LitRecapper: The Two Year Anniversary

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I've already been assured by multiple people that I'll never coin a better phrase than ho-lee shitreactors, and I think I'm inclined to agree.

But wait a minute. This is LitReactor, dammit! We're all about honing our skills and perfecting the craft of writing! Did Shakespeare call it a day after quilling humdingers like All the world's a stage and To thine own self be true? No, he continued to turn phrase-gems like Shall I compare thee to a summer's day and, uh... Forget not that I am an ass. So in the spirit of LitReactor and the Bard Will.e.be. ... DJ, music!

Let's get LitTarded, ha! Let's get LitTarded in here! Let's get LitTarded, ha! Let's get Lit—

Sorry about that. OFFENSIVE. Even if in this context there's no disrespect, and when I bust my rhyme you break your necks. I...

I got nothin'.


Quick question: Do websites celebrate anniversaries or birthdays? Because last year I was all, It's our one year anniversary!, and most people responded with, Happy birthday, LitReactor! It was a little confusing. In fact, it got more confusing the further it went. Blow out the candles on this cake I made you, LitReactor! Open your presents, LitReactor! Now bend over, it's time for your birthday spankings!

I don't know. What do you guys think? On with the show...

Stats

We've had 12,553,675 pageviews since our inception, 4,437,175 of them from unique visitors. I'd like to think that means almost 4.5 million people have perused our little site. Or, one person from 4.5 million different internet-ready devices. As for the social realms which are so important these days, we are closing in on 14k Facebook likes and 12.5k Twitter followers. (If you're not on that, get on that!) We are also on the Tumblr, so you can check us out there, and I think we even have a Goodreads group, although I don't think it's very active. But if you guys join the group we'll start paying attention to it. 

Back on the home front, we have 20,204 registered users who have generated 165,036 comments and earned 16,919 achievements. We still haven't had anyone earn the coveted Official Critic achievement, but R. Moon is closest, with 833 of the necessary 1,000 points. In ye olde shop of work, we've had 1,285 submissions that have been reviewed a total of 6,640 times. So if you're looking for a place to test drive your work, this is it.

Here's all the same info in handy to read bullet points:

  • pageviews: 12,553,675
  • unique visitors: 4,437,175
  • Facebook likes: 13,962
  • Twitter followers: 12,424
  • registered users: 20,204
  • comments: 165,036
  • achievements: 16,919
  • workshops subs: 1,285
  • workshop reviews: 6,640

Now for my favorite part of the Recap: Most Popular Columns!

The magazine section is my baby, and as LitReactor's Managing Editor I've read almost every single word of it. Thankfully, hundreds of thousands of other people are reading it as well. Here are the columns they showed the most lovage:

(For those of you playing along at home, here are last years Top 10 Columns.)

This Year's 10 Most Popular Columns:

10 Most Popular Columns of All Time (i.e. the last two years):

Despite being over a year-and-a-half old, Jon Gingerich's 20 Common Grammar Mistakes... takes the top spot once again. It's also our most popular column of all time, with close to 1.5 million views. Let me tell you, that column's got legs, and knows how to use them. It's the column that keeps on giving. It keeps going and going and going...

The only other Year-Oner to make a return appearance is Meredith Borders' Top 10 Sci-Fi Books That Should Be Box Office Blockbusters. We posted that column on DAY ONE. That's TWO YEARS AGO, folks. It was the second column we ever posted. Even though Meredith left us for greener pastures this year, her shit's still drawing flies and we love her.

Another point of interest: Kimberly Turner's Ten Most Disturbing Sociopaths column became our faster mover ever when it rocketed to not only third most viewed column of the year, but third most viewed column of all time. Way to go, Kim!

And finally, a big F YOU to Daniel Hope, whose 5 Video Games... column knocked my 12 Unpublished Novels... column out of the All Time Top 10 just days before the cutoff. (Just kidding, Dan. Keep up the good work!)

Events

Stories were written, feedback was given, and accolades were bestowed. Anals were possibly probed.

All the best wars get sequels, which is why WAR, the tournament-style short story battle that took place in the lawless shanty town that is our forum, was resurrected and appropriately titled, WAR2. Something like 75 men enter, and as you know, only one man leaves: TomorrowHill, AKA Chris Carter, the creator of the much loved X-Files, the lesser loved Millennium, and the much maligned Lone Gunmen. Only one man runner-up, woman leah_beth, AKA Leah Rhyne, who has created no TV shows, but has recently begun writing for LitReactor. Congratulations to you both.

Speaking of sequels, we had a West Coast Meetup, a follow-up to our successful East Coast Meetup, which took place at the kick-ass literary festival Wordstock (this time last year). Life-long friends were made, as were promises to return this year, which were ultimately broken, because none of us returned this year. Pouty face. There was also a live Books and Booze event in St. Louis this past June, which served as an unofficial Mid Coast Meetup, and there are one or two pictures to prove it.

