What We Want From You

From SUCKER LITERARY MAGAZINE Founder Hannah Goodman

As an editor/publisher of a magazine, I’d like to be transparent about what I want. I’ve been on the other end for so long–still am as I try to get an agent for my YA short story collection and another new YA novel.  I have no interest in being a mysterious entity to writers trying to find a place that will publish their work. I’d like you all to know exactly what we publish. That being said, you should submit anyway, even if you aren’t sure you fit our “need”–the only way to find out if you do fit us, is to submit.

So here it goes…

I want to publish literary YA fiction that is provocative and hopeful. Inspiring without preaching. I don’t care if there’s aliens or vampires or wolves…but if there is, they better make me laugh or cry. I want character and voice driven work that doesn’t rely on a heavy plot. That being said, I want to be entertained and feel engrossed in the action.

My list of favorite YA authors and novels probably can clue you into what I’m looking for in submissions to SUCKER.  I’ve got the old classics like Catcher In The Rye and the modern classics like Perks of Being A Wallflower. I’m sort of haunted (in a good way) by the modern sci-fi classic Feed by M.T. Anderson. Yet, I also adore the-made-me-wish-I-were-a-poet, novel in verse, The Secret of Me and the modern-day Forever, Anatomy of a Boyfriend. Of course, because I was a teen in the late eighties and early nineties, I also adore old school stuff by Norma Klein and Norma Fox Mazer.

Of late, I seem to be addicted to the painfully funny, thanks to my mentor David Yoo and my work over the two and a half years at Solstice where I penned my own painfully funny short story collection BIG FAT BROKEN HEARTS…Read an excerpt here.

I just finished Will Grayson, Will Grayson, and along those lines, some other recent books include Swim The fly and Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One Before. Even on the adult side, although it’s a memoir, Bad Mother is a recent read that I couldn’t put down.


I read to connect, feel, relate–not so much to escape, which may be why I prefer realistic fiction to fantastical. (However, Feed is one of my favs because the fantastical didn’t distract from the characters in the story.) I read to understand my world and the greater world around me. I write for the same reasons–to understand my world and the wider world around me, to make sense of things (death, love, sex, relationships), to deconstruct and rebuild for a better understanding of this wide, beautiful, confusing world. When I write, I want to stir readers to feel emotions (sadness, happiness, anger, etc) but more, I want them to deeply connect with the material so that they feel what they felt as a teen, or if they are teens, they can say, “Yes, I identify…”

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  • Candy  On August 3, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    Thank you for this deep explanation of what Sucker Literary Mag. is searching for! I’m sure this will be helpful for future submissions.
    As a writer, I too, want my readers to connect with the material. To feel. To identify themselves in situations and characters, so that they may realize they are not alone. There’s nothing better than a story / character that makes us FEEL and connect.
    Well said, Sucker Literary!

  • Lauren  On September 9, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    Can we submit a fictional story that’s part of a bigger story but not necessarily a novel excerpt?

  • ed bas  On September 29, 2011 at 8:53 am

    I am a freelancer fiction short story writer. Most of my stories are sf. Can I email you for this story?

    S.S. Pelican
    by Ed Bas 3,452 words

    Freddy Fargo is a crackerjack of the United Earth allied trades. He is called an amateur actor in the Pelican Follies and he is a First Class Engineer, in the Starship Fleet, the S.S. Pelican.
    Stardate 10.1-2299 in a planetary nebula named NB-Sagan, x-3. No plans since that day, they were resting and their ship was leisurely, unless you call a hunting warship leisurely. Anyway, they suddenly had an alarm – it bothers the Commander, this clanging high-pitched sound, EEE-ooo, EEE-ooo. He had a forbidding nightmare – the magnetic bottles holding anti-matter were breaking or, at least, a crack. It is not good, either. It means a failure in two of their four engines – and, eventually, an attack to the war-cherished, sneaky, threatening Dogo aliens.

  • Jordan Davies  On October 13, 2011 at 10:55 am

    As I have followed the YA books my children read, not all by any means, one I found a quite wonderful novel is “The Book Thief” by Australian author Markus Zusak. I think this is a brilliant book and one which I own.

    Mima Tipper mentioned you to me. I look forward to reading her story.
    Jordan Davies

  • Mahir  On December 11, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    Question: You said that you prefer realistic prose, but would a sci-fi/fantasy story about a sinnister talking dinosaur who uses a unsuspecting teenager to change the would, be acceptable as well?

    • suckerliterarymagazine  On December 14, 2011 at 10:44 am

      Sounds very intriguing! Follow the submissions guidelines and we’ll take a look. Note: We are not accepting new subs until February 1 2012.

  • Peter  On March 21, 2012 at 11:34 am

    Thank you. I have lots of short stories.

  • Marina  On March 26, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    Hey, what would you count as overly violent? My story is about a lesbian couple and one of the girls get murdered, thats not too bad. Right? If yes, can’t wait to submitt!

  • Myisha  On May 31, 2013 at 8:20 am

    Hi, I just wanted to know if I can make a valid submission right now? Your guidelines say the dates for reading are March 1 – May 1. I’m unclear on what that means… if I send in a story now, in June or July, will it be deleted? Or considered.

    • suckerliterary  On May 31, 2013 at 4:45 pm

      Submissions are currently closed for volume 3. However, we will have an Open Door Day in August. Check back for the details.


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