It Wasn’t Really So, But It Seemed To Be.

I’m pleased to announce a the launch of a new online mormon literary magazine, Popcorn Popping.

I rarely shy away from self-aggrandizement, and this is no exception. But this new project is particularly exciting because it represents something unique: an online journal for all publishable forms of Mormon narrative, from poetry and prose to design and photography, where authors can get feedback and ideas from other authors while getting their works out there for the public.

Popcorn Popping is fundamentally a literary magazine: authors submit content, which undergoes an editorial review and revision process prior to publication, with 1-3 pieces published per weekly issue each Tuesday. But in addition to the pre-publication editing process (which new authors may find unfamiliar), Popcorn Popping also presents a novel post-publication editing process in the form of comments from readers and other authors, taking the form of an online writing workshop (which all authors will find unfamiliar). The site will also offer columns from time to time on the writing process and authorship in general.

Orson Whitney set forth the challenge: “We will yet have Miltons and Shakespeares of our own. God’s ammunition is not exhausted. His brightest spirits are held in reserve for the latter times. In God’s name and by his help we will build up a literature whose top shall touch heaven, though its foundations may now be low in [the] earth.” Popcorn Popping represents a new effort to strive towards this vision.


  1. Steve, I love the name you chose.

  2. This is a great project.

    Question: will you accept “R-rated” submissions?

  3. Looks like you accept everything but music. Why no music?

    Good idea, by the way.

  4. You think I’m too confessional in my comments et al. Wait til you read my fiction. It gets worse when I get to make things up.

    Good work, Steve. I’m glad y’all are doing this.

  5. Wow, Steve, you’re the king of multi-permablogging… How many projects is this for you now? Which one pays your salary? :-)

  6. Very cool Steve. Good luck with this.

  7. Steve Evans says:

    R-rated, Ronan? Well, we do accept short films. Tell you what — you make an r-rated film, and we’ll post it.

    Tom, we haven’t excluded music.

  8. Steve

    Are you going to accept art (ie: photos of paintings, etc)

  9. I don’t think my abstract artwork will fit into any of the categories. Sigh.

  10. I look forward to reading it.

    By the way, last autumn at our ward talent show, a group of adults performed a truly surreal interpretive dance to the title song. Now I wish we’d filmed it.

  11. ‘Twas a serious question Sir Steve. Do you have an editorial policy on profanity, sex, violence. Can I write a short story about a foul-mouthed, immoral, Mormon gangster?

  12. My fiction is prolly R-rated, in the best, most artistic way possible of course, but I’ve submitted it to Popcorn Popping. I guess we’ll see if they take it.
    Regardless please write a swearing, raunchy Mormon ganster. I’m sure there’s a niche for that somewhere. Or we’ll make one.

  13. Steve Evans says:

    Ronan, we have an open submissions policy. We haven’t really addressed the idea of adult content. I imagine that there is room for your foul-mouthed gangster in the pantheon of mormon lit. I don’t think that we are in the business of pushing pornography or revelling in filth, but that doesn’t sound like what you’re thinking.

    What can I say? We take ’em as they come.

  14. Steve, no revelling in filth? Oh, well, I guess there are other places to publish my magnum opus

  15. Steve Evans says:

    JNS, that’s why you’re at BCC!

  16. Ronan:

    You bring up an interesting, difficult, and, in my opinion, tiresome issue.

    Steve has already-posted what our policy is. We’re going to address content and submissions as they come up. For more, see the section title content on our submissions page.

    But I do want to say this.

    We’re trying to find a middle ground here, and we ask that both our contributors/possible contributors and readers compromise with us on this. Let’s be slow to take offense or cause offense.

    And don’t write us off just because we publish a piece whose content offends you or because we turn down a piece or ask that it be toned down because of content issues.

    We will most likely fail any sort of litmus test somebody wants to apply at some point during this venture.

    This is not a rebuke of you, Ronan. This sort of issue is, sadly, inevitable when it comes to work published for a Mormon audience.

    Sadly, ideological baggage is too much of a part of many Mormon publishing venues. We are under no misconceptions that we can completely sidestep all that.

    But we welcome all to our table and hope that you will find a dish or two that you like and so will want to stay awhile and be part of our feasting and conversation. It’s time that entertainment be a larger part of the equation when Mormon art is published and consumed. I see to much anxiety in the field. I may be mis-perceiving things, but even so, I think that our perceptions of the state of Mormon narrative art have led to a well-conceived, very cool thing here.

  17. And besides those Miltons and Shakespeares, I’d love to see a Mormon Tom Stoppard, a Mormon Philip Roth, a Mormon Margaret Atwood, a Mormon Orson Scott Ca…oops — he *is* one…


  18. Does the content have to be new, or can it be something we’ve created in the past?

  19. Steve Evans says:

    meems, the content doesn’t have to be new; however if you’ve already published your works elsewhere you may want to seek permissions to reproduce them.

  20. No, I’ve never published anything. I create experimental sound pieces and film, but after reading your first two entries, I’m realizing that they probably wouldn’t fit the environment very well anyway! :-)

  21. Steve Evans says:

    Meems, there’s always room for experimental film. I’d welcome a submission, esp. if it is one like this.

  22. Out of curiosity, does the content of the fiction need to be LDS related? Or just of LDS authorship?

    In other words, would you publish a fiction piece on say, trains (nothing LDS mentioned) written by an LDS author, or not?

    On the same track, would you publish something about LDS topics written by a non-member?

  23. Steve Evans says:

    FHL, mormon lit has a number of definitions. Ours is pretty open: works written by, or about, mormons. Mormons can be LDS, RLDS, FLDS, or whatever, I guess, but we would theoretically publish both of the hypothetical pieces you mention. Especially about trains. Love them trains.

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