I am having a hard time writing this without feeling like a freeze-frame: “You’re probably wondering how I ended up here… Well, guess what? Hard same.”
Since September, I’ve been slowly stepping into the role of Editor-in-Chief here at The Rumpus. Some of you may have noticed the masthead changes or the auto-replies, some of you are like, Oh huh, I guess there is a new logo… (shoutout to Roman Muradov), and some of you might at this very moment be shouting, I’M SORRY, WHAT? at your device.
Marisa Siegel, our beloved former owner and EiC, has taken a job at Northwestern University Press as Senior Acquisitions Editor but will be remaining with The Rumpus as an editor-at-large. As I’ve confided to some of you, I am increasingly convinced that she is an octopus wizard or perhaps a literary superhero with replication powers.
As of January 1, 2022 Alyson Sinclair (also of Nectar Literary) is the new owner and publisher of The Rumpus. She much prefers talking up/about other writers instead of herself—before starting her own firm, she worked as a publicist for McSweeney’s; Farrar, Straus and Giroux; and City Lights Publishers—so you probably won’t be hearing much from her here. Instead, most of Alyson’s focus will be on the programs side of things—our book clubs and letters in the mail—and finding new ways to collaborate with the literary community and pay our writers, artists, and staff. (And please note: Nectar is and will remain a separate entity and initiative from The Rumpus.) I am very pleased to say that she is a Virgo and she loves cats; in other words, I am confident she will do an excellent job.
I often joke that most of my life has happened by a series of accidents, and working in literary magazines is by no means an exception. Over a decade ago, I was assigned the position of Submissions Manager as part of a writing scholarship requirement during my undergraduate study, and I haven’t left Lit Journal Land since. I’ve held a few different positions at a few different journals, but I’ve been at The Rumpus since early 2019, when I came on as a Features Editor.
Over the past few months, my primary goal has been for no one to notice that there was a new EiC. Marisa has done a fabulous job of promoting diverse and exciting voices across the magazine, and I’m hoping to continue that vision. Looking to the immediate future, We Are More has started back up (and will be open to new submissions in March), and we’ve brought on a new Comics Editor, Colleen Kolba, who will curate the monthly feature. April will be another stunning month-o-poems, and come summer, we’re hoping to bring you some themed issues and interdisciplinary interviews.
If you’d like to know more or if you’d like to just generally stay in touch and get updates on our submissions windows, features, events, and more, please sign up for our newsletter.
Till next time,
AS (alysia sawchyn)
P.S. I know our names are very similar. Imagine how the editors feel! But if you see something signed only “AS,” it’s probably me.