Views on Publishing
12 Editors On Their Dream
We all have our list of journals that we one day hope to be published in, and those whose track records of publishing quality work keep us returning to their pages to consume more. But what about the flip side of this? Who are the writers that journals can’t get enough of? Whose work is considered literary gold? TRR explores.
– Matt Broderick, Reviews Editor
Question: Which two writers, established and emerging, would you most like to publish in your journal?
Michael Dumanis/Chelsea Hodson, Editor/Managing Editor, Bennington Review:
We’re not sure which would be established and which would be considered emerging, but two of our current favorites that we’d love to see in Bennington Review is the prose of Alissa Nutting and the poetry of Olena Kalytiak Davis.
Toni Graham, Editor, Cimarron Review:
An established writer I would like to publish would be Brad Watson (come on, Brad: cough up!). “Emerging writers”? Aren’t writers always emerging? I think writers reinvent themselves with every story they write. Every new story represents some sort of artistic breakthrough. Or should (fragment deliberate).
Philip Elliot, Editor-in-Chief, Into the Void:
Established: Denis Johnson. My all-time favourite writer, and perfectly suited to short fiction and poetry. His voice is unique, sharp and dripping with quirky, vivid language laced in black humour. His Jesus’ Son short story collection is revered for good reason.
Emerging: In thinking up an answer to this, a memory of a poem I read in June came back to me. I stumbled across it on Algebra of Owls (a great place to find interesting new poetry and to submit to, there’s one new up every day, I think). It is ‘One Step Beyond’ by Mark Connors and can be read here. Mark, if you’re reading this, submit to us!
JT Lachausse, Editor-in-Chief/Founder, The Matador Review:
Established, I would love to publish poet Sarah Lindsay, whom we have an interview with (forthcoming) for our website. Emerging, I would love to publish I.S. Jones again, as she is in our premier issue. Her work struck a chord with our entire editorial team, and we were gracious and ecstatic to have her in our first publication. To us, she is a rising star.
Arup K Chatterjee, Founder-Editor, Coldnoon:
Deborah Landau, Peter Campion
Dr Nicola Hunte, Editor, POUi:
Of the established writers I would most like to see in POUi would be Kamau Brathwaite, for two reasons: First, this year marks the 50th anniversary of political independence for Barbados and Kamau’s literary voice has helped make the realization of this celebratory attitude possible. Second, along with poetry, he has also produced short prose fiction, and it would be enjoyable to see his attention to imagery and movement realized in a short story. The second established writer would have to be Andrea Levy – a prolific, sensitive writer who evokes the Caribbean as a space that travels well.
For works from emerging writers, it would be nice to have poems by Vievee Francis, one of the facilitators for the 2015 Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop, and short prose from Kevin Jared Hosein who is the featured new writer with Peepal Tree Press and recent Commonwealth short prose fiction awardee for the Caribbean.
Kris Baker Dersch, Producer/Editor, No Extra Words:
I don’t really have a list anymore. I always really liked Paul Beckman, and I am delighted to have had the opportunity to feature two of his pieces. These days, writers from all walks of life are submitting, and I enjoy the variety of familiar and unfamiliar names I get to feature.
Cassandra Clarke, Editor, Spectator & Spooks:
At Spectator & Spooks, we love to publish emerging writers…partially, because it feels like an easter-egg hunt, searching through slush until you find this glorious piece of chocolate that’s only for your team to share. Mostly, because we understand how trying it is to find a place in other magazines if you’re entering into the publishing process with limited prior publications. We aim to help emerging writers thrive. We enjoy reaching out to writers whose work may be close to publishable and will provide feedback so that they can submit again if their story idea or voice struck us as unique.
On the contrary, we find it harder to accept “established” writers into print. Often, a name comes with assumptions of style and skill that are hard to filter out when evaluating a work…if I was to (ever) receive a piece by Aimee Bender, (let’s play pretend, ok?) it would be hard to not look at the work and compare it on some level to what I’ve seen of her former work. Is this better? Is this too similar to something else I’ve seen? Established writers have to try harder to win our staff over as they’ve been in this game longer and better be playing hardball.
Zafar Anjum, Founder, Kitaab International:
Among the established writers, it has to be either J.M. Coetzee or V.S. Naipaul. Among the emerging writers, we would love to feature works by the likes of Samanth Subramanian (author of Following Fish), and Feroz Rather (a doctoral student of Creative Writing at Florida State University). I recently read one of his moving essays on Kashmir, that the novelist Mirza Waheed had shared on his Facebook page.
James Gapinski, Managing Editor, The Conium Review:
For an established author, I’d go with Amelia Gray. She worked with us as a contest judge in 2015, but we haven’t actually published her. Amelia’s writing has this visceral quality to it. It has intentionally jagged corners, like her fiction is just waiting for you to lower your guard, waiting to cut you. That sounds terrible, but it makes for a fantastic reading experience. She doesn’t play it safe. There’s a constant aura of riskiness, danger, excitement, newness. Switching to another author, Rajesh Parameswaran is a standout favorite. He has just one book under his belt, so by most definitions he’s still an emerging author. His work is formally inventive, and you want to keep turning pages to see what he’s going to do next. Rajesh’s stories often have a dark sense of humor, but there’s a simultaneous lightness and emotional resonance. There’s a keen sense of purpose and character motivation even as typical narrative structures are dismantled and reimagined.
Peter R Field/Pam Wells, Founding Editors, The Timberline Review:
Established – Barry Lopez? Salman Rushdie? We’d love to get the crazy experiment they shoved deep into a desk drawer because it was too different, or would possibly be viewed as unmarketable by a mainstream publisher. We think the indie lit market is not only wide open, it’s expanding. There’s so much space here for edgy creative nonfiction, prose both long and short, and poetry from around the world.
Emerging – How about the next Rumi? Or Rilke? You’re always hoping to be the one to discover a great voice, and that somehow this publication is going to support that writer in just the way they need to solidify their work and keep them moving and growing. And one day they’re Established, but not Establishment.
Joe Ponepinto, Publisher, Tahoma Literary Review:
That’s a tricky question for us, since we never solicit work from writers. To list any names would imply that we might. We’re happy to take all our published work from the submissions queue, and look forward to the surprises therein.
If you’re part of an editorial staff, who would you like to see printed in your journal?
Photo credit: CJS*64 “Man with a camera” via Foter.com / CC BY-ND
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