Indie literary magazine takes flight

By Connor Doyle

Marlee Gunterman and Taryn Pearcy of Misfit Lit. (Max Hirtz/The Runner)

Over the summer, two Kwantlen creative writing students have started their own literary publication and are now looking for submissions. Dubbed Misfit Lit for the alternative, “punk-ish” style of writing they publish, the new literary magazine has already attracted some big names to print original work within their pages.

Catherine Owen, author of Frenzy and Fyre, and Kwantlen Polytechnic University writing instructor Aislinn Hunter (whose novel Stay is currently being adapted into film) have submitted previously unpublished poems to the upstart Misfit Lit. Both Owen’s “The Dildo Craftsman” and Hunter’s “And Then We Let Ourselves In” follow the magazine’s creed to create an environment for people who “don’t fit in” within regular society.

“Not only does it give our magazine more literary cred,” says Taryn Pearcey, who co-created Misfit Lit with Marlee Gunterman only a few short months ago, “but it was also meaningful to Marlee and I because it further established the faith they have in our abilities.”

What started as a joke idea in their business of writing class soon bloomed into a tangible concept when Owen, a family friend of Gunterman’s, and Hunter, an instructor of both students, agreed to submit work once they got their publication off the ground. The pair’s plans came to fruition when, in August, Pearcey and Gunterman hand-crafted several dozen chapbooks full of original poetry and prose, and began offering them at the Pandora’s Collective Summer Dreams Literary Arts Festival in exchange for donations.

“One of the things we intend to do,” says Pearcey, “is create a publication that celebrates all things weird, funky, and that don’t necessarily fit into any other publication. We want it to be a journal where people feel comfortable both expressing and being themselves, whether they wear business suits or tattered jeans.”

When asked if she feels that reaching out to misfits specifically was important to her, Pearcey replied: “Yes, because I know what it’s like to feel as if there is no safe place to express myself, and no one to share my work and ideas with. I associate the concept of misfits with isolation, so I want Misfit Lit to become a way for people to connect with one another, whether through viewing someone else’s work, or having their own work viewed.”

“Ultimately I want to reach out to anyone who may identify themselves as a misfit and who may feel the same kind of isolation that I once did.”

To submit work to Misfit Lit, or to take a look at their first issue, contact either Pearcey or Gunterman at


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