When Hannah Goodman had trouble finding a publisher for her YA novels Fear of Falling, My Summer Vacation, and My Sister’s Wedding, the Rhode Islander published them herself. The latter novel went on to win first place in Writer’s Digest's International Self-Publishing Contest in 2004. Fast forward to 2011; Goodman now has an MFA in YA literature from the Solstice Program at Pine Manor College in Chestnut Hill, Mass. But she’s still having a tough time placing her work, particularly the short pieces she wrote as part of her thesis. Once again Goodman is taking matters into her own hands and launching an online literary journal to help other emerging YA writers like her, Sucker Literary Magazine.
Goodman says that she chose the name for its dual meaning. “I was at one of the [MFA] residencies and I wanted a name. In residency, somebody always brings lollipops. ‘Sucker’ seemed colorful, and it stood out,” she explains. “A lot of times in high school I thought ‘sucker’ was written across my forehead.”
Sucker will be accepting submissions for stories for ages 14 to 18 until October 1, and will publish its first downloadable issue in January. For now, Goodman plans to publish twice a year, but she would like to move the magazine to a monthly so that teachers can use it in their classrooms. “Right now,” says Goodman, who will be back at Pine Manor this summer as a graduate assistant, “I want to focus on great literature.”
Goodman credits Michael Cart’s Rush Hour anthologies as the inspiration for Sucker, which will launch as fiction-only (no stand-alone poetry or narrative nonfiction). The call for information invites writers to: “Bring on your skateboarding vampires, angst ridden, nerd-boy who has never been kissed, or girl crushing on her best friend (be it girl or boy).”