and Caroline Jones wrote this really sweet thing about Big Lucks, even though I’m weird.
By Caroline Jones
Of the hundreds of literary magazines published every year, the world seems to pay attention to a prestigious few. What if your work doesn’t fit the tone of The Paris Review or The New Yorker? Are you just supposed to give up? If you ask Mark Cugini, the answer to that question is a resounding no.
When he found himself feeling frustrated by the static nature of D.C.’s literary scene, he decided to create his own publication. Big Lucks, co-founded by Cugini and his girlfriend Laura Spencer in 2009, has now produced four print issues, a website, and a monthly reading series that is bringing together literary fans of all kinds.
Big Lucks wasn’t going to be anything major—-at first. Cugini moved to D.C. four years ago to attend the MFA program at American University, and started the journal as a hobby of sorts, a venue for more experimental writing that wasn’t so welcome in the realism-dominated environment at the college. Initially, the idea was to post work online and publish issues through an on-demand printer. It wasn’t until he attended the 2010 Association of Writers and Writing Programs conference that the idea of opening Big Lucks to a wider audience became more tangible.
Their coming out party of sorts was at a reading hosted by local lit mag Barrelhouse called “Barrelhouse Presents” at Wonderland Ballroom. Since then, they’ve grown into the role of Barrelhouse’s adopted little brother. Soon, the Big Lucks team was receiving and accepting submissions from writers nationwide, and they realized that what was supposed to be a hobby was now something much grander.