A Note from the Editor: Miss Us? Bringing Back LitCity312

LitCity312_Logo_4C_HiResLike many small projects and startups, LitCity312 was born as a side project that a couple of creative people were very passionate about — but as the years passed, our day-to-day lives grew busier, and LitCity312 got a little less love and attention than we intended.

From the day the idea of LitCity was born in Co-Founder Chris Green’s independent press class at DePaul University, I knew it was one worth pursuing. And while that was three years ago, I still feel strongly this is a valuable project and one that I can’t easily let go. Every time I visit a literary event, I remember why Chicago’s literary scene is so unique, and that there are so many stories here to tell.

My circumstances as an editor of this site have not changed: I am still employed full-time elsewhere, and LitCity312 will remain a passion project (or what some might call a “side hustle”). But this does not mean this site is any less needed or that I am any less capable of keeping it alive. Whenever I get discouraged, I remember how many of these talented people I’ve interviewed — from authors to press founders and co-founders — keep their side projects and passions going strong regardless of what other daily responsibilities they might have. There are late nights and early mornings, but they are making it happen because they believe in their work.

I believe LitCity312 can be a great resource for anyone who loves lit (and particularly indie lit) in Chicago. But for me to keep this running, the future model of LitCity will look a little different.

Our job here at LitCity312 is to tell the stories of the people who are building Chicago’s literary scene. Going forward, the primary objective will be to showcase profiles of the individuals, groups, shows, organizations, and companies that are out there building and contributing to this scene every day. In short, LitCity312’s mission is to document the growth of Chicago’s literary culture.

As one person with a large website, I welcome other volunteers who are interested and willing to help. Please email litcity312@nullgmail.com if you’d like to contribute, or if you think your project/business/show is something we should feature. Expect to hear more from us soon!

Welcome to LitCity312!

BooksellersWelcome to LitCity312! We are your new resource for news, commentary, and observation of the independent literary culture in the Chicagoland area. We hope to cover everything you need to know about the independent literary scene: independent publishing issues and trends, live lit performances and literary readings, independent bookstores, indie titles, and indie authors. We also hope to soon bring you a new literary magazine focused solely on the work of writing students currently enrolled in Chicagoland writing programs.

Why are we doing this? For the love of independent lit! We want to work with everyone in this wonderful community to celebrate and raise awareness of Chicago’s literary culture.

This project began in Spring 2012 in a DePaul University MAWP (Master of Arts in Writing and Publishing) independent press course, led by professor and poet Chris Green. The graduate students together gathered interviews with more than 100 independent presses around the country and globe. This information will be gathered into an ebook titled Independent Voices: A Small Press Sampler.

Realizing how exciting the culture right here in Chicago is, graduate student Marcy Farrey began gathering video interviews with independent presses in the area. Wondering what to do with all of this great information, Chris and Marcy spent the next year evaluating and organizing the content. After much thought and review, they decided to create a website focusing on Chicago’s indie lit scene, and LitCity was born.

We have brought some dedicated DePaul interns onto our team, and they help us keep this site alive with great content! Be sure to check out our first batch of reviews from writer and DePaul student Amanda Hanna.

LitCity312 remains a work in progress, but we hope that you will join us on this journey as we build and expand the scope of our website. Be sure to email us with any thoughts, suggestions, or submissions at litcity312@nullgmail.com.