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NiftyLit publishes exceptional, thought-provoking work that investigates humanity.

Our History

Founded in January 2022, NiftyLit publishes short form literary content in the genres of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and flash. Since our beginning, we have sought to present exceptional, thought provoking work, with an emphasis on publishing emerging writers and artists from underrepresented, underserved, and marginalized communities. 

To read our general Submissions guidelines, please visit our Submissions page.

From our start and through the summer of 2023, NiftyLit utilized a unique publishing model that incorporated blockchain technology as a mechanism for commodifying art and writing such that our contributors could potentially earn from the sale of unique digital editions of their work (more commonly known as “Literary NFTs,” however, even as promising as the technology is, the term “NFT” has garnered a negative connotation due to scams and bad actors). 

While we are still working on incorporating blockchain technology into publishing, by way of other projects we are involved in, after nearly two years in operation we firmly believe that blockchain technology is best incorporated “under the hood” and that web3 technology is not ready for adoption by mass audiences (literary or otherwise). It is therefore in the best interest of our contributors and the magazine to operate with a more traditional approach. 

As of October, 2023, we shut down our digital marketplace but are continuing to publish works accepted for publication in online print at only (akin to other online literary magazines). While we are sad our unique publishing model didn’t take off as we hoped in would (in an effort to make a positive impact on the publishing industry), we hope you find our model easier to follow and that you continue to enjoy reading from our pages. If you feel like contributing to NiftyLit monetarily so that we can continue to operate and publish great art and writing without a subscription model, we set up a donations page here. Anything you can give is greatly appreciated and helps cover the costs of business; we are currently operating in an all-volunteer capacity. 

Thank you for your support!

Who We Are

A group of literary enthusiasts who believe in the power of technology to put creative control back in the hands of artists. Swing on over to our Discord channel to get to know us.

Our Team

Katie M. Zeigler

Founding Editor
Katie M. Zeigler is a writer and professor of creative writing who has published both fiction and nonfiction in a variety of outlets. She lives in Northern California with her husband and two teenage sons. Unlike Jo and Alex, Katie has never done anything with a bomb, but was awarded the Junior Cowgirl belt buckle in 1985 at the Mariposa Rodeo which should count for something.

Katie is NiftyLit's Founding Editor and served as NiftyLit's first Editor in Chief until Summer 2023.

Jo Unruh

Cofounder and CEO
As a writer with a professional background in business and technology, Jo started NiftyLit to investigate the intersections between art and technology, and the ways in which the traditional publishing ecosystem falls short in supporting creators.

Alex Burtness

Cofounder and CTO
Alex used to travel the world disarming bombs with Jo. Now he builds robots and does improvisational comedy. Alex is passionate about artificial intelligence and blockchain, but he’s most fascinated by the intersection of art and technology. He’s never been published, but he thinks writers are the greatest people in the world.

Violet Piper

Editorial Intern — Nonfiction
Violet Piper is a writer and musician from Brooklyn pursuing an MA in Creative Publishing and Critical Journalism.

Sophie Dufresne

Editorial Intern — Poetry & Other Genres
Sophie Dufresne studies creative writing at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. They fell in love with poetry after reading "Hope" by Emily Dickinson in sixth grade and are now interested in the way form informs content (or is it the other way around?). They have bylines in remote corners of the internet so their family can’t find their writings.

Nick Tantillo

Web Development & Technology Lead
Nick Tantillo is a full-stack developer with over 15 years of experience working for start-ups and equipment manufacturers. In 2016, he created his own IT services company. As a writer and early crypto enthusiast, Nick saw an opportunity to apply blockchain technology to remove some of the hurdles aspiring authors face without relying on cumbersome tokenomics. Nick has a BS from Lehigh University in Computer Science Engineering and is a Flow Blockchain 2023 Hackathon winner.