Six Questions for Johnny Damm (Founder and Editor) and Matthew Nye (Editor), A Bad Penny Review
A Bad Penny Review publishes fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction—with a particular interest in forms that exist somewhere between. It is published quarterly online and once a year as a physical object. Read the completeguidelines here.
SQF: Why did you start this magazine?
A Bad Penny Review: Despite the huge (and ever proliferating) number of journals out there, surprisingly few publish the work that ABPR finds the most exciting: visual poetics, the conceptual, the varying forms and non-forms of the innovative/experimental/transgressive. So that provides some justification for our existence. But more than that, journals generally have been slow to exploit the shifting boundaries between the analog and the digital: the uncertainty as to what a physical object can offer over its digital representation or, to flip the equation, why digital representations are assigned (cultural/economic) value at all. This, I think, is what we exist to grapple with.
SQF: What are the top three things you look for in a submission and why?
ABPR: We're looking for the unfamiliar, for anything that surprises us. In terms of aesthetics, the quickest perusal of one of our issues (even without reading a word, frankly) could offer some idea as to what attracts us formally.
SQF: What most often turns you off to a submission?
ABPR: This is a familiar editorial complaint and an echo of above, but when a submitter has clearly never visited the journal's website, that's an annoyance. Take that 45 seconds to give us a look!
SQF: Do you provide comments when you reject a submission?
ABPR: Only if it's a piece that we seriously considered publishing but didn't make the final cut.
SQF: What magazines do you read?
ABPR: Conjunctions, Jacket2, Fence, Harp & Altar, Lana Turner, and many more. I also spend as much time as possible perusing the archives of UbuWeb: if it were a journal, it might be the best in the world.
SQF: What one question on this topic do you wish I'd asked that I didn't? And how would you answer it?
ABPR: How can I, as an author who submits to A Bad Penny Review, support your fine journal? Great question! We don't receive any outside funding: our entire budget for future publications comes from the sales of the previous ones. So take a look at our physical publications and consider buying one. Or just send us at least 5 bucks, and we'll pick something out for you.
Thank you, Johnny and Matthew. We all appreciate you taking time from your busy schedule to participate in this project.
NEXT POST: 10/31—Six Questions for Mike Lafontaine Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Vending Machine Press