About

 

Down South, folks don’t normally like to talk “about” themselves, so initially Southern Fried Karma should be eyeballed from an abstract vantage. You never want to be caught staring. For this we’ll have to rely on the inspired words of our favorite fictional philosopher, Daniel “Haymaker” Hay:

“It’s our karma controlling what type of nut-job we are and how we got stuck where we’re at in life. So I decided that I created some bat-shit karma, so I do a bunch of dumb-ass stuff to make it all better, but this here is the real tricky part: it don’t change nothin’ ’cause it’s still my karma. It’s kinda like southern cooking. We take somethin’ like chicken gizzards, which you normally wouldn’t put anywhere near your mouth, and we roll ’em in a spicy flour mix and shake ‘em up good, then we throw ‘em in hot grease. When we get done, they’re damn tasty, but it’s still the guts of a yard bird, and they’re still damn bad for you. I guess that’s my special recipe for southern fried karma, like Colonel Sander’s original recipe for his chicken. ”

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Who We Are

 

FELICE SIMS: Managing Editor

As a reader, publisher and editor, I’ve done it all. With a B.A. in English, Creative Writing from Georgia State University and a M.A. in Publishing from Kingston University, London, I’ve had the pleasure of working as a literary agent, a book review blogger and a manuscript editor. I’ve had the phenomenal experience of working within the walls of large, conglomerate publishing houses (Random House, Hachette Livre, Little, Brown) as well as exceptional non-fiction houses, such as Zed Books. I had the pleasure of being agent and editor for J.J. Hensley’s renowned debut novel, Resolve, and now, I’m looking forward to finding the freshest, bravest, most daring voices in Southern fiction writing! Show me your heart and soul on every page.

CHELSEY GUY: Editorial Assistant

What fictional world would you love to live in and why?

I would love to live in the world of Wakanda! Wakanda is the fictional comic book kingdom where the Black Panther reigns as king. The world is occupied only by black Africans, and the society is incredibly advanced. The culture of Wakanda is incredibly empowering to me as a black woman since every woman is taught how to be a warrior and the ruling class of Wakanda are all protected by black female warriors. Wakanda depends on black women and is run by them, and there are few things more inspiring to me than that. I would love to be a part of that.

Who is your least favorite fictional character ever and why?

I wrote my first novel when I was twelve years old, and it was not because I was bored or wanted to try something new. It was because I was angry at a book – no, actually, a book’s character. Bella Swan from Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight is the reason that I am a writer today. To me, Bella was dull, full of melodramatic teenage angst, and lacking in personality. There was nothing special about Bella Swan to me. I was livid at the loss of potential in Twilight. The dormant potential of the book is what enraged me, but the creation of a character like Bella Swan stoked the flames. 

Who is your favorite fictional character ever and why?

Ever since I read Binti by Nnedi Okorafor, I have not been able to stop thinking about the character of Binti. I think it is because she encapsulates everything I want my female protagonists to be. Binti is my role model for what a character should be in a story. Binti is extraordinary with her own beliefs, culture, history, and more. Binti is realistic to me. Binti just feels real. She isn’t a character to me but an actual person, and I love her. She’s my favorite character of all time, and I would love to see more women like her written into existence.

EMERY DUFFEY: Editorial Assistant

Growing up, I always wanted to be a writer. The trendy, bohemian type of writer that looked like someone straight off of the set of Rent. At eighteen years old, it seemed hip and cool – whatever the kids call it these days. After obtaining my Bachelor of Arts in English and working to pay actual rent for four and a half years as a freelance writer, here’s a spoiler alert:  It’s not as hip and trendy as I thought. It’s a special kind of hell where I get beat my own head into a wall, but a hell that I love.

Who is your favorite fictional character ever and why?

My favorite fictional character is Daria. She’s basically me when I was in high school – a nebulous loner who avoided social circles like the plague. Okay, let’s face it. She’s still me now. Give us coffee and solitude – and that one friend who’s always ride or die. Otherwise, you might find us hiding out in a discarded cardboard box avoiding society.  

Who is your least favorite fictional character ever and why?

My least favorite fictional character is Sonia from Nine Months. Don’t get me wrong – the novel is worth a read. But, come on, Sonia. You find out you’re pregnant with child three and take that as an opportunity to go on a road trip halfway across the country for the better part of your pregnancy, leaving your husband and kids behind with no word or warning? Girl, I need you to get it together. That’s a really bad time to have an identity crisis, especially after you spent the better half of the book criticizing other mothers and women who opted out of motherhood.  

What fictional world would you love to live in and why?

If I could pick any fictional world to live in, it’d be Isla Nublar of the Jurassic Park franchise. I’m a fangirl of literally all the books, games, and movies. If Isla Nublar existed, you wouldn’t see me ever again. I’d disappear into the jungle to live with the velociraptors, tame the T-Rex, and stampede with the triceratops. Y’all wouldn’t hear from me again. *raptor shrieks while showing teeth* We can all dream, right?

 

 

Meet the Writing Competition 2017 Judges

 

Gisele Firmino is the author of The Marble Army (Outpost19, March 2016). She earned her B.A. from Pepperdine University and an MFA in Fiction from Queens University of Charlotte. Born and raised in the south of Brazil, Gisele’s writing has also appeared in such journals as Necessary Fiction, Expressionists and Rose & Thorn. She works as a writing instructor, a freelance translator and lyricist and is also the program coordinator for Queens University’s Creative Writing MFA program.

