Anomaly Literary Journal was founded in July 2o15 in London by Lorcán Black, Oliver Tatler, Roseanna Free & Joseph Birdsey.
Meet us: the rather idiosyncratic, but we like to think perfectly lovely, people who bring you Anomaly.
Far Left: Lorcán Black one of four founders and two Editors in Chief of Anomaly Literary Journal. He is a writer and poet, from Newbridge, Co. Kildare, in the Republic of Ireland, now very happily ensconced in London where he has been unleashed upon the unwitting and unready population on many a Friday night, but they've gotten used to it. That, or they're all being very British and polite about it.
He has three dogs with his partner, but they're all imaginary. Except the partner- he's real and we know he must be because otherwise, we have no idea who's been paying the other half of his rent.
Lorcán's poetry has been published in numerous literary journals and anthologies including The Saint Ann's Review, The Los Angeles Review, The Stinging Fly, Fjords Review, Blue Lyra Review, Apogee, Assaracus, The Opiate & Chiron Review, to name just a handful. He studied print journalism and sociology at BCFE, Dublin. Yeah. PRINT Journalism. That was an actual degree, at one point. He was the last year to ever study it. He is preserved now only by a mixture of formaldehyde, Neutrogenia face wash/mask and nicotine. Which also contains trace amounts of formaldehyde. Maybe there's a connection between two of those.
Lorcán deals with everything that comes into Anomaly Literary Journal. Obsessively. Typical of Lorcán, he'll stick his fingers into categories the other editors haven't asked him to but then that's his job. Lorcán also deals with the technological side of things. We felt it kept him out of our hair.
Lorcán has a dry but outlandish sense of humour. He is more direct than anyone ever should be and routinely gets enraged by people with no common sense. So, thankfully, he works in a university. Because a lack of common sense never happens there. Ever.
He's addicted to coffee, nicotine and his secret fear is that he'll end up like Maeve Brennan. Other people's parents tend to adore him. His own parents however, while affectionate and encouraging, are more often somewhat lovingly bemused and bewildered. You can follow him on Twitter @LorcanBlack and on Instagram @LorcanBlack Clearly he's very original with usernames. He blogs at Wordpress and can, for a nominal fee, critque and evaluate your work on a private basis. You can find out more at his blog, here.
His pet peeves include randomers on the street who ask you for a cigarette because they're too cheap to buy their own and lone magpies. He's somewhat superstitious of them. Probably an Irish thing.
Centre Left: Oliver Tatler, founder and primary Editor, is a born and bred south Londoner. Sadly he is of no relation to the magazine that shares his surname. Like most south Londoners, he's a born charmer. He once unknowingly charmed an air-steward on a flight to Boston to such an extent, they gave him complimentary champagne. Having edited a magazine before, he's no stranger to what this endeavour entails. Oliver studied English at Kings College and completed his MA in Shakespearean studies (we know what you're thinking and he has no idea why, either). If it wasn't for Oliver badgering Lorcán for two years, Anomaly wouldn't exist. A natural at editing, Oliver oversees pretty much anything that comes into us here at Anomaly, and helps Lorcán and Roseanna vet the poetry, prose and narrative non-fiction submissions as well as working on marketing strategies, commentary submissions and various other tasks we won't bore you with here.
Oliver is what your grandmother would call 'a gent' and what your mother would be only too delighted for you to bring home. She may even like him more than you. In his spare time, whenever he manages to find where he put it last, Oliver is a singer-songwriter. He's even taken to the stage supporting his best friend, singer-songwriter Emily Davies, as well as doing his own gigs. You just might find some stuff on YouTube. He is also an ardent lover of Skittles. The original flavour. He is much better dealing with authority than Lorcán could ever hope to be.
Oliver also works in higher education. He's very good at what he does and is basically everyone's favourite person. The entire office lights up when he passes through the admin department. Oliver and Lorcán work at the same university. Oliver steals sweets off Lorcán's desk and thinks Lorcán doesn't know. Lorcán knows because Lorcán's boss tells him. Oliver doesn't know that Lorcán knows. He'll never read this (because he'd hate to read about himself) so he'll never know Lorcán knows. But you know!
His pet peeves are people walking so slowly in tube stations it seems only conceivable death could be upon them and business speak. We have also recently discovered he is somewhat nervous around frogs.
Centre Right: Roseanna Free, a founder and our incomparable Editor, is an enigma but the proof that a multitude of the best Londoners are south Londoners. A New Cross woman at heart, though difficult to describe, Roseanna has presence. She's like a circa 1991 cross between Maeve Brennan and Sylvia Plath- minus the philandering husbands of both and the many cats of the former, though she does like a good whiskey every now and then. She has a razor sharp mind, finely honed at Goldsmiths, University of London where she graduated in English. Roseanna can and will deal with anything (she'll even help you hide the bodies) but at Anomaly, she mainly deals with the bodies of poetry, fiction and whatever takes her fancy, frankly. Maybe even Lorcán's control-freak fingers.
We can't say for certain, but we're pretty sure her grandmother is the head of an all-female Mafia. Which is exactly why she'll help you hide the bodies. Roseanna can most often be found- eyes layered under dark mascara and eye-shadow, arms crossed, smoking a cigarette in silent judgement.