Another sequel for our sequel year, we followed up our wildly successful horror writing challenge (SCARE US) with the wittily titled TELEPORT US, a science fiction writing challenge. Dare I say it was out of this world? No I dare not, because that would get me booed off the page. Needless to say, stories were written, feedback was given, and accolades were bestowed. Anals were possibly probed. A good time was had by all.

New Shit

But we're not just living in the past here at LitReactor. We've recently unveiled some fancy new features in our MAGAZINE SECTION. I'm sure many of you noticed the dearth of reviews on the site and said, Hey! What gives? This is supposed to be a literary website. Where are the book reviews? Well, consider the dearth unearthed (?), because the almighty review has been reanimated and reinstated via our spunky new review format, BOOKSHOTS. Bookshots is pumping new life into the corpse of the book review, so you'd better pay attention, otherwise said corpse will try and eat your brain while you aren't looking. Because reading is brain food. And, uh... zombies eat brains.

We've also got two new features highlighting the members of the LitReactor community, because where would we be without them? Certainly not tattooed permanent for life on Dakota Taylor's forearm, that's for sure. (I still can't believe he did that.) COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT, which spotlights a member of the LitReactor community; and FEATURED WORKSHOP STORY, which features a story from our writer's workshop. (I guess those are pretty self explanatory, huh?) Seriously, our members are doing some amazing creative things, and we are super proud of them. These features are basically the internet versions of those "My kid is an honor student" bumper stickers.

So What's Next?

Some super top secret shit, that's what. So secret the higher-ups won't even tell ME about it. So you'll have to stay tuned. We'll also continue to bring you your daily dose of classes, columns, and workshop, now with more classes, columns, and workshop (seriously, how do we fit it all?).

But enough about us. What do you guys want to see? Comments? Critiques? Suggestions? Sound off in the comments. Because you're the reason we're here. We can't thank you guys enough for making this community what it is. Truly.

And to the LitReactor staff—past, present, and future—we thank you. You're doing a kick ass job. And you know I'm not just saying that because I'm a part of the LitReactor staff, and I KNOW I'm doing a kick ass job.

Stay gold, you guys.

Jacey Cockrobin

Column by Joshua Chaplinsky

Joshua Chaplinsky is the Managing Editor of LitReactor.com. He has also written for the popular film site Screen Anarchy and for ChuckPalahniuk.net, the official website of 'Fight Club' author Chuck Palahniuk. He is the author of 'Kanye West—Reanimator.' His short fiction has appeared in Zetetic, Motherboard, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Thuglit, Dark Moon Digest, Pantheon Magazine, and multiple print anthologies. More info at joshuachaplinsky.com.

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Comments

Bekanator's picture
Bekanator from Kamloops, British Columbia is reading Ugly Girls by Lindsay Hunter October 10, 2013 - 11:26am

How could you mention history and neglect two big WARs that occurred?

ReneeAPickup's picture
Class Facilitator
ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading A truckload of books October 10, 2013 - 11:28am

WAR! WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR? 

Getting lots of short stories written that are actually pretty good and then they go on to be published and we all grow as writers and as people.

I'm eager for WAR 3.

Bekanator's picture
Bekanator from Kamloops, British Columbia is reading Ugly Girls by Lindsay Hunter October 10, 2013 - 11:30am

Or rather...is it bad to mention how AWESOME they were?

Bekanator's picture
Bekanator from Kamloops, British Columbia is reading Ugly Girls by Lindsay Hunter October 10, 2013 - 11:33am

I wish you could make text like...bolder than BOLD, so it would stand out more.

Bekanator's picture
Bekanator from Kamloops, British Columbia is reading Ugly Girls by Lindsay Hunter October 10, 2013 - 11:34am

I must say, though, that the LitReactor graphics department has been ON TOP OF THINGS lately.

Sound's picture
Sound from Azusa, CA is reading Greener Pastures by Michael Wehunt October 10, 2013 - 11:45am

I wasn't here for the first WAR, but WAR2 was an amazing experience. WAR3? Please?

Teleport Us was also cool. 

Gordon Highland's picture
Gordon Highland from Kansas City is reading Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore October 10, 2013 - 12:18pm

I, too, will vouch for the success of WAR2. I did well, came in like fifth or something, but more importantly I got a bunch of new short stories out of it—fueled by prompts and a competitive spirit—at least one of which was later published (and all of them fodder for my collection next month). Plus I got to boost my interactions with other LitReactors, became familiar with their work, which was a revelation in many cases, and developed relationships outside of here as well that have provided other opportunities. And then I participated in the Books n Booze STL event, which did more of the same and gave me another excuse to drink.

It was a good year.

