Submitting a Featured Video to Literistic

Ever wanted to feature your opportunity in our newsletter? Ever felt frustrated by our complete prohibition on advertising? Well have we got something for you. Introducing Featured Videos.

Featured Videos allow literary organizations to get a little bit more exposure in our newsletter. They’re displayed prominently and separate from our deadlines and they’re likely to drive more interest in whatever opportunity you’re promoting than our regular listings. We’re also happy to broadcast Featured Videos throughout our network in order get you a little bit of extra exposure.

Featured Videos are about developing our subscribers understanding of the kinds of writing that organizations like yours are looking to attract. Using their web cam, editors or administrators are encouraged to record themselves responding to the survey questions provided. We don’t want the videos to feel overproduced or to feel like an advertisement. Video quality doesn’t need to be amazing—web cam and ear bud microphones are entirely sufficient.

Interested? Send us an email. We can’t promote every opportunity, so we encourage you to reach out to us beforehand to make sure that what you’re promoting meets our editorial standards.


Please use a modern webcam (equipped on most Apple computers) and a dedicated microphone (such as the microphone attached to most Apple earbud headphones). Please record in a quiet place. Please make sure that you are evenly lit (do not record with a light source behind you). Please try not to read from a script or a pre-prepared press release. Speak naturally and try not to be vague (“we’re looking for good writing”). We recommend using Apple’s Quicktime video player to record your video and a service like Dropbox, Vimeo or Youtube to upload it. Once it’s uploaded, use our Submit a Deadline form to submit the link to the uploaded video, or email us at [email protected] If you would like to record a video but have never done anything like this before, shoot us an email at [email protected]

Survey questions

Please answer all of the survey questions provided, preferably in order. Here’s a link to our survey: Literistic Featured Video Survey.

large organization?

If you’re a larger organization with a lot of pre-existing interest, we’re happy to help out and record it for you over Skype. Just send us an email.

Last Week in Literary Controversies: Raziel Ried Responds to Conservative Critic Barbara Kay


Every time a critic makes a statement like “I’d not have wasted tax dollars on this values-void novel” it is important to raise an eyebrow. Not only is this type of rhetoric completely false (it postures weakly at a civic good which it reveals itself to not understand), it demonstrates a profound conservatism, a conservative which is often antithetical to literature worth giving a damn about. Last week, Raziel Ried, author of When Everything Feels Like the Movies, a Governor General’s Literary Award–winning book, defended herself against the National Post’s Barbara Kay in an amazing op-ed published in The Walrus. The ensuing conflagration in the comments and elsewhere is well worth the read. Go and take a look.

Murder your Spreadsheets: introducing the editors who will keep you up to date on literary submission deadlines

Liam Sarsfield and Jessie Jones, your editors.

Liam Sarsfield and Jessie Jones, your tiny editors.

Most of my literary side projects have gone nowhere. First, it was a poetry blog. Then, it was a publishing company. After that, a magazine. There was an app. I’ve filled more space in my notebooks with writing about what kind of literary institution I want to build than actual “literary” writing.

Up until a few months ago, I had made peace with this impulse and had started the process of convincing myself that none of it would ever get built. Then, I observed a conversation between Jessie and our friend Garth Martens about the spreadsheets they’d created in order to keep track of deadlines for publications, contests and fellowships. They talked for at least twenty minutes while I stuffed myself with onion rings. By the end of it, I could tell that Jessie was envious: Garth had amassed what sounded like a colossal and definitive list and had worked himself into a lather generating the will to maintain it. Walking home, brainstorming ways to keep abreast of deadlines without having to be an ascetic, we had the idea for Literistic. We’ve been hammering away ever since.

A little about us: we met while we were both still lucky enough to be taking classes with Tim Lilburn and Steven Price. We currently work in technology. I’m a designer by trade. Jessie is a copywriter and support staffer. You can follow me on Twitter, and follow Jessie on Tumblr. You can read a little bit more about how Literistic works in our article, “Building Literistic: Humans, Robots & Juvenile Capitalists.” We’re hoping we can make your lives a little easier. Sign up for Literistic here.

Building Literistic: Humans, Robots & Juvenile Capitalists

Sketches for our almost-finished website. Care of the amazing George Bletsis.

“Give the people what they want,” says misanthrope and juvenile capitalist Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch, the overseer of News Corp, and one of the world’s most popular television networks, has made his enormous fortune manufacturing carcinogenic fast-food info-tainment for the largest possible audience. His work, or his network’s work, is, for whatever reason, what a great number of people want to watch when they get home from work. Literistic’s success is totally contingent on our ability to give our people what they want. How are we going to do this without being stupid, racist or worse?

We’re going to start by doing a lot of things by hand. Human curation is underrated and we’re going to be doing a lot of it at the beginning in order to make sure that Literistic is actually useful. The internet has made human curation (done well!) a rare and precious thing. It is always easier and less expensive to figure out a way to have a machine do your work for you (where were the machines when I suffered through that Milton class?), but this won’t work for us, especially at the beginning. Human curation done well requires that we have a crystal clear idea of who our subscribers are. Right now, we’re only going to include listings that are relevant to a young, ambitious writer. Maybe this writer is considering MFA programs or has just graduated with a BFA. Maybe they’ve published once or twice in a college journal or some other mid-range magazine. This is the type of person who we want to help.
LiteristicBut okay, yes, we are also going to use some modern technology to get a read on our subscribers. While our understanding of who Literistic is for is sufficient enough to justify the project, it’s still very vague. It’s one thing to think you know who you are curating for and another to actually know. We’ll be tracking the demographics of our subscribers using Google Analytics and Facebook. We’ll be measuring click-through rates to see if anyone is actually interested in what we’ve included. At some point, we may start automating much of the curation using highly-detailed forms — we could serve deadlines based on what each subscriber has specified. Right now, this approach seems slightly inappropriate, given the relatively small amount of people who are interested in publishing literary work in Canada, the United States and Britain. It’s also something that anyone who thinks critically about quality is justifiably skeptical of.

Literistic Spot

We’re also going to try to be hyper engaged with our subscribers. We’re going to try to tweet a lot (omghowamIgoingtodothisIhatetweeting) and to send a lot of emails. We’ll ask each subscriber for a list of publications, contests and awards and compare those lists with our own and with others. We’ll do this over and over again until we’ve identified the repeats and subtracted the outliers. We’ll do this until the list gets super good. Literistic should get better with age.

Finally, we’re going to talk to people and to provoke. We’re going to try to create a community around literary ambition that isn’t compromised by advertisements or sponsorships. Let’s hope it works! Sign up for Literistic.