May 17, 2013

Lit Mag: The Mall

Let's all go to the mall.

As a writer, I'm easily intimidated by other writers and of course, their writing. So as I dug into the issues of The Mall and began reading various submissions, I immediately averted my eyes from the screen - this poem is formatted on top of a picture! Does that mean something more? Am I reading this wrong? (all insane questions that flit through my mind when reading junk mail, even). But once I pulled my tail out from under me and read further, I realized the writing resembled stories I'd heard from friends, stories I'd even told myself, they were just written with so much more detail, poise, and honesty. They were bare, easily accessible, if you will, but in the way that makes them understandable and relatable.

Perhaps this accessibility is due in part to the fact that The Mall inherently revolves around the Internet; both issues are printed on the web, its creators Amelia and Angela (both writers themselves) met on the Internet, and after each issue is out, the featured writers  take part in a live, online reading. The name "The Mall" comes from exactly where you think it does: "['The Mall'] expressed...a sense of femininity (girls love the mall)," Amelia said, "but was also accessible and relatable to the general public."

Each issue has a theme; the first, "Psycho Love," the second, "My Life's a Joke." Talk to anyone, literally anyone, and though they perhaps wouldn't use those phrases as description, they would almost certainly have a story to share pertaining to those themes. As a result, the writing featured in both issues are both original and something we've all heard, though told in a way we perhaps hadn't thought of before. While they all follow the theme, each writer does so in their own way, talking about issues ranging from self-loathing to cats, to music and television screens. The Mall features poetry, short stories (non fiction or fiction, I haven't quite decided yet – it's all told so effortlessly) and mixed media, giving a space for men and women with interests in all. 

While Amelia and Angela have hopes of The Mall one day going print, the third issue (it's theme-less! go crazy!!), titled "Who Let the Mall Out?" will remain on the web for now. And with all the success The Mall has seen thus far (srsly, watch the spreecasts, they're awesome), why not? The girls are working to expand both their audience and the types of submissions they receive, branching to genres outside of "alt lit," so the magazine continues its refreshing sense of accessibility. As pop art brought high art down to the masses (in the best way possible), The Mall is helping the movement of literature as this untouchable religion to something we all can swim around in.

To read The Mall, click here.

Written by Molly Morris