Ben Umstead's picture
Ben Umstead from L.A. is reading Speedboat by Renata Adler October 10, 2013 - 12:36pm

It's been a nice place to come and read words about words and such for the last two years. It's also been nice to write some of those words people are reading over the past few months.

And knowing you, JChap, you will top 'ho-lee shitreactor' one o' these days.

 

ReneeAPickup's picture
Class Facilitator
ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading A truckload of books October 10, 2013 - 12:41pm

Wow, I suck at self-promotion. Thanks to Joshua for mentioning the Books and Booze event, and thanks to Gordon for mentioning it again. It was a ton of fun, and if you guys can keep a secret-- we're working on something for next summer.

Jonathan Riley's picture
Jonathan Riley from Memphis, Tennessee is reading Flashover by Gordon Highland October 10, 2013 - 12:54pm

War 2 was freaking awesome. Met bunches of cool people and read tons of great stories. I'm one of the ones that read every story. Tasking, but worth it. I also did pretty well making it to the "Taut Twelve" (that's a thing right.) War really pushed me and tested me with the wild prompts and quick deadlines. I was able to write several stories I'm quite proud of and plan to attempt to publish once I learn how to edit my own work a bit better.

The coolest thing about it was the friendly banter amongst the competitors. I especially enjoyed getting to know, Drea, Renee, Chris Carter, and Jason(Otisthebulldog) better during our battles.

I look forward to future War.

ReneeAPickup's picture
Class Facilitator
ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading A truckload of books October 10, 2013 - 1:20pm

The story of mine that went up against you is going to be in the next All Due Respect, JR!

Joshua Chaplinsky's picture
Joshua Chaplinsky from New York is reading Stories of YOUR Life October 10, 2013 - 1:39pm

How could you mention history and neglect two big WARs that occurred?

Hm...

And the awesomeness is implied.

Jonathan Riley's picture
Jonathan Riley from Memphis, Tennessee is reading Flashover by Gordon Highland October 10, 2013 - 2:02pm

Oh, congrats Renee! That was quite a twisted tale. Loved it. Can't wait to read it once it's published.

.'s picture
. October 10, 2013 - 2:07pm

I second Renee. Gordon and Josh, thanks for mentioning the Books and Booze in St. Louis event. 

leah_beth's picture
leah_beth from New Jersey - now in Charleston, SC is reading five different books at once. October 10, 2013 - 3:19pm

Congratulations, LitReactors!! Thanks for the mention, Josh - WAR2 was AMAZING and ditto to what everyone said. New friends, great stories, all-around awesomeness. We should have WAR all the time!! :D

Seriously. I love you guys.

Taylor's picture
Taylor from Portland, Oregon is reading 'The Warehouse' by Rob Hart October 10, 2013 - 3:23pm

I just can never seem to beat Jon's article...(and the ire it inspired) Maybe next year I'll write 10 Reasons Why You Suck As A Writer. That'll piss 'em off. Hehheheheheh.

 

Ok, I won't. But I am continually amazed at how fired up people got over grammar. In a way, it's pretty freaking cool.

 

Here's to the next year of awesomeness.

 

Ryan Peverly's picture
Ryan Peverly from Ohio is reading The AEgypt Cycle by John Crowley October 10, 2013 - 6:22pm

Longtime reader, first-time columnist. LitReactor is the tits. Happy birthiversary, nerds.

cshultz81's picture
cshultz81 from Oklahoma is reading Best Horror of the Year Volume 8 October 10, 2013 - 6:43pm

You know what we need around here? A mobile-friendly version of the site. The people I've turned on to LitReactor love everything about it, but pretty much across the board everyone wishes they could read our content easier on an iPhone.

Dave's picture
Dave from a city near you is reading constantly October 10, 2013 - 7:47pm

voodoo_em's picture
voodoo_em from England is reading All the books by Tana French! October 11, 2013 - 1:43am

It's a fact, everybody loves a good WAR :)

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters October 11, 2013 - 6:30am

You guys are the bee's knees. 

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters October 11, 2013 - 1:52pm

Ugh, no, I was going to resist my sentimental ranting, but damnit I just can’t!
You know what I loved about War?  Getting to know the personalities of the members here.  I went into it with preconceptions about people’s attitudes and more often than not, I was surprised.  I learned that some people were incredibly funny, I learned other people were really insecure, I learned that some members are just nice, nice people.  Really nice. 

This website is directly responsible for my writing “career” and the stories I have produced.  My best work has come from WAR and Thunderdome challenges. 

Getting to know the members here has truly made my life richer.  I have friends here.  Not just acquaintances, but real friends that I talk to everyday.  People I start podcasts with, that I work on projects with, that I have shared drinks with, and that I love, think about, and pray for.  I actually met the love of my life right here on this website.  Which is sort of weird, but at the same time pretty cool.

And some of you I don’t like at all.