In this episode, Rachel Thompson talks with Lilly Dancyger of Narratively, about the responsibility of editors to elevate voices left out the conversation, why you should know what conversations have already been had about the subjects of your writing, her experiences with memoir writing both deep and shallow with ideas on how to find the deep stories that resonate with readers and editors.

Lilly Dancyger’s essays and journalism on sex, politics, and culture have appeared in Rolling Stone, The Rumpus, The Washington Post, Psychology Today and more. She is the editor of Burn it Down, an anthology of women and nonbinary writers on anger and it’s forthcoming from Seal Press. Lilly is also at work on a memoir about her father’s art and heroin addiction and the legacy of both in her life.

Episode Links

Lilly’s essay, Personal Narratives in the Trump Era

Writing from Narratively discussed in the episode:

Episode Transcript

Rachel Thompson: Welcome to Lit Mag Love, Lilly.

Lilly Dancyger: Hi. Thanks for having me.

Rachel Thompson: I know you’re quite prolific having caught up on a lot of your of your work recently. I know you write both creative nonfiction essays and reportage. I’m wondering then what’s your writing practice like how do you balance working in these different forms from day to day.

Lilly Dancyger: Well in my own work I kind of go in phases, I’ve noticed. I’ll get really into reporting and feature writing for a little while and I’ll do that a lot and then I’ll realize that I haven’t written a personal essay in a while and I’ve missed that. So, kinda dive headlong into that and write a bunch of essays, and then I realize I haven’t reported anything in a while and you know kind of goes back and forth like. The bigger challenge for me is really balancing my own work with my editing work. Nurturing other people’s work and editing and helping bring that out into the world. And then also finding time to write my own stuff. Once in a while.

Rachel Thompson: Oh yeah that’s totally relatable to me.

Rachel Thompson: Can you tell me more about how you became a writer and like your origin story? Did you know other writers growing up?

Lilly Dancyger: I was raised by two artists. My father was a sculptor, painter, printmaker, and my mother was a fashion designer. So I grew up around creative people and the creative process and art making of various kinds not specifically other writers, but that just kind of came to me starting very young. I wrote. A lot of poetry actually as a very young child, which I now don’t do at all but that was my entry—you know bad, weird kid poems. And that turned into, you know I was a big diarist as a teenager and I really loved Anaïs Nin. So journaling kind of transformed into personal essay and memoir. And then I studied journalism in school, so the two kind of came together.

Rachel Thompson: Nice, yeah I love that kid poetry was sort of your gateway into writing.

Lilly Dancyger: None of it was any good you know. But still a starting point.

Rachel Thompson: So I know you mentioned your father and and I’ve read that you said on working on a memoir about your father’s visual art and his struggle with and ultimate loss to addiction, you’ve said it was only in reflecting so deeply on the good and bad of his life that I was able to see him and myself clearly. And so I’m wondering when you were starting writing—maybe not in the bad poetry days, but later on—were you setting out in order to see yourself for or what other motivations do you have for writing?

Lilly Dancyger: Well with this project specifically I have been working on this memoir for almost 10 years now, but it was not a memoir at all When I started it. I started out writing an artist monograph. I wanted to put my father’s artwork into a book, and tell his story and write about his imagery and his process and kind of memorialized that. And as I worked on it everybody who read a draft consistently asked for more of my story, more about what it was like to uncover all this stuff, more about the process of spending a decade researching him and then investigating his work. And bit by bit I kind of crept into the story until it turned into a memoir, kind of regardless of my intention. So I definitely didn’t set out to discover myself at all, but that just kind of happened through the storytelling and through the finding of the story, which you I think is something that happens to a lot of writers, I think, you set out trying to understand the world and that. It kind of circles back and teaches you about yourself, and kind of go through that over and over again.

