Hello everyone! I am very excited to announce the release of the very first Literary Alchemy Poetry and Fiction Zine! This zine is very close to my heart, and is something that I have wanted to accomplish since my freshmen year of college when I was a scared student sitting in John Brantingham’s creative writing class. However, I was so busy with trying to receive my B.A after I transferred that I did not have the time to start one. The first attempt to release this literary magazine was a flop. The person who I attempted to do a full literary magazine with started a very rigorous grad program, so she no longer had the time to help me, and then I started grad school as well and did not have the time to focus on a full literary magazine. However, at the end of a very stressful and tiring (quarter system) first year of grad school, I needed something to revitalize my love for literature and creative writing. One day I crashed John Brantingham’s class again (he is used to it by now) because my quarter was over, but I took my boyfriend to class and did not feel like driving all the way home. After he was done teaching I told him I was a little warn down, and was thinking about trying to restart Literary Alchemy. I thought it could be a zine so one person could handle all of the work, for it can be done on my off time from school. He told me that was a great idea, and that I should do it. So, when I went home I figured out the guidelines and announced the submission period.
So, what is a zine? A zine is a very small magazine that is formatted to be on 8.5×11 sheets of paper folded in half so it can be easily produced. Zines are usually not for profit and are meant to help someone’s voice, cause, or movement be presented to the public. My personal influence for this zine is the old punk zines’ from the ‘80s and ‘90s, with the Riot Grrl zines being the biggest inspiration. (If you do not know about the Riot Grrl movement look it up, it is a female punk movement that helped start third-wave feminism.)
Next question. Why is it called Solstice if the publication is at the end of summer? There are many reasons. Most of them are personal. Summer for me is always a season of change because I have been in school for most of my life. To me, a new year never started in January, it begins in late August or early September when school starts. I am currently in school to teach community college, so this mind set will not shift anytime soon. Therefore, the name of the summer issue is “solstice” because of my personal experiences of change or shifting in summer time. However, I did not expect this to become a theme. When asked by contributors, I simply said, “there is no theme, the first issue is called ‘Solstice,’ submit anything you like or something you feel fits that.” I did not expect people to take me seriously! Many of the submissions (not all) deal with change or a fear of it. I believe this is because we are living in Sothern California during the start of the Trump era. The other reason for naming the first issue Solstice is I very much love the religion of Wicca. That is why I requested my best friend, Elisa Lugo, to draw a woman dancing for the cover because she is celebrating summer solstice.
I cannot say that taking on this project was a huge undertaking because I actually had a lot of fun working on it. I finally learned that if you do what you love you will never work a day in your life. I am really proud of this project, and I am glad that I can produce a literary zine for everyone to enjoy. Thank you to all who supported and contributed to this zine to make my dreams real!
here is the link: