Vanessa Chan Says Publishing With Electric Lit Changed Her Life

Support EL’s year-end campaign and help us launch the next generation of writers

Dear Reader,

It is not an exaggeration to say that a large part of the incipient writing career I have, I owe to the platform that Electric Lit gave me when The Commuter published my story, “The Ugliest Babies in the World,” in October 2020. Editor Kelly Luce found my story in the slush pile—me, a then virtually unknown short story writer with only one or two publication credits to my name—and published Ugliest Babies a few weeks later. 

The story went on to live a life I couldn’t have imagined: it became popular, both on Electric Lit and also on social media (via Electric Lit’s immense online support), where literary agents and book editors found it. They began to steadily reach out, days, weeks, and even months after publication, asking to see more of my work. In addition, because the story is written in colloquial Malaysian English, many emerging Malaysian and Southeast Asian writers reached out to me, excited to see an American literary magazine readily and excitedly publishing the colloquialisms of our people.

Two years later, “The Ugliest Babies in the World” is the title story of my forthcoming collection, which alongside my debut novel, “The Storm We Made,” will be published by Marysue Rucci Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, as well as in twenty other territories and languages worldwide. Electric Lit’s support of this story—from finding it in slush, to publishing it, to promoting it across all channels—was invaluable in helping me become the author I am today. 

Which is why I’m writing to you on their behalf. Every chance I get, I tell new writers that publishing with EL changed my life. Help Electric Lit continue changing writers’ lives by contributing to their end of year campaign. Their goal is to raise $10,000, and I know it will be put to good use. 

Electric Lit is the place for emerging writers to emerge.  

– Vanessa Chan
Author of The Storm We Made (Jan. 2024) & The Ugliest Babies in the World

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