Q & A with the Editors
Who are/were your writing mentors?
Wes: The teachers I’ve had, the books I’ve read, but mostly the internet.
M: Same. But also music, experience with relationships, spirit guides who tell me things. Twitter specifically.
What do you look for as an editor?
M: I want to see a topic or theme that’s needed right now. We should be thinking about parity, how living in different bodies directly influences what we write about. I want to see the piece has been composed with some urgency. A writer who makes me say, “YES! We need to be talking about this!”
Wes: Pieces that are about something specific. Poems, essays, short stories, whatever the form is I look to see if the author has communicated, explored, or developed a specific idea, experience, or emotion. Basically, I look for a clear reason of why something was written. The author should be able to tell the reader quickly and clearly why the piece is important and needed.
What would you like to see more of?
Wes: We live in an age that is confronted with political questions, social concerns, and movements of people. I would love to see pieces that engage this reality. Poetry that chronicles a person’s experience in a march, an essay that explains how a person was impacted by a social movement, a short story that explains the importance of some political crises. I want art that grounds itself in the world, because that’s where I and our readers live.
M: I agree. Topics like mass incarceration, restorative justice, focus on mental health, exploring identity, healing whilst going through political crisis need to be amplified. Writing can also be part of this healing. Things like learning about esoteric subjects/practices and how they’ve been harnessed for survival. Reviews of essential (possibly overlooked) works of art, thinking that goes beyond aesthetic considerations (but still manages to be artful).
M: Life narrative, reviews, interviews, academic-style essays with a twist, experimental poetry, op-eds, audio recordings, letters, collage.
Wes: Science fiction, political commentary, historical narratives, philosophy, memoir. I love a good memoir. There is nothing more beautiful than seeing an author explore themselves and turn that experience into something readers can relate to.
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