Rachel Thompson: Lovely. I think that’s really apt, and relatable to a lot of readers. I mean, speaking of personal narratives in that kind of self-discovery that happens a lot in writing in your essay Personal Narratives in the Trump Era, you identify one of the greatest challenges of the times right now is the effort to fight off emotional fatigue and talk about the need for this kind of personal narrative tied to the travesties that are happening in our own era as well. And I like how you use The Diary of Anne Frank as an example, and there isn’t a specific question in this but it’s more just a thank you for writing that with such insight and care and I really urge any writers who draw from their own lives to read it. And I’m just wondering, rather I’ll ask, what are the techniques that you use to ward off emotional fatigue and what fills your cup as a writer and editor, specifically about that project, which I imagine was over 10 years probably quite difficult at times and in other writing projects, too.

Lilly Dancyger: I mean really even the emotionally challenging and exhausting and draining material that I sometimes write about, writing really does kind of help me fight off that fatigue, because it’s it’s a direction it’s somewhere to put all of those emotions that exhaustion and it’s creating something out of it and not just kind of sinking into it and feeling despondent, you know. I think, being alive right now it’s very tempting to just give in to apathy and to disengage and decide nothing matters and we’re all screwed, so whatever. And I think for me writing is a good way to avoid that and gives me something to hold onto and work toward and remember that there are other people out there who are feeling what I’m feeling in that words are a way we can connect to each other and keep each other going and give each other the fuel that we need. So by attempting to provide that for other people it gives me a feeling of something that needs to be done, something that I can do other than just throw my hands up in despair. So, that’s kind of been the biggest thing for me.

Rachel Thompson: You have so much to teach really even about writing just from reading that article and other pieces that you’ve written, and what you’re saying now, and I know you do formally teach writing, and I’m wondering about your experience with writing mentors and if you have an experience with yourself as you were mentored yourself, or with mentoring other writers, and how do you see mentoring happening within your writing community?

Lilly Dancyger: Yeah I mean you know I don’t have the traditional idea that you think of as one mentor who you stick with for a lifetime and there you’re one person that you always go back to. I experience it in more of a communal sense or, I feel like there are lots of people that I look to for guidance, reassurance, inspiration, and I try to pass that forward to many people as well. Of course, there’s infighting and there’s drama and there are issues within the literary community, but I found the writers that I know to be really mostly generous and wonderful people who want to help each other. People who are farther along in their careers than I am are always gracious and encouraging, and happy to tell me that whatever frustrations I’m currently in the middle of, even if it doesn’t go away, you get through it. And so I try to provide that reassurance where I can to people who are just starting out. And I think that’s a really important part of it. Why would we each have to reinvent the wheel when we can help each other out. So I see mentoring, in my experience at least, to be less of the kinda traditional one-to-one and more of a practice and attitude and general way of relating with the literary community.

Rachel Thompson: What’s been the most rewarding part for you of editing and how has editing informed your own writing?

Lilly Dancyger: That’s very related to the idea of mentorship and it’s incredibly rewarding to be able to help somebody who has an incredible story to tell. And to help and tell it, you know, to help them shape the writing and guide the specific piece in a craft sense to be the best version of itself. And then also to be in a position to be able to say, Yes, I want to put this out in the world, come and give it to me I’ll share it with people. You know there’s a lot of talk about editors as gatekeepers. And that’s a big responsibility that anybody who is in that position should be very aware of, you know that editors do have a lot of power in deciding whose voices get to be heard, whose stories get to be told, but if you use that and if you are conscious and aware of that, and you use that to help elevate voices that have been left out of conversations, it can be really wonderful rewarding thing, as opposed to just perpetuating status quo and letting the same people speak over and over again. And to answer the second part of your question about how it’s affected my own writing, editing has definitely made me a better writer, because in editing I find myself giving the same feedback. A lot. You know there are just certain things that I guess it’s hard to see in your own work, and that an editor needs to come in for, a lot of things like often saying this should be a scene you know you’re telling me a lot of story but I’m not really seeing it. Bring me into the story and show me. Things about like how much context and background you need. Like reminders that somebody reading this story doesn’t know the rest of your story, they don’t know your whole life, they haven’t been there with you so you need to explain certain context of why something meant so much to you or affected you so deeply or whatever. And so making those same comments on so many other people’s writing over and over again eventually trained me to notice when I’m doing the same things, when I’m telling a lot of story but not showing it, or when I’m presuming foreknowledge in the reader that might not be there. Of course, I still need an editor. Everybody needs an editor. That doesn’t mean that I can always see that in my own writing but has definitely given me a little more perspective on the usual pitfalls and when I’m stepping into them than I had before I was editing.

