Local teen Lucia Auerbach seeks Silly Gals to submit stories and art for female-based online magazine
Lucia Auerbach, a 17-year-old junior at Park City High School, says there is nothing mindless about her new online magazine, Silly Gal.
The monthly publication, which released its first issue on May 1, is a place where anyone who identifies as a girl can share their views, poetry, stories and art, Auerbach said.
“These days I have found it’s especially difficult for women to get published, because there are so many female authors and writers,” she said. “It’s so hard to find a platform where our voices are heard and being represented equally. So to have a platform only for females of all ages to talk about whatever they want in whatever form they want is pretty powerful.”
The content submission deadline for the June issue is May 31, and the submission form can be found online, said Auerbach, whose parents, Julie and Gary, are the founders of the Top Dead Center Films production company.
Submitters need to provide their names and addresses and the topics they want to address, she said.
“They can then give us a link to the work, whether it’s a word doc or photo or something else,” Auerbach said. “Any type of art will be accepted.”
Auerbach may step in when she finds a submission that may not be appropriate for Silly Gal.
“Since it’s so early in the process, I haven’t stumbled upon any material that I would deem too controversial, and I believe that every opinion should be heard,” she said. “I also believe, however, that the submissions should be respectful. So anything super hateful or super destructive probably won’t be accepted.”
Once Auerbach receives the submission and has viewed it, she will continue additional correspondence with the submitter and ask for a photo and more background for a short biography.
“Once we get all that, we’ll include the work in the next publication,” she said.
The first issue of Silly Gal’s publication surpassed Auerbach’s expectations.
“The whole experience was breathtaking,” she said. “All of the submitters are still in high school, and were used to writing in an academic and structured way, which is something I personally hate. So it was super rewarding to see how everyone’s brains worked as they wrote about what they wanted and how they wanted.”
Auerbach was also bowled over by the post-publication feedback.
“I wasn’t expecting the praise and respect that came from people I didn’t even know,” she said. “That’s when I realized how important and powerful the platform can be, and the potential it has to grow.”
Auerbach has tossed around the idea for Silly Gal in her mind for years.
“I love journalism and nonfiction, and I have been super passionate about writing as long as I can remember,” she said. “As I wrote my own ideas up, I realized I had nowhere to put them, because as a girl, getting my writing into publications is so difficult, especially nowadays because the industry is so dominated by male influence. So I thought, ‘why don’t I just publish myself?’”
Auerbach began work on Silly Gal once the coronavirus pandemic hit.
“I suddenly had some time to sit down and start organizing the website,” she said.
As Silly Gal continues to publish, Auerbach said she would love to read submissions that touch on issues that aren’t talked about in mainstream media.
One of those topics is female mental health, she said.
“I have found that this isn’t really talked about without some sort of stigmatization,” Auerbach said. “And when it is addressed, it’s more in the terms of ‘Oh, you have anxiety, but everyone has anxiety.’ So I think Silly Gal is a great platform to allow girls to dig deeper, while giving significance to this and other similar issues.”
Auerbach would also like to publish submissions that shine light on day-to-day lives of women and girls who live in other parts of the United States and other countries.
“Only two of the writers who submitted for the first issue of Silly Gal were from the Utah area, which was pretty cool,” she said. “I want to share stories that are new to people in Park City, and I think it would be powerful if Silly Gal can bring in and share issues that are from around the world.”
Sillygal.net is the first step in Auerbach’s writing career, she said.
“I would love to be published in other publications, but having my own isn’t a bad thing,” she said with a laugh. “It’s comforting to know the work that submitters create has someplace to be, and that their work is going to reach audiences rather than just sitting in a notebook. I’m super excited to see where it will go, and how many people it may impact.”
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