On October 30, 2010, Loose Change Literary Magazine launched its first issue. In the Editor’s Letter for that issue, founding Editor-in-Chief, Cristina Martin introduced the magazine as “a home for the writer who works hard to mold his or her craft into its best and truest expression.” Separating itself from most other literary magazines, Loose Change not only sought to feature quality writers and artists, but to develop them as well. Writing workshops and feedback letters from editors were part of Loose Change’s goal of creating a stronger literary community.
Since the magazine’s inception, there have been six issues and the readings and workshops that were regularly held, have been on hold. After Martin moved to Brooklyn last May, there was a short hiatus before the process of reshuffling and rebuilding went into effect. Fortunately for Atlanta, Loose Change is unveiling itself again with a new issue, a revamped website, a new staff and as Molly Dickinson, Loose Change’s new Managing Editor says, “a refined mission and strategic goals.”
The Highland Ballroom will host the celebration, aptly named Reprise: A Live Release Party. The event will feature readings from Tres Crow, James Matheson Morton and Alex Gallo Brown, whose work appears in the new issue. There will also a special performance from well known literary stalwarts Nick Tecosky, Bobbin Wages, Dan Beuregard and Myke Johns. The evening will be rounded out with on-the-spot writing contests, raffle drawings and music from DJ BlackBox Disco.
“It’s still Loose Change, it’s just bigger, badder and better than ever,” says Dickinson. The re-emergence of Loose Change is important for the literary community because outside of the powerful university based magazines—Chattahoochee Review, Georgia Review, New South et. al—there are very few literary magazines based in Atlanta. With other elements of a healthy literarty scene in place—writers producing work, venues for critique, regularly held live readings all over town—an independent literary magazine is a necessary platform for writers to share their work with the world. Not only that, but, as previously stated, Loose Change differs from other literary journals because, as Dickinson says, “a significant part of our mission is to actively facilitate growth, learning and connection among our submitters and readers.”
If you’re familiar with the nature of submitting to literary magazines, you know that receiving feedback from an editor is extremely rare. If your work is rejected most editors will tell you, in the nicest way possible, that it is not up to their standard with little else besides a “good luck” in their closing. Communication between submitters and editors will go a long way to develop emerging writers.
Loose Change features writers from all over, but Atlanta based writers and readers will also benefit from the workshops, readings and other activities that according to Dickinson, “engage our communities in creating positive social change through literature.” As a publication based out of WonderRoot, Atlanta’s non-profit art champion, it comes as no surprise that this is one of their core values.
The literary community in Atlanta is flourishing and shows no signs of slowing down. With Loose Change back in the fold, the future looks all the better. “If there is an opportunity for Atlanta to become America’s great literary city,” Dickinson continues, “as Atlanta residents, as writers and readers, we already have a stake in that.”