MediaVirus Magazine publishes poetry, short stories to 5,000 words, non-fiction to 5,000 words, audio performances, and photography and art mediums. Read the complete guidelines here.
SQF: What are the top three things you look for in a story and why?
LG: The words need to grab me by the throat. I want to be choked up -- by exhilaration, dejection, zeal, whatever it takes. That’s effective writing. Stellar poetry and fiction command specific voice to gleam. Be it an assertion of conviction, or slap of laughs, the swagger of narration is crucial to subject and character. Another aspect that attracts my eyes is the architecture of a piece, experimental concrete structure for example. Completing the top three facets of a story I look for is the author’s technique in composition; point of view, environment, and narration in particular.
SQF: What are the top three reasons a story is rejected, other than not fitting into your answers to question one and why?
LG: MediaVirus Magazine prides itself on being a people’s publication, soliciting submissions from poets and authors that genuinely want to appear in the magazine. Discovering or knowing that a received submission package has been mass emailed for widespread publication consideration is off-putting. Stories and poems are also rejected due to blatantly ignoring the submission guidelines. Meager and necessary, they exist in brevity, as we exhibit consideration for a potential poem or story, we only ask the same in return for our magazine. Lastly, a story will be rejected for publication in MediaVirus due to audacious violence and intolerance of any kind. I rollick over gritty protagonists, sticky atmospheres, and pictorial language, however, I repudiate it if done in an obnoxious, inartistic manner.
SQF: What other mistakes do you encounter that turn you off to a story?
LG: Gross grammatical errors and oversights are disappointing and snagging obstacles. Errors demonstrate carelessness and lack of authenticity in the piece on the whole, and is very off putting.
SQF: What is it about the characters in a story that makes them pop off the page and grab hold of you?
LG: Characters that are robustly human or whimsically fantastic arouse my eyes and cerebral cortex. Intrinsic perspective and existential invention serve poems and fiction well, ravaging and provoking the reader with each word, every line.
SQF: I read a comment by one editor who said she keeps a blacklist of authors who respond to a rejection in a less than professional manner. I'm sure you know what I mean. What do you want authors to know about the stories you reject and how authors should respond? Along this same idea, do you mind if authors reply with polite questions about the comments they receive?
LG: Authors always must keep in mind that the decisions Stewart and I make concerning manuscripts and other submission mediums are not personal. When MediaVirus first launched, an author felt compelled to respond to our rejection letter with a snide response advertising that their rejection was accepted for print in another, paying publication. How professional and mature (sarcasm). The absolute, superlative way an author can respond to a rejection slip is to submit new selections. MediaVirus encourages counter-responses. Composing is a process. Through education and insight poetry and fiction flourish.
SQF: What one question on this topic do you wish I'd asked that I didn't? And how would you answer it?
LG: I wished you would have asked how many authors and poets wish to have their writing archived within the magazine for publication credit and resume purposes? MediaVirus does not keep an issue by issue archive. Why? My response would be that we do not archive issues because every edition of MediaVirus is colossal and unpredictable, providing a month’s window of exclusive viewing. If not for seduction, everything else is just masturbation.
Thank you, Lawrence. We all appreciate you taking time from your busy schedule to participate in this project.
NEXT POST: 2/14--Gail R. Delaney, Editor-in-Chief, Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc.