If you have not yet voted in the Mormon Lit Blitz, you should. I tallied a hundred of the votes last night before deciding I had to sleep, and it’s a very tight race. The current lead of the top piece is a whopping two points over its nearest rival, and most pieces could emerge as front-runners by the time I’ve tallied the seventy votes still left in the inbox.
Which is good news for Mormon Letters. Different people are responding to different things, and that means there’s an audience with wide enough tastes to accommodate many voices.
That’s why my wife and I are launching a new venue called Everyday Mormon Writer. We’ll officially open on March 16th, but I’ve put up a few sample things if anyone wants to take a look now.
The concept is pretty simple. Starting on the 16th, we’ll publish one very short Mormon work per week. Gradually, we’ll build up pieces until we have enough to publish every day without having to worry about running out of work. We’ll publish new work, previously published work, work by people who died long ago, whatever–so long as we can abridge or serialize it to read easily online, and so long as it contributes something worthwhile to a religious LDS audience.
In addition to the creative works themselves, we’ll have an occasional “Soapbox” column to feature discussion points or aesthetic rants and a Reviews column. We’re hoping the reviews column can be something readers learn to trust as a gateway to books that would speak to their Mormonness, whether those books or Mormon Lit or stuff from elsewhere that might have resonance with our faith and values.
On the website, we’ve got information on how people can contribute money to help fund future contests or their skilled literary labor to help us sort through the submissions pile. We’ve also got draft submission guidelines posted already.
This site will not be a crowning jewel of Mormon Lit. But I think it will be a valuable building block: a place for readers to find what they like in Mormon Lit rather than assuming that there’s nothing in Mormon Lit they like, and a place for writers to learn by having constant opportunities to experiment themselves and constant opportunities to read other writers facing overlapping challenges.
What do you think of the concept and of the site so far? Anyone care to offer one form of support or another?