Creating literary links

We’re almost ready to announce the latest theme and front cover for our next ‘zine, and we’re eagerly awaiting seeing more of the (and I never thought I’d be saying this) world’s great creative writing and artistry.

Our ‘zines The Great Indoors and Reset have become far more than a Thanet- and Kent-based literary ‘zine could have hoped to be. Our pages contain some truly great creative pieces by amazingly talented artists and writers.

Reset includes some great creative pieces from America, spanning from Minnesota to Texas, from California across to New York. And it’s from the small town of Mattituck, NY that Elizabeth Jaeger, writer of Crumb Cake, chatted to us about her Reset ‘zine journey.

How did you hear about the Margate Bookie ‘zine?
I heard about the Margate Bookie ‘zine from a call for submissions page on Facebook. I belong to a few such groups on social media, and once a week or so, I go through the postings to see if there is anything that might match an essay or story I’ve written.

What prompted you to submit your essay?
My father died of COVID-19 in April 2020. I had been working on a couple of different writing projects before he passed away, but found it impossible to write about anything other than my dad and my grief after he left us. I didn’t have the mental capacity for fiction, and as someone more prone toward essays anyway, I found that mourning provided me with a great deal of material. When someone you love dies unexpectedly, you find yourself looking at life through a very different lens. In order to process what I saw and what I felt, I wrote — a lot.

Thanksgiving 2020 was our first big holiday without my dad. He’d always put family before everything, so holidays were extremely important and special to him. I knew trying to celebrate without him was going to be nearly impossible. But how do you move on and restart — or reset — your life after experiencing such a devastating death? For my son, it was important to make a crumb cake. My dad made one every year on all the major holidays. Taking over this task with my son wasn’t easy. I cried — a great deal — but the cake came to symbolize moving on while still keeping the memories of my dad alive.

When I saw the theme for the Margate Bookie ‘zine was Reset, I felt that this would be a great place to share the story of my dad and the crumb cake with the world which also fitted with the idea of moving forward and on.

What did you think of the submission and editing process?
The submission process was easy and the editing process was wonderful. I really enjoyed working with Justin Brown. I’ve had many essays and short stories published in various publications, both online and in print, but Justin was one of the more personable editors I’ve worked with. He kept the lines of communication open so there were never any surprises.

How did it feel to have your story accepted and be able to perform read it at our Live Launch?
There are many ups and downs as a writer. There are days when rejection is completely overwhelming. But when a piece is accepted, especially by a publication that you admire, the high is incredible. When Margate Bookie accepted Crumb Cake, I was ecstatic. The essay is about my dad, and the fact that one more story about him was going to reach the world made me happy.

As for participating in the Live Launch, I did pause for a moment before accepting the invitation. Don’t misunderstand me, I was excited to be asked, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to get through a reading without crying. In the end, I figured it didn’t matter. I wanted to do it, so I did. Despite the many tears, I’m glad I opted to participate. It was an enjoyable experience.

Would you submit work again?
Absolutely! I am eagerly looking forward to their next ‘zine. If I have an essay that I think will fit their upcoming theme, I will definitely submit. If not, I’ll wait for a theme that is compatible with my work.

G3 standing on the rocks depicted in Elizabeth's essay, with quote 'I handed my son a piece of cake. As he stood on the rocks, staring at the water, he said, "I wish Grandpa were here," '
G3 quote from Crumb Cake

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To read their great work, and all of our other amazing contributors, don’t forget to grab your FREE online copy of Reset. You can also buy your very own paperback ‘zine here.

While you’re there, have a read of our first ‘zine The Great Indoors.

Submissions for The Open Arms, our third ‘zine are now open.
Check out our announcement post here.

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