2020. Moving On.


Southern Legitimacy Statement: We’re so southern, we visit family and friends, outside, ten feet apart, on our big old front porch. We wash our hands, we wear masks, and we are always socially distant. It’s hard not to hug, it hurts not to pat someone on the back but by God, we abide by the rules. And we like our pork barbecue with vinegar. (It’s eastern NC, we have rules here, too.)

I’ve spent most of 2020 writing in Medium but that platform lost its appeal in September. The algorithm changed, I lost reader’s eyeballs. I’m not picking on the real publications on there, like the New York Times or the Atlantic. I mean the smaller literary journals. They’re formulaic and boring. But you don’t care about that, unless you write on Medium and odds are, you don’t. Medium was an awesome blogging platform back in 2016. Now it’s not. But you can read some of my writing here deadmule.medium.com — there’s a great Christmas story on there.

Ok, so anyway… Covid19. Here in NC, two out of ten of my family members tested positive, one had symptoms — so far. Five were tested. We wear masks, social distance, wash out hands, follow all CDC guidelines. We sorely miss our dear family and friends and try to have visits on our big ol’ porch, ten feet away from each other, when we can. We will take the vaccine when it is made available to us. Guess we’re pretty normal here at the Mule. This doesn’t mean all our writers agree with us, doesn’t mean new writers will agree with us, but you know what? I don’t care. Just wanted to state the obvious for those who know me.

In March (not January as previously stated), I’ll begin accepting submissions again. The Submittable link is found on the Submissions page and it’s easy to follow the directions for sending us your writing.

Those submissions go for Fall/Winter 2021 issues, so be ready to wait a while to see your writing. We’ve got all of 2021 through July scheduled already. Here at the Dead Mule, I’d say less than 65% of the submissions are accepted and we fill each month with 10-20 stories, poems, and essays. We adore our writers and appreciate that ya’ll would find us worthy of publishing your fine work.

Statistics. The Dead Mule averages over 500 page views a day. A DAY! Lots of folks reading our Mule and we’re damn proud of that. We don’t charge reading fees, we don’t have cash contests for fees, and we really just exist to please our readers and our writers. On average, we make about $30 a year selling Mule merchandise because we don’t jack up the prices, only $5 per article on t-shirts and such. We just want people to wear Mule Goods. We think our logo is pretty damn spiffy so we want to see it on people.

It costs about $120 a year to host the Dead Mule on GoDaddy and $239 for security (we were hacked at least 3 times in the last 25 years, so we host on GoDaddy now). The Dead Mule will continue as long as I’m able to publish it, so maybe another decade or so?

Here’s to 2021. It won’t start out well, what with the pandemic, but I trust it will finish better than it began. Trust in the CDC. Wear your mask, wash your hands, stay away from people and hang in there. There is an end to this.

Send me some essays about life lived well, about good times and bad, I admit, I’m not particularly looking for Covid19 stories, but if you’ve got a one to tell, I’ll read it. I’m not overly fond of poetry because it can be such a shit to format, but send it if you must. Flash fiction trips my trigger.

Don’t double space. Copy/Paste shorter pieces into the submission box.

Don’t forget your Southern Legitimacy Statement. March is a long way off but you can start your writing now.

2021. I have hope. The dark days of winter are here but the sun will come out (tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar than tomorrow, there’ll be sun). Hang in there, Mule readers and writers. Remember: No good southern fiction is complete without a dead mule.