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For this summery issue of Litro Magazine our call for submissions wasn’t limited to a particular theme – we threw wide our doors for writers’ best work on any subject matter, to let them surprise us – and so the issue that emerges is a bit of a mix, even more so than usual, ranging from the serious to the playful, covering dark matters and silly games.
So we have stories of grief and loss and suffering: there are (literary) communications from beyond the grave in Richard Lee-Graham’s strange but touching (and playful) “…in acceptance.”; Nigerian writer Innocent Ilo’s “When You (Don’t) Want to Die” begins as a story about a little girl longing for death, but becomes something more magical; and in “The Crossing”, Rajeev Chakrabarti takes us through the journey of a Syrian refugee’s desperate flight from war, seeking a new home.
But we have space for more relaxing stuff, too, for some on-the-surface not-so-serious work. There’s a musical interlude: focusing particularly on the words of Paul McCartney and John Lennnon, Frank Meola’s essay “Reading Words, Hearing Music” is about song lyrics and poetry and the difference between the two. And then there’s time for a game or two: in Juno Baker’s “The Rules of the Game”, set in the 1980s, teenage schoolgirls vie for an appearance on a TV gameshow that one of them dreams might change her life; while in Ellie Broughton’s “The Touch Thief” a man plays a creepier, lonelier private game on the London Underground.
Finally there’s poetry from Cherokee writer Jessica Mehta; and photography from artist Seigar, from a series entitled “My Plastic People”.
As usual, but even more so than usual, more work was submitted to us than we could possibly squeeze into a single issue of Litro, so look to Litro.co.uk’s online #TuesdayTales, #FridayFlash, #SaturdayEssay, and #StorySunday slots for even more great writing.