Issue 35, Final Fringe

Tagged: Final Issue. Goodbye

On Being Fringe-Worthy

by Llalan Fowler 06.27.2013

Fringe published its last issue on Monday, June 24. Today, nonfiction editor Llalan Fowler talks about the fabled, ethereal quality of “fringey-ness.”

I began my studies in the publishing program at Emerson College in 2008. It didn’t take many cups of Dunkin in the student lounge or after-class beers at The Tam to figure out that the Fringe Girls were A-listers. They were all strong and confident and spoke with ease about issues in the world that needed to be talked about and they all had great haircuts. Their group was a tight knot of very independent women bound by intense loyalty and compassionate friendship.

To say I was flattered when they asked me to become nonfiction editor in 2009 is an understatement. They trusted me with a whole entire genre? And the truthiest one, at that! But perhaps more importantly, I was a Fringe Girl. With my new title as Fringe Girl came a responsibility to stand up for what I believed in, and not just by telling people what I thought was right, but by doing.

Though I felt most comfortable with nonfiction of all the genres, it still took a while to become comfortable managing other nonfiction writers — to be able to put into... more »

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Confessions of a Fiction Editor

by Anna Laird Barto 06.25.2013

Fringe published its last issue on Monday, June 24. Today, Fiction editor Anna Barto tells us what she’s going to carry forward.

The first time I sent a form rejection, I liked it. I felt dirty after, but it was still better than being on the receiving end. One click of the mouse and the power dynamic changed forever.

Then, for some reason, David Duhr, who was Fiction Editor at the time, put me in charge of the folder labeled, “To reject with loving kindness.” I wrote to children and teenagers who were brave enough to send us their early efforts, encouraging them and suggesting authors they might like, authors not necessarily included on their school’s syllabus.

I used to lose myself for hours in the slush pile when I was supposed to be reading Ulysses or churning out pages of my MFA thesis, a deadly serious semi-autobiographical work of uncompromising social realism. I loved being up to my elbows in mixed metaphors, slathered in purple prose, its badness redeemed through sheer exuberance.

I read stories with no punctuation, or nothing but punctuation; stories written backwards; stories about robots, librarians on the lam, S&M apes and pet leeches. I read stories that broke every rule I’d learned... more »

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by Clarisse Hart 06.23.2013

Fringe published its last issue on Monday, June 24. As part of the goodbye, we asked former contributors and staff to write about their experiences with the magazine.

Fringe was the first literary journal I ever submitted work to. One of the poems the magazine published remains my most experimental work. I remember the queer feeling of having the piece accepted, as if I was four years old again, astounded that a stranger would buy the sour lemonade I had prepared in my kitchen. I hadn’t yet decided whether or not I liked the stuff, but here was someone exclaiming, “Delicious!”—and meaning it.

Six years later, I still associate Fringe with that sensation of courage bubbling up and spilling over into willing hands, a potent mix of sour and sweet and whatever else comprises the mystery of successful art.

Fringe has encouraged dozens of writers to be fearless in the knowledge that strangers will try their experiments on their tongues. As the magazine closes its doors, I hope that courage will keep roiling in Fringe’s writers and readers. It certainly does in me.

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