Rachel Thompson: Yeah, I see that so much in my own writing too where you start noticing things you yourself do. I want to go back to the big responsibility as gatekeepers that you were talking which I think is a really important thing to identify and be aware of and then take action around and I’m just wondering what’s happening at Narratively, if we can sort of shift to the journal itself, what’s happening there to elevate writers left out of the conversation?

Lilly Dancyger: I always think when I get a story. We’re always looking like everybody is for the fresh angle of the new story, something surprising, something we haven’t seen before. And so I think about that in terms of the story the actual narrative what’s happening, but I also think about it a lot in terms of the voices that are being represented on the page. And I always look at the other pieces that I have scheduled coming up, the recent pieces I’ve done. And memoir and personal essay is a field that is chock full of white women. You know, there are a lot of amazing white women writers and a lot of white women who have interesting things to say, but they’re not the only ones that have interesting or important things to say and I try to make sure they’re not overrepresented in my section. Trying to bring in people of colour, I have a couple of really exciting pieces coming up by trans writers. I try to include disabled writers. You know everybody who, traditionally have not been able to tell their own stories. And another important thing that I think about a lot and I want to do better at, a task I’ve kind of given myself, is to include all of those marginalized voices but not exclusively to talk about the way that they’re marginalized and to publish the really amazing pieces: disabled writers talking about their disability, or people writing about their gender identity in an enlightening and nuanced way that a lot of readers might not have understood, and those pieces are really important and I’m happy to do them, but I also want to have queer trans disabled fat writers of colour writing about whatever random things are interesting to them and experiences in their lives that show the multitudes that they’re not reduced to their marginalized identity. That’s something I think the industry, in general, could do a better job of, you know a lot of times we talk about diversity, so that means OK come in find a writer to come in and be “our black writer” to talk about black issues. You know but that’s, I’m sure, emotionally draining and also limiting. You know, a black writer might have a lot to say about issues going on in the world today that affect the black community, god knows there are a lot of them and there are a lot of important things to talk about, but what if the writer also wants to write about Star Trek. Or whatever else that writer happens to be interested in, and not pigeonholing people. I think it’s important.

Rachel Thompson: Oh, I’m so glad to hear this say that. And I think that’s something that we’ve been working on at Room on an ongoing level too when we make special calls for contributors from different communities. Often the question is, Oh, do I have to write about being queer? Do I have to write about my marginalized identity?, like you’re saying. I think because the expectation is that that’s what people are being called in to do. And, I would read that story about Star Trek from someone from a different perspective, right? So I was talking a bit about Narratively and I want to talk about how Narratively is a cross between the typical news site and a literary magazine which is kind of neat because that’s actually the intersection that you’re writing live at, too. I mean you have said that you’re that Narratively is not as focused on the news cycle as straight news publications but you’re also not as freeform as some literary magazines, so what ties the publication together and what links these forums into the cohesive whole?

Lilly Dancyger: So we do personal essay and reported pieces. We’ve been doing a category we call A Hidden History recently, so it’s historical research pieces. And those might all seem very disparate but they’re definitely tied together in a particular voice and approach to storytelling and we really focus on narrative, as you might guess from our name. Really, we’re trying to create a vivid, engaging story that people can take a break from the bombardment of news and tweets and bite-sized things and really sit and settle and be engrossed in a story, and in a world that they don’t otherwise have access to. We think of our reader as a curious reader who wants to go somewhere that they don’t go in their own life, whether that’s you know reported stories about insular strange subculture and getting into the nuance of the characters and motivations within that subculture, or a personal essay about someone whose life looks very different than yours. So I think that’s what ties them all together really.

