made me start thinking about how helicopters are used for great things, like medical rescues or dumping water on fires, but how they can also be frightening for some people. Specifically people with PTSD, people for whom the sound of chopper blades might be related to unpleasant memories. I started to wonder about the varying degrees of suffering caused by PTSD, which became thoughts about the multiple forms of mental illness and addiction (hello, welcome to the rabbit hole that is my mind). Suddenly, I had an image of Ray on the porch swing. This was the first time I got a supporting character before the main character. But when I realized I was seeing him through Dawn’s eyes, it was on. She had a story to tell.

-Shelli Cornelison, author of “Halfway From”


To order a copy of volume three, go here. 

She is NO Sucker, Interview with Molly Cavanaugh, Senior Copyeditor Goddess

6 (somewhat) Random and 2 Serious Questions With Senior Editor Goddess Molly

1. Which story is your favorite from volume 2 and why? (I will not be offended if it isn’t mine J )

This is a tough one, obviously, because all the stories were so great, but since I guess I’m not allowed to say the Acknowledgments (even though there’s such a great shout-out to yours truly in it!), I think my favorite was “Do You Remember Fred?” It’s so hard-hitting, and it really packs in a lot into a very small space—I’m pretty sure it’s the shortest of any of the stories. And, though I wish it weren’t, it’s very realistic.

2. What song best describes your experience with editing stories for Sucker?

“Beautiful,” by Christina Aguilera, because a) wasn’t that a great song?, and b) I always hope the writers know we think their stories are beautiful in every single way, and that my critical words won’t bring them down! We’re just polishing already awesome work to help it stand out as the beautiful art it is.

3. You have detailed your journey with celiac disease on your (super funny and informative) blog Based On A Sprue Story. So, if I come to your house for dinner what would you make for me?

Thank you for the compliment on my blog! I never thought I’d get into blogging, but now I love it. Celiac disease translates to “gluten-free, not by choice.” Because I’m also vegetarian (that one is by choice), I might serve an Indian dinner (based on rice, legumes, and lots and lots of coconut milk); socca (a chickpea-flour pizza/flatbread thing sure to be the next foodie craze); or maybe pineapple fried rice with tofu—that’s on the menu for tonight! For dessert, maybe brownies, made with a blend of GF flours, or ice cream, which is usually GF unless it’s got chunks of glutenful cookies in it. Oh, and if what you’re really asking about is drinks, that’s easy: almost anything other than beer!

4. What advice do you have for writers who want to submit to us?

DO IT. But do it after you’ve given yourself some time to set aside your piece—for at least a few days—then reread and revise it. Ideally, get a second opinion or two from a friend. We love to help you edit, but considering how much competition there is for space, it’s best to come in with something already in good shape. Also, consider writing about male, bi/gay, or other-than-Caucasian characters. If you can do it well, you’ll really stand out in a sea of straight white girls. (No offense intended to straight white girls; I am one myself, after all.)

5. You are an editor by day (for pay!) as well as our editor. What has this career (so far) taught you about writing and publishing?

I’ve learned that everyone really does have an opinion on everything—even things you’d think nobody other than we copy-editing folks would care about, like commas or the spelling of the word tabbouleh (I work on a lot of cookbooks). You need to learn to tread carefully, and know when to cite an authority (the Chicago Manual of Style is God) and when to just let it go. Breaking the rules sometimes pays off. The fine line between “error” and “style” hasn’t become any clearer since I started; if anything it’s hazier.

6. Favorite punctuation mark and why?
Definitely parentheses (I guess that’s two marks). I’m not even going to try to count how many times I’ve used them in this interview, for example.

7. I make all the writers come up with a one-sentence tagline for their stories. Come up with a one-sentence tagline for your life so far.

Although I seem to have become a twenty-something living in New York, I assure you it’s nothing at all like Girls.

8. Did you edit these questions as you read them?  J

Just a little. ;)