Thursday, August 18, 2011

Six Questions for Chasity Thomas, Editor-in-Chief/Founder, Milk Sugar

Milk Sugar is a bi-monthly journal publishing poetry, fiction to 10,000 words and nonfiction. Read the complete guidelines here.

SQF: Why did you start this magazine?

CT: I started Milk Sugar because, for one, I am a lover of the written word and have been for some time. I began work as a teen at my local library because books have always given me solace and there was no other place I wanted to be. Currently, I work as a librarian and read so many great authors, new and old, and I also write in my spare time. I liked the idea of creating a forum for writers of all kinds, and the Internet has made that a lot easier to do. I have had authors tell me that they have sent work into the journal precisely because I specify that I am open to work that is different and not just typical literary work, and that makes me happy. If something is well written and engaging, it shouldn’t matter how, different it is.

SQF: What are the top three things you look for in a story and why?

CT: Heart represents the sentiment behind the story. Some people are good technical writers so they know when to dot their i’s and cross their t’s. Their grammar is impeccable and they know how to structure a story, but what they write is just not engaging. I want to be drawn in, that to me is most important. But on the flip side when I say execution, I do mean that the writing should make sense. The story should be well written grammatically and have a structure that keeps the story flowing. Good self editing for me is more than just the technical. It means the writer knows how to keep a good pace when telling a story. How a story flows is important, because I view stories in the same way I do poetry. There is a rhythm to it that a good writer is able to follow.

SQF: What are the top three reasons a story is rejected, other than not fitting into your answers to the above question and why?

CT: Top three reasons for rejection: sloppy writing, not introducing ones self when sending work and nonsensical work.

SQF: Approximately what percentage of your submissions do you accept?

CT: I would say I accept 70% of what I receive. That number is lessening as I get more and more submissions. I try to keep each issue with five stories, five poets and one nonfiction piece, if there is one.

SQF: Will you publish a story an author posted on a personal blog?

CT: I have done it, and I have no problem doing so mainly because putting it on my site means it might get more exposure.

SQF: What one question on this topic do you wish I'd asked that I didn't? And how would you answer it?

CT: Hmm, perhaps where I got the name for the magazine. It is hard coming up with something catchy and intriguing but not too silly. I came up with the name Milk Sugar because those are two fundamental items in any kitchen, and I wanted to create a magazine that represents the fundamentals of good writing. Plus, I like the way they sound together.

Thank you, Chasity. We all appreciate you taking time from your busy schedule to participate in this project.

NEXT POST: 8/22--Six Questions for Jonathan Starke, Editor, Palooka

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