Rachel Thompson: Nice. And so for people who are contributing, like sending submissions to Narratively, what is the current slush acceptance rate?

Lilly Dancyger: It fluctuates, I estimate that it’s about 5 percent. Pretty low, but that includes everything, you know, including random way-off-the-mark submissions from people who are clearly just blasting out their piece to everywhere and have never even looked at our home page. You know, I would say the submission rate for pieces from people who have actually done their homework looked at Narratively, understand what we’re looking for, and send us something that at least kind of generally makes sense for us would be much higher.

Rachel Thompson: True. The number is kind of deceptive, because…our number is about the same at Room, too, but that includes the cis-gendered men who submit to us even though that’s not who we’re publishing.

Lilly Dancyger: Yeah that’s it. You know it’s definitely skewed by people who just submit blindly. We get fiction submissions, which you know we have never published fiction and have no plans to. We get 500-word diary entry style personal essays. We get all kinds of stuff that if you read two stories on our site you’d understand we’re not a fit. But things that are stylistically at least, within the realm, I would guess the rate would be much higher probably more like 20 percent. Or something like that.

Rachel Thompson: And of the larger percentage group, the ones that are kind of a fit, I know you’ve already told me that you see a lot of “my parent is ageing dying or dead and it’s making me reconsider my relationship with them” stories and a lot of “eating this specific thing makes me feel connected to my family or heritage stories”. And then as you said also ironically you get a lot of, “I want to talk about what it’s like to decide to get an abortion because nobody ever talks about it” stories. Is there anything else that you seem too much of that you don’t want to see for a while?

Lilly Dancyger: You know I think, I gave as examples as tropes that I see over and over again, but I think the bigger issue, rather than a list of every angle that’s been done a lot, I think the best piece of advice I can give is that if you want to write about an experience familiarize yourself with what else has been written about that experience. Take the time to read other writers who talk about similar things or writing in a similar vein or writing about a similar kind of relationship or whatever it is because [00:19:17] you’re participating in a conversation. So you should know what has already been said so that you can push the conversation forward or introduce a new idea or a new perspective or look at it through a slightly different lens. [13.1] I know I’m not the only editor is looking for that—that’s what all editors are looking for, is somebody who is bringing something new to the table, something surprising and fresh and it’s impossible to do that if you don’t know what’s already out there. And I think with any topic there’s kind of the first note that gets hit and a lot of people just write that in the void, without looking around and realizing that that’s already been established that’s the kind of foundation and we’ve moved on from there and what else you have to say? What’s next?

Rachel Thompson: I like how you’re identifying that that’s not the tropes themselves it’s the approach to the trope, because I know there was a while when the publisher at Room was always talking about stories that we’d see come in and she identified as, “I’ve experienced another culture and now I have the feels” and as soon as she’d identified that, I that was like, “Oh yeah we’ve I’ve seen so many of those too. But then that same month I published one because it was totally different and fresh. And there’s something to it, so it’s not actually the tropes it’s more bringing something new to the table. And that love you’re encouraging people to read in order to know what’s out there so that you know what’s new that you can bring to the table.

Lilly Dancyger: Exactly.

Rachel Thompson: When a piece of writing that makes it past the first reading and you’re considering it for publication or maybe you’ve accepted for publication, what should a writer expect from you? Do you make any developmental suggestions, for example?

Lilly Dancyger: Yeah, I’m a very hands-on editor, which, I think most writers end up grateful for at the end even if the process still a little daunting. But most pieces that I end up running, I usually edit about three times at least, and usually, the first pass is a more big picture, kind of identifying moments that need to be blown up into scenes when they’re kind of just glossed over and any structural changes. And then a second pass kind of going through and getting more nitty-gritty, asking for more specific detail throughout. It’s always asking for more, more, more, more. And then a third pass going through and tightening back up and cutting anything that’s gotten repetitive or extraneous in the process of building it up.

Rachel Thompson: Can you describe any works that you recently published that stand out as important maybe or significant anyway that you’ve published in Narratively.

Lilly Dancyger: That’s hard because I love all of them, but, let’s see. The first one that pops into mind there’s a piece that we did recently that I really love, that did really well, too, which is nice to see that it’s resonating with other people. We published a piece called The Secret Life of an Autistic Stripper, and, you know, sex sells, people love stories about sex but, I personally love doing more nuanced stories about sex work and also more nuanced, realistic, stories about different ways of looking at the world, different ways of seeing the world, disability, developmental disorders, etcetera. So you know this piece was interesting because it wasn’t what you would expect from a story about a stripper, but it also wasn’t what you would expect from a story about being autistic. It was the intersection of the two that made it really special and unique and kind of was able to illuminate. Both aspects in a new way. And that’s always a good way to go about finding a new way into a story is where it butts up against something know that piece and it was a great example of that.

Rachel Thompson: I’ll link to that one in the show notes, that sounds fascinating. And what kind of writing are you eager to read in submissions that you haven’t had come in yet?

Lilly Dancyger: What we’re really looking for the most right now is not that we don’t get it ever but that I’d like to get it a lot more, is stories that are really about a unique spectacular experience. You know, that are really about something happening. We get a lot of personal essay that are very internal. It’s about, let me filter this kind of ordinary experience through a lens of a particular way of thinking about it, or you know let me reflect and reconsider and re-digest, and you know it’s almost kind of meditative, and more about looking at your life in a different way and with the action of the pieces about considering, and re-evaluating. And those pieces can be great. We published some of those. I’ve written several of those. There’s plenty of value to that. But, we’re focused right now on stories where the action is external, where it’s really of about the experience that only you have had. I think a lot of the reason that there are so many of that contemplative kinds of reconsidering essays out there is because one person can write an infinite number of those, whereas the stories that are about a truly extraordinary experience, most people only have one or two of those, so there they’re a little more precious and rare and you can’t just keep wringing out that rag and getting more and more and more, it’s really like this is your story to tell. This is *the* story that you have and I want more of those.

Rachel Thompson: You want people’s most precious jewels. Basically.

Lilly Dancyger: I want the big story and I want the story that is like the one you’ve been holding on to, the one that everybody tells you, wow you have to write about that, wow I can’t believe that happened. The one that you know tell people about it at a party they are like, oh my god, really? Which doesn’t happen if you if you tell them about how fostering a dog helps me deal with my grief, or whatever it is. You’re not going to get that big reaction from the more internal, reflective stories, you’re going to get that…the one that’s coming to mind that was most like that that we published recently was an excerpt from a great book by Tyler Wetherall called No Way Home, and the excerpts that we adapted as an essay, we called it My Childhood on the Run from the FBI. And it was about realizing that literally, her childhood had been running from the FBI because her father was a drug smuggler and they didn’t know it at the time; it’s about realizing that coming to terms with that. So this kind of epic adventure story as well as a family relationship story, but that’s not a story everybody can tell. You know there was another one called My Ex the Drug Queen Pin. Not to say the big ones are always about drug trafficking, but that one just came to mind as well. This one started from the writer and of idly googling the name of a high school girlfriend and realizing that she was on a Most Wanted list and kept going down the rabbit hole of discovering her whole life and investigating her and trying to figure out trying to solve her murder ended up absorbing his life. You know that’s an epic story about actually doing something. You can write that story sitting in your living room and thinking about your life. It’s about going out and living.

Rachel Thompson: But one aspect of that story that I think is interesting because the question that I hear from writers a lot, too, is feeling sometimes, fortunately for them I think, that their lives haven’t been that exciting or wild, but in this case it’s a case where it’s actually not really his story until he engaged into, oh my ex the drug queen pin, I’m going to go down this rabbit hole.

Lilly Dancyger: I’m glad you raised that point actually because that maybe that was not the best example because it gets into murky territory where you know he managed to pull it off and it became about him investigating. It became his story that was sparked by her story. But, to circle back to what I don’t want to see ever again—tropes of my life intersected with the life of someone very interesting or my life intersected with someone else’s tragedy, let me tell you about how that impacted me and how that made me feel. And that I don’t want. I don’t want submissions about, you know I live next door to a couple where there was a severe domestic violence and I could hear them to the walls and let me tell you how that made me feel. Sad and uncomfortable. You know I don’t want essays about your experience of someone else’s tragedy. And so the drug queen story is kind of an exception to that rule because there are always exceptions to these rule, right? And this was one where he took what could have been a very voyeuristic and exploitative story, but he made it work because it wasn’t just, I knew this girl and then this happened to her, isn’t that crazy? You know he really went in and took it upon himself to figure out what happened to her when nobody else was, and when she was killed and then that was it not the end of it. And he kind of took on the Investigator role of trying to figure out what happened.

Rachel Thompson: It’s like the challenge of writers who are writing memoir to dig up these stories that are from their own experience. And anyway I just create that example because it’s a great example of the case where, exactly, is exception to the rule where it’s appropriate because he’s dug so deeply into it himself.

Lilly Dancyger: Yeah, and I hear a lot of writers say like, oh my life isn’t interesting I don’t have anything to write about when that’s not true and they have lots of stories, they just haven’t yet developed the lens to look at them and feed the maybe quieter, but still very rich and compelling stories. But also, I think maybe this is the taboo thing to say, but sometimes it’s true. Maybe sometimes you don’t have enough stories and you have to go and live to write them, you know? And I think the idea that everybody can and should write memoir is incorrect. And I think it leads to a lot of forced or superficial writing and it definitely, it lead to the personal essay industrial complex of tons and tons and tons of kind of superficial fluffy exploitative pieces, where writers, especially young women, were kind of put on the spot to mine their lives for anything juicy or vulnerable, whatever because they’re searching to have something interesting to say. If you don’t have a story that you feel compelled to tell and there isn’t this, like, burning lava pit in the center of your life that needs to explode out in essay or book form, then write something else.

Rachel Thompson: Write fiction.

Lilly Dancyger: Yeah, write fiction, write journalism, you can still be a writer. Not everybody has to have a personal story. And if you don’t have those stories in your life that that need to be told, and I think more importantly that need to be read, then maybe you know maybe that instinct is true.

Rachel Thompson: I love the tough love aspect of that. That’s great. And I also have never heard the personal essay industrial complex, but that’s very apt. I guess on the flip side of that, though, there are people who do have these stories that need unlocking with inside them, and maybe they haven’t seen themselves, like you’re saying there’s a lot of white women that kind of dominate the memoir genre and, maybe they don’t fit into that category and so maybe don’t see themselves, so what stories do you think are missing from the personal essays that have been published in Narratively or elsewhere?

Lilly Dancyger: You know it’s hard to identify specific stories that that aren’t there. It’s like when I see them then I’ll know this is the thing. But if I knew that they were missing I would be out searching for them. I don’t know specifically like a story, I want a story from x kind of person living in x kind of place moving through kind of experience, but I think that if you’re reading lots of my essay and you haven’t seen your story yet, then that means it’s needed. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t belong and it’s not good enough and whatever, all of that self-doubt. It means the opposite. It means that it is needed. If it’s missing, then we want it.

Rachel Thompson: Going back to the personal essay industrial complex, makes me think a lot about editorial responsibility too, right, so having people mine their deepest scars but maybe not being emotionally ready to write about. I’m wondering I guess as both a writer and editor how do you navigate that particular minefield?

