Kid Lit and Junk Lit—Two Peas in a Pod

Whitey, the proverbial elephant in the living room, shows up where you least expect him

I’m pleased to announce a new project I’m working on with Tim Elhajj, all-around awesome guy and my hubby of close to 15 years. We’re launching an online literary magazine, Junk, that focuses on addiction. Check out our press release, look for us on Facebook, and consider submitting your work to us. Your story can be written, photographed, drawn, or sung. You don’t have to be an addict to submit to us, but you must have a story of addiction, yours or someone else’s. And your story must be a true story, well told.

Some of you might be surprised to hear that I’m working on something that is not children’s literature.  I don’t write memoir and I’m not an addict, at least not to liquor or other drugs. So why Junk? For the same reason I write children’s literature, because stories have saved me more than once, and I’m looking for ways to give back.

My own childhood was backlit by booze. I hid out in my bedroom with the door closed, reading piles of books. I read to escape, and those stories nurtured me through some pretty hard times. I am grateful to the writers of those books. I know from personal experience that there can’t be too many good books to feed kids who hunger to read. I intend to write a few.

Junk was born from a similar inspiration. At the bleakest time of my adult life, I stayed sane by going to meetings and listening to other people’s stories about the effects of addiction. I hid out in those rooms with the doors closed and heard stories that saved me yet again. Eventually, I learned to open up to the strangers in the room and share my own story.

Truth telling about addiction is a powerful process that doesn’t require a literary magazine to deliver, but Tim and I think the literary community will be a little livelier with a bit of Junk. We’re excited to showcase your best work. For our inaugural issue, we’ve published a lovely piece by Elizabeth Westmark, Detritus.

Please join us in celebrating Junk: a literary fix.