I don’t know if you’ve seen any of my videos over on BookTube, but there has been a pretty big trend there lately and that is #HotandSticky Summer Writing Challenge. This writing challenge is being headed up by the insane and amazing guys over at Stripped Cover Lit and is basically a much less crazed version of NaNoWriMo. For each day during the next 4 months (June 1st – October 1st technically) we are to write 488 words…culminating in having over 61,000 words at the end of this deal (I’m managing to stay both ahead and behind all at once). BUT they weren’t content with reading, reviewing, and writing…they weren’t even content with challenging us all to that as well…NO! They have also now started something called The Dirty Word Society (psa – not nearly as fun as you’re thinking right now…).
I’ll link the announcement video here- Dirty Word Society – but BASICALLY they are creating bi-monthly videos that include a call to action and HOPEFULLY have us all participating in the task. This will hopefully have us all changing into better writers, readers, literary people, etc.
So…this first task (as they say in the video) is to read in a literary journal and then review either the entire journal, a piece taken from the journal, etc. So…I’m changing it up a bit, of course, because what fun is there in every single one of us playing by the implied rules??
Most of the people who are participating in this Dirty Word Society Challenge will be doing so with the tried and true, popular, well known, adult literary journals. The ones run and written by ‘grownups’, by people who have already made the decision to write, by adult types…And yes, those are incredibly vital pieces of the world. However, they are not the only ones. So what else is there? I am so glad you asked…because on top of the literary journals you might already know about, like Thorn, Georgia Literary, Southern Review, Tin House, The Atlanta Review, and The New Yorker, there are some amazing and fun literary journals begging for you to pick them up…like The Thorne a literary magazine written, compiled, and published by the junior high students of Hawthorne Scholastic Academy.
Take a moment or two, bask in the amazing idea that 6th, 7th, and 8th graders not only chose to turn in work, but chose to submit to an editor and work together to compile their own literary magazine. I am impressed with their drive. It takes a lot of work and determination to do something like that, especially when you’re still in school and dealing with everything middle schoolers have to handle!
Ok, now that the moment has passed, let’s talk about what they included in this work of literary phenomena. There are poems, short stories, and personal essays from 12-14(ish) year old students that are raw, well written, and creative in ways that I don’t even know if adults can tap in to. While many, including Adrian and Dalton of Stripped Cover Lit, maintain that literary magazines hold the future of literature between their covers, I hadn’t really paid much attention to that belief until now. This collection of words written by students holds the key to the future of literature. I don’t even know them and I’m beyond proud.
I don’t like to pick favorites BUT – there is an essay about determination in learning to ride a bike written by a 6th grader named Atticus that is incredible, a poem by Isabella (another 6th grader) that is amazingly creative and fun, and a poem by Alana, an 8th grader, that uses a poem by Countee Cullen as a starting off point and jumps in full throttle and all three of those made me stop and marvel at the talent of such young authors (though those were by no means the only ones that had me pausing!). Even if you don’t enjoy reading Literary Magazines or Journals, I would definitely suggest looking at this one. I picked up the kindle e-book version for around $3 and it was worth every penny and more.
5 out of 5 dragons go to The Thorne literary magazine and to those who put it together!