Electric Lit Appoints Halimah Marcus as First Executive Director

Electric Literature is pleased to announce we are appointing Halimah Marcus as our first Executive Director. Halimah began at Electric Literature in 2010 as a volunteer, and has since become a leader in our organization. She was integral in launching our critically acclaimed weekly fiction magazine, Recommended Reading, and establishing Electric Literature as a successful arts non-profit.

“I’m looking forward to making bold new strides to present literature as a public art form, and firmly establishing its place in the popular conversation,” says Halimah.

Halimah will continue as Editor-in-Chief of Recommended Reading, which published a special four-part 200th issue this week, with sitcom-inspired fiction from J. Robert Lennon, Téa Obreht, Rob McCleary, and Morgan Parker.

The full press release is below.

For Immediate Release
CONTACT: editors@electricliterature.com

Electric Literature Appoints Halimah Marcus as Executive Director

New York, NY (March 16, 2016): The Board of Directors of Electric Literature has appointed Halimah Marcus to be the first Executive Director of the organization, whose mission is to use digital innovation to keep literature a vital part of popular culture.

Since launching in 2009, Electric Literature has established a reputation as a digital innovator, having created the first literary magazine mobile app and pioneered a publishing model that is widely used today. Their ability to embrace new technologies and quickly adapt to the changing publishing landscape has earned them a large and devoted readership, including a strong and growing social media presence.

“Halimah has been essential to our organization as we’ve grown and flourished over the past six years,” said Andy Hunter, Electric Literature’s founder and board chairman. “She’s a brilliant writer and editor, an innovative thinker, and the perfect person to lead Electric Literature into the future.”

Electric Literature operates electricliterature.com, a daily destination for book lovers with more than 4 million visitors in 2015, and two weekly literary magazines: Okey-Panky, which publishes brief, strange writings, and Recommended Reading, which presents fiction with personal recommendations by top writers and editors. Electric Literature also hosts free public events throughout the year and has commissioned and distributed several multimedia pieces such as apps, art installations, annotated fiction, and twitter fiction.

The appointment of an Executive Director marks Electric Literature’s commitment to their mission and to growth as a non-profit. “At Electric Literature, we believe literature should be accessible to everyone, which is why we are so proud of our large and engaged audience,” said Halimah Marcus. “I’m looking forward to making bold new strides to present literature as a public art form, and firmly establishing its place in the popular conversation.”

Halimah Marcus joined Electric Literature in 2010 as a volunteer, and was quickly hired as Managing Editor. In 2012 she was integral in launching Recommended Reading, which has over 116,000 subscribers, later becoming its Editor-in-Chief. Today, Recommended Reading publishes its 200th issue, which can be found here, and Marcus will continue to serve as Editor-in-Chief. Recommended Reading has published critically acclaimed, prize-winning authors such as Jim Shepard, Charles Yu, James Hannaham, A.M. Homes, and Ben Marcus, alongside hundreds of debut and emerging writers, and has featured recommendations from literary luminaries such as Hari Kunzru, Chinelo Okparanta, Karen Russell, Michael Cunningham, Jennifer Egan, and Kelly Link.

In 2014 Marcus spearheaded Electric Literature’s transition to a non-profit, and has since secured support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the Amazon Literary Partnership. Before joining Electric Literature, Marcus worked in programming and development for the Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation and the community radio non-profit The Prometheus Radio Project.

Electric Literature has grown significantly in the past two years, quadrupling its audience, launching a second weekly magazine, Okey-Panky, and an original series which features international authors writing about their home cities, “The Writing Life Around the World”.

“Halimah Marcus is one of the finest fiction editors I’ve had the pleasure of working with, and she’s proved an exemplary colleague under the EL umbrella as well,” said J. Robert Lennon, a novelist and the Editor-in-Chief of Okey-Panky. “No one is more qualified to sail this ship than she is.”

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