Lilly Dancyger: As a writer I plan ahead. I have essays and books that I intend to write about experiences that I know I’m not quite ready to talk about yet. Whether I’m emotionally ready or whether my thinking on them isn’t fully developed yet. I keep notebooks. I track the development of those ideas. I write what I feel ready to write. And I collect material so that when I’m ready I can write something amazing. And that’s a practice that I learned from falling into the “It Happened to Me” trap earlier in my career. And writing short, pithy essays that could have been bigger, deeper, more important pieces, if I’d given them the time to germinate, and given myself the time to grow and understand more fully how I feel about those experiences. So that’s how I handle it in my own life. As an editor, you know as a said I’m very hands-on and do a lot of developmental work. I push writers pretty hard to really dig in to the core of a piece and to make those bigger deeper more important pieces rather than sitting on the surface and putting out things superficial that doesn’t fully do justice to the experience they’re writing about. So that works out one of two ways. You know, either I help the writer develop something real and meaningful that they can be proud of and that does show that the emotional and craft work. Or, they realize through that experience that they’re not ready. And I’ve had writers partway through the editing process say, like, this is more than I thought it was going to be, I’m realizing I’m not really ready to go there. I don’t have the answers yet for your questions or I’m not comfortable publishing the answers to those questions even if I do have them. And I always respect that and say you know, OK thank you for being aware of that I respect that and I leave the door open if in a year you want to revisit this and you do feel ready. I’ll be here.

Rachel Thompson: That’s just lovely. So can you tell me what’s next for you, Lilly, in your writing and your editorial life?

Lilly Dancyger: Well, Burn it Down, this anthology is on the horizon. Drafts have started coming in, and reading them has been amazing and editing them was really a cathartic joy. You know, when I was first asked to edit an anthology about anger, I was like, Yes, of course. How did you know? It’s a topic I have a lot to say about. But, I didn’t realize how much of a balm it would be to read these essays and read all these brilliant women, you know people, writing about what makes them angry and putting their anger on the page after repressing it for so long.

Rachel Thompson: I want to clarify that that’s balm, B-A-L-M. At first, I thought it was B-O-M-B.

Lilly Dancyger: Yes. A soothing balm. And I’ve kind of started to think of it that way. Like this book is going to be a place for that anger to live. That anger that has not been allowed out in public and that has been pushed down and rationalized away and smoothed over and covered with a smile. And now it’s going to have a home in this book and I want it to really sizzle and just be alive with that anger and be a place for other angry people who haven’t been able to express that to connect with it. So I’m working on that now. And it’s a pleasure, and I’m starting to think ahead already to Spring 2019, and all the fun amazing events we can have to promote it because it’s an anthology so there are so many different voices in it. So we can have readings and just get a bunch of creative cool people together to talk about what we’re pissed off about. It’s going to be really fun.

Rachel Thompson: Sounds amazing. How can people follow or connect with you? What’s the best way for that?

Lilly Dancyger: I spend way too much time on Twitter, so if anybody wants to know what I’m up to or what I’m thinking or what I’m reading or looking for or want to connect with me that’s a good place to do it. My Twitter handle is just @LillyDancyger, my full name. Yeah, that’s the best place. And also on my website lillydancyger.com, I set up a sign-up form more people can sign up to get an email when Burn it Down is available for preorder. Because as I’m talking about it to people, I’m getting a lot of really enthusiastic and excited response. If anybody is excited about it and wants to be kept up to date, I have a form there. I promise not to spam you. I’m gonna send one email out when preorders are available and one with there’s an event schedule.

Rachel Thompson: Well thank you for talking with me today and sharing all your Lit Mag Love with us.

Lilly Dancyger: My pleasure. Thank you so much for having me.

Credits

Host: Rachel Thompson
Sound Editor: Mica Lemiski
Transcript Editing: Rachel Thompson
Presented by Room magazine and the Lit Mag Love Course