“One of the greatest things I’ve learned from my almost 15 years living in Queens is that we aren’t all that different from each other,” said Tim Frederick, the founding editor of Newtown Literary. “I hope the journal becomes a place where different stories can be told, emotional connections can be made and valuable learning experiences can happen.”
Frederick is a writer and teacher from Queens. His academic writing has been published in such works as the Teachers College Record and Changing English. “I hope the journal becomes a place where different stories can be told, emotional connections can be made and valuable learning experiences can happen.”
As a child, Frederick said he dabbled in different styles of writing as a way to share experiences with others. “Writing from both the perspective of the reader and the writer can be a way to make an emotional connection to other human beings,” Frederick said.
After further encouragement from a colleague, Frederick said he began fundraising to help start a literary journal in Queens, raising over $700 in donations in just a few weeks. “The response has been overwhelmingly positive,” Frederick said.
Frederick said he is hoping the journal will give Queens writers the opportunity to showcase their skills. “I’ve seen the immense talent that this borough has to offer,” he said.
Frederick said staff is currently receiving submissions from areas such as Glendale, Forest Hills, Richmond Hill, Jackson Heights and Elmhurst. “We’re accepting everything: poetry, prose, non-fiction, essays, memoirs,” he said. “Really, it’s anything that’s being done.”
Other members have expressed their excitement for the literary journal. After receiving an email to join the editorial board, Aida Zilelian said, “I’m hoping this creates a longstanding literary journal to reflect all the writers that we have in Queens.” A published writer, some of Zilelian’s works include her novels The Girl Who Cried Tuscany and The Hollowing Moon.
Srivastava Vikram is helping organize submissions coming into the journal. After meeting Tim at a book reading, she said Frederick asked her if she’d like to be involved.
“It got me really excited,” Vikram said. “There is no particular journal in Queens, and I think it’s going to bring the community here together.”
Some of Vikram’s works can be seen in her three poetry chapbooks, Because All Is Not Lost, Kaleidoscope: An Asian Journey of Colors, and Beyond the Scent of Sorrow.
Submissions for the first issue will be accepted via their website at newtownliteray.org until Aug. 4. Frederick stressed that while there is no set date for the journal’s release, it will be sometime in November. Both an electronic and print version will be available.