Roseanna works in the Ministry of Justice. Which is just as fancy as that sounds. We've no idea who let her into the building initially or how she convinced them she even works there but look, it worked. None of us are questioning it. Just don't say anything? Let's see how long this can go on before they notice!
Roseanna hates high-heels and considers them only useful as a possible murder weapon. Not that she'd ever commit murder but, you know, best not to push it all the same.
Far Right: Sherrel McLafferty, our fabulous second Editor in Chief, is an MFA candidate for Bowling Green State University. She is an Associate Editor at Flapperhouse Literary Journal, and a reader at The Tishman Review and her work has been published in Flyover Country Review, Black Denim Lit, and Bartleby Snopes & Prairie Margins. She resides in an apartment with her husband and aging dog, where neighbors leave planters of alien bulbs outside, half-eaten couch cushions are islands near the dumpster and elderly feet wander from end to end of the building. It's all very charming. We want her to say she plays Bridge and drinks gin but somehow that doesn't seem likely. Well. Maybe gin isn't exactly off the cards but Bridge seems a stretch.
She is a gifted thrifter. Sherrel wears dollars like rubber bands, cutting off the circulation of her wrist when she wears too many -snapping at venders and reusable shopping totes, as one does.
Sherrel always loved intersectional feminism and awaits the day when all the slivers -her womanhood, her blackness and whiteness, her bisexuality, her wifehood- may be stitched back into one singular identity.
Sherrel hate mouth sounds. That's right: mouth sounds. Her dog has a terrible habit of licking at her lady business and the slurping makes Sherrel want to bang her head against the wall. She does love lists, though. Sherrel is a major fan of lists. She just likes information belonging to one category to be numbered. It pleases her greatly. We're not judging. I mean, it's not like she's afraid of magpies or fogs. That would be so weird!
Stephanie Anderson, one of the readers here, is the quietest, though perhaps the craziest, person in her circle. When I say crazy, the girl loves tortilla chips and birthday cake-flavored ice cream– at the same time. Yeah. Those things don't go together but add in a Disney marathon and maybe it all makes sense.
A recent Fiction graduate of Butler University's MFA program in Indianapolis. She has read for, or is currently reading at, Booth: A Journal and Split Lip Magazine. You can find her work at Abstract Magazine, and her personal book recommendations and condemnations at her blog, "The Library Key." Stephanie majored in English.
During the day she pours stories of questionable quality into her keyboard but at night, she sews costumes by candlelight (much like Penelope at her loom), which she'll don for the next comic convention or Renaissance fair.
Stephanie drinks tea like a pirate drinks rum. If you pricked her finger, she might even bleed tea. She is excited to one day return to Stratford, Ontario, Canada, where she'll ignore reality by watching the swans on the Avon River, and anticipate a weekend at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. Stratford in Canada. Not Stratford, England. Canada. I mean, come ON! Aren't Canadians just the best people? Don't argue. They created Joni and Joni is a freaking Goddess.
Anyway, Stephanie despises people who do not indicate when they drive. It disgusts her. It drives her to rage. Indicate. For the love of the holy mother, just INDICATE!
She likes to stare at swans.
Take a moment. Picture it. Go into the image in your mind. Yes.
Yeah. Yep. You're there.
I'll say it again: Swans.
You do not want to piss this woman off. She's our kind of people.
Samantha Vorwald, one of our readers, is a natural introvert but says she acts well in extrovert situations. Although sometimes she’s just an awkward person, even if she doesn’t realize it all the time. Samantha grew up on a dairy farm. In Iowa. Like, in real life.
She received her bachelor’s degrees in communication studies and English at Upper Iowa University. It's located in a very small town that had a gas station that sold some of the best ice cream until it closed because the town couldn’t support two gas stations. I mean, she is from small town Iowa after all. The gas station stopped selling ice–cream and chose sub sandwiches instead. Because, apparently, that makes sense. We're personally going to blame it on truck drivers. Outside of America it's hard to believe this kind of thing is real but she's living proof. TV doesn't always lie (except when it's Jeepers Creepers but honestly, I feel like maybe... I wouldn't advise her to go investigating weird chutes in abandoned front yards though).
Now living in Indianapolis, Indiana (so now safe from weird chutes in abandoned front yards!) studying for her MFA at Butler University in fiction writing, she is a reader at Booth: A Journal and Split Lip Magazine as well as, now, Anomaly Literary Journal.
Even though she seems rather ordinary and calm on the outside, the inside is a raging mass of heavy rock music.
She has a lot of favorites: her favorite villain is Bellatrix Lestrange, she loves fuzzy animals—you know, the typical ones like skunks, cats, and raccoons, but she has a strange attachment to hairless Sphynx cats because they strangely resemble Dobby the house elf.
Samantha hates ketchup. She is actively afraid of ketchup. Yup. Ketchup. It’s a thing. Look it up: mortuusequusphobia. She also hates her food mixing together on her plate, so tortilla chips and ice cream together makes her taste buds cringe.
Imagine if we put ketchup on them.
So, in summation: Roseanna knows where the bodies are, Lorcán knows where her grandmother is and Oliver pretends he knows nothing- as for Sherrel? Sherrel has a list of everything. Stephanie is driving the getaway car and Samantha is busy ensuring the separate body parts don't get mixed together. Or touch. In any way. Not that's she's planning on eating them– we think. And as for you? You're really better off not knowing.