Poetry

13th Floor Magazine: The Meaning of Our Name

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By: Madison Larimore

October is special. Fall has settled in, the leaves are turning, Halloween is fast approaching, and another Friday the 13th is behind us. This time of year like no other marks change, transition, tradition, and superstition, and this October, we are thinking about our origins.

13th Floor Magazine was born in 2013. The original members, all graduated now, were searching for a unique, evocative name to call their new publication. One of the members lived on the thirteenth floor of an apartment building in downtown Omaha. 13th Floor Magazine had a nice ring to it, and though it was important that the publication name was catchy, it was more important for it to be meaningful.

The number thirteen has a bad reputation, scaring people so much with the threat of bad luck that most thirteenth floors are skipped altogether. But it can also be thought of as a number associated with things that are strange, misunderstood, weird, quirky, or unexpected. We strive to make our magazine just that—an outlet where students can be honest, creative, and best of all, where they can defy expectations.

This magazine doesn’t skip floors. We do not exclude. We embrace and we celebrate.

Share your unique voice with us by our next publication deadline: Halloween.

Publishing Tips

By: Kelsey M. Bee

As writers, many of us can agree that the publishing process is exciting, but at times, it can be equally panic-inducing. So often do we pour ourselves into that one piece that inevitably becomes a tender extension of ourselves. We owe it to that piece to let it breathe outside of our notebook; we know it deserves a life beyond our laptop. But then, we start to think about the logistics of sending that piece out, and the alarms in our heads go off: How do I go about doing this? What if it gets rejected? What if it gets accepted?!

When it comes to publishing, it is okay—normal even—to feel a little out of the loop. Publishing know-how comes with trial and error, familiarizing oneself with the market and the process, and consistent research. Below are some tips that might help those who are considering sending out pieces for publication, to 13th Floor Magazine or otherwise.

Tiered Lists

To help combat some of the fear and frustration, it is a good idea to compile a tiered list of journals or magazines in which you hope to be published. This list, which often has three or four tiers, enables you to narrow down the possible outlets for your work while also pushing you to research the publications. If that sounds tricky or time consuming, that’s because it is. Luckily, websites like Duotrope, Submittable, and Poets&Writers have gathered information about numerous publications, their submission deadlines, and any upcoming writing contests. These sites are great starting points for crafting your own tiered list. It will help you assess which publications are top-tier, second-tier, or third-tier. This might depend on the reputation of the publication, but it can equally depend on what you value in an outlet for your creative work.

Submission Guidelines & Masthead

When sending out your work, it is imperative to look through each journal’s submission guidelines and masthead. Often times, submissions can get rejected for not adhering to the guidelines, and we can all probably agree that if we are to get a rejection letter, we’d rather it be for the actual work rather than submitting incorrectly. Many publications have a masthead, or a Meet the Staff page, which identifies editors and their specific positions. If this is available, it is beneficial to know a little bit about which editors will likely be reading your piece. Additionally, it might be a good idea to address your cover letter to the lead editor of the genre that corresponds to your piece.

Attend Conferences

One way to help ease the stress of sending work out for publishing is to attend conferences. This can sometimes be expensive, but universities frequently offer travel funding for students, and it is definitely worth looking into. Conferences are a great place to network with fellow writers—established or up-and-coming—with representatives from MA or MFA programs, and with representatives from literary magazines or journals. Although networking might seem just as frightening as sending work out for publication, it can be a lot of fun even for the most introverted of writers. Conferences are great opportunities for like-minded people to learn from one another about the ins and outs of our industry, something that has proved invaluable over and over again.

If you’re feeling nervous about publishing fiction, nonfiction, or poetry, that’s natural and understandable. Just be sure it doesn’t hold you back from submitting your work.

Fall 2017 Issue is Now Available!

Fall Cover

The Fall 2017 issue is here!

Check out some amazing pieces of writing and art for free via Amazon.com. This free edition is only available as an ebook. Make sure to download the Fall 2017 issue before September 1st. Click here to get your free copy.

Print versions of the Fall 2017 issue will also be available on blurb.com for only $11! Get yours here. Hurry, this sale will only last until September 1st!

We will also be selling print issues (while supplies last) at every Writer’s Workshop Reading Series event, starting Tuesday, September 20, from 7:30-8:30 p.m., at the University of Nebraska Omaha Art Gallery or Milo Bail Student Center, depending on where the reading takes place. You can see a list of the reading series dates and locations here.

New Year, New Edition!

That’s right, folks, it’s finally here! Our 2017 Spring Edition is ripe and ready for your reading pleasure!

Head over to our issues page to get your hands on a print copy or to download the Ebook and start your year off right.

All proceeds go toward printing future issues as we are a non-profit student run and self funded organization, and as always we love and appreciate your continued support.

It’s Almost Heeeeeeeere

That’s right, the deadline for the Spring edition is right around the corner!

Submitting things can be scary, whether it’s the first or four hundredth time you do it. The staff of 13th Floor would like to remind everyone that whether or not your works ends up in the edition, you will hear from us. We won’t leave you alone in the dark for all the spooks and negative thoughts to get’cha, promise.

Send your treats to 13thfloormagazine@gmail.com by October 31st!

Whether it be photography, art, poetry, non-fiction, fiction, scripts, or ravings of a madman, we’ll gobble them all!

Guidelines for submissions and frequently asked questions can be found on our site.

Don’t fear the deadline, writers!

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You’re Cordially Invited: Fall 2016 Issue Launch Party

Tuesday, September 20th, join us in the elegant Weber Fine Arts Gallery to celebrate our newest edition.

We really put a lot into this one and hope that it’s just the beginning to a beautiful new year of editions to come from our team. We want to celebrate the effort, not just ours, but of the people who were included, and of those who helped in the production (as well as our wonderful readers, of course).

The event will begin at 4 PM and last until 5. There will be short readings from some of the included authors and light refreshments will be served.

The party is free to enjoy but for those interested in snagging a lovely little copy of the Fall issue, they will be for sale for $15. Cash and credit are welcome. As always, all profits go to furthering production for future issues and we appreciate any contributions.

For any questions or further details on the event please visit our Facebook event page.

Bubblegum Cyber Punk

We are very excited to announce a new project from fellow editor and creative mind, Phil Brown!

Bubblegum Cyber Punk is a one-shot publication exploring consumer culture in technology and what fuels it. Phil and his team will be accepting original works of  short fiction, non-fiction, and poetry involving the theme.

Submissions should be sent to Phil directly at phil.brown.midwest@gmail.com. The deadline for submissions is September 30th.

For any further information or questions see here.