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Background: Colorful writing -- and colorful writers -- have made the South keeper of what is arguably the richest, most vibrant literary tradition in the country. You just don't produce the Carson McCullers and Harper Lees and William Faulkners of the world and not feel a little entitled to claim creatively fertile ground.
At the intersection of modernity and the pageantry that makes the South the South is Oxford American, producing content that embodies the wholeness of life below the Mason-Dixon Line. Launched in 1992 by former editor-in-chief Marc Smirnoff as a platform to intelligently discuss the idiosyncrasies of all things Southern, the magazine is now a certified nonprofit after struggling on the for-profit side for the better part of a decade. The transition pushed revenue from grants and fundraising skyward, but it didn't compromise the general-interest editorial content in any way.
"Each writer in the magazine will have a distinct voice, but the overall tone varies from issue to issue," assistant editor Maxwell George says of the OA, which is wholly committed to a signature mix of memoirs, fiction, commentary, poetry and journalism. "We publish compelling narratives artfully rendered," he adds. It's all at once down-home and cosmopolitan, cheeky and cultured, straightforward and cunning, just like the spirit of the South itself. And editors are looking for solid writers to inject new life into its four annual issues.