Soniah Kamal is a Pushcart Prize nominated essayist and fiction writer. Her debut novel, An Isolated Incident, was a finalist for the Townsend Award for Fiction, the KLF French Fiction Prize, and is an Amazon Rising Star pick. Her short story ‘Fossils’, judged by Claudia Rankine, won the 2017 Agnes Scott Festival Fiction Award, and her short story ‘Jelly Beans’ is selected for the 2017 Best of Asian Fiction Anthology. Soniah’s 2017 TEDx talk, Redreaming Your Dream, is about giving yourself the gift of a second chance. Her work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, Catapult, The Chicago Quarterly Review, The Missing Slate, BuzzFeed, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, Huffington Post, Literary Hub, The Rumpus, The Normal School and more. Soniah is currently working on her second novel. 

Jessica Handler is the author of Invisible Sisters: A Memoir, named by the Georgia Center for the Book, one of the “Twenty Five Books All Georgians Should Read.” Atlanta Magazine called it the “Best Memoir of 2009.” Her second book, Braving the Fire: A Guide to Writing About Grief and Loss, was praised by Vanity Fair magazine as “a wise and encouraging guide.” Her nonfiction has appeared on NPR, in Tin House, Creative Nonfiction, Brevity, The Bitter Southerner, Drunken Boat, Newsweek, The Washington Post, More Magazine, and elsewhere. Honors include residencies at the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, a 2010 Emerging Writer Fellowship from The Writers Center, the 2009 Peter Taylor Nonfiction Fellowship for the Kenyon Review Writers’ Workshop, a Georgia Author of the Year award, and special mention for a 2008 Pushcart Prize. She teaches at Oglethorpe University and lectures internationally on writing about trauma.


Read More

For over 450 years, and probably before, the settlers and inhabitants of the South have made some fateful choices and created their own twisted karma. Right here in Coweta County, the home of our world-wide headquarters, we have the legacy of Chief William McIntosh. Descending from a prominent Scottish father and a Muscogee mother, he built an alliance between the early colonists and the local Cowetas, called Creeks by the Scotch-Irish pioneers, but he was ultimately hacked to death by the neighboring tribe for his apparent disloyalty. This dire story embodies the contorted history of the modern South. Outsiders view us as either Stars and Bars waving, NASCAR loving Bubbas who’ve escaped house arrest from the trailer park or genteel mint julep-sippers fanning ourselves in the solitude of our rose gardens waiting for the emerald magnolia leaves to majestically shine in the light of the full moon. The mission of Southern Fried Karma is to expose both these myths by cultivating the innovative voice of the South in the new millennium. Our artistic expression is as divergent as Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood, Chicago’s Wicker Park or Portland’s Pearl district. We just display it at the Wally World AND the funky neighborhood street market.

As co-founder of Southern Fried Karma, I spent the first 25 years of my adult career peddling bulldozers around the world and managing various real estate investments. In January 2015, I received my MFA from Queens University of Charlotte, and I began studying the shifting dynamics in the publishing world. I saw an opportunity in publishing that was paralleled in music and films. The path for an artist to reach a wider audience is no longer exclusively controlled by corporate gatekeepers measuring each choice purely by its economic return. So for practical purposes, our hopes, dreams and aspirations are for Southern Fried Karma to be a multi-media production company developing projects in music, films and books. Our debut venture is Orchard Row Press, which will be releasing its first title in January 2017. Additionally, we’ll be annually sponsoring a literary fiction contest and a political/historical nonfiction contest. The details for each will be announced at the 2017 AWP Conference & Bookfair.

There’s a slogan on the Southern Poverty Law Center website (www.splcenter.org), “Y”ALL MEANS ALL.” Now more than ever, it’s important for us all to take this simple phrase to heart and put it into action with our words and deeds. That’s what we’re about.

Thanks,

Steve McCondichie

Co-Founder of Southern Fried Karma

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2017 WRITING CONTESTS

Click here for contest information

Keep checking for updated information.

A Message from Steve


I spent the first 25 years of my adult career peddling bulldozers around the world Steve McCondichieand managing various real estate investments. In January 2015, I received my MFA from Queens University of Charlotte, and I began studying the shifting dynamics in the publishing world. I saw an opportunity in publishing that was paralleled in music and films. The path for an artist to reach a wider audience is no longer exclusively controlled by corporate gatekeepers measuring each choice purely by its economic return. So for practical purposes, our hopes, dreams and aspirations are to create a multi-media production company developing projects in music, films and books. Our debut venture is Orchard Row Press, which will be releasing its first title in January 2017. Additionally, we’ll be annually sponsoring a literary fiction contest and a political/historical nonfiction contest. The details for each will be announced at the 2017 AWP Conference & Bookfair.

 

There’s a slogan on the Southern Poverty Law Center website, “Y”ALL MEANS ALL.” Now more than ever, it’s important for us all to take this simple phrase to heart and put it into action with our words and deeds. That’s what we’re about.

Thanks,
Steve McCondichie

Want to find out more?

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Subscribe now to grab a free chapter sneak peek at Lying for a Living and for news and blog updates.