The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart.
– Maya Angelou-
Dear Writers and Readers,
The December 2017, issue is here! Many thanks to Issue Eight benefactor A.K., whose thoughtful donation adds credence to the saying that sometimes miracles are just good people with kind hearts. This generous gift enables us to pay all our contributors as well as a small stipend to our editorial board. And speaking of editorial assistance, — a special thanks to the Minnetonka High School writing center, coordinator Krista Hitchcock, and the young writers there who graciously offered to help with this issue. Enormous gratitude to Alex, Isabella, Faith, Meili, Wyatt, Becca, Alexa, Addie, Kate, Anne, Priscilla, and Katie. Thank you all for the insights, emails, smart questions, and unvarnished opinions, and for getting up so early to talk about writing.
As we move into our third year and eighth issue (plus a few poetry supplements thrown in) it’s possible we’re getting the hang of this online publishing thing. Since this is the time of year to look back, be grateful and even a little reflective, —here’s some wisdom we’ve gleaned and a how-to guide of sorts for putting together an online literary magazine:
- Find a great website guru and techie know-everything business like Sumy Designs. Let them keep your site up and running and glitch free and come to the rescue on a regular basis when you try to do things beyond your knowledge and expertise. (Thank you Amy)
- Remember those friends of yours that are writers and poets and artists? Be nice to them. Ask them if they’ll let you email them submissions to read and help you find the best stuff. Be glad they have other day jobs and aren’t looking to you for any kind of salary. (Thanks and kudos fellow creatives)
- Be humbled and grateful when grants come through, when people hand over checks that cover publication, that allow you to pay all your contributors and your tech support people—and postage. (Looking at you A.K, and C.V., and E.P.)
- Get great submitters. Let them find you from all over the U.S. and then from all over the world. Read everything they send you. Write them back, edit with them, let them tell you stories about Singapore, and Australia, and Delhi, and upstate New York, and rural Arkansas. Print out and highlight their essays about homeschooling, applying to college, breaking the law, losing friends, imagining zombies, and missing people that mean a lot to them.
- Honor artists, and photographers. Look at all their work; ask them questions about their process, and what they produce. If you don’t happen to be artistic—like at all—learn from them, what they think and how they feel when they’re creating something. Look all over the world, and when a great cover photo comes all the way from New Zealand for your December issue—use it. (Thanks LJ Wolff!)
- Get local. Figure out there’s a stellar high school writing center really close by and hope that students there love writing, and editing and talking over submissions. Be amazed when these students agree to meet with you early in the morning before sunrise to help with submissions. (Thanks Tonka Writers!)
Here’s to a new year of reading and writing. Enjoy the issue!