Monday, January 23, 2012

Six Questions for Josh and Jane, Editors, TheNewerYork!

TheNewerYork! is a magazine of forms, "we like weird forms. Ideas and past accepted pieces include Flash Fiction, Craigslist Ads, Instruction Manuals, Lists (themed), Fictional Definitions, Punctuationless Stories, Post-cards and correspondences." The editors also accept poetry, drawings, and sketches. Read the complete guidelines here.

SQF: Why did you start this magazine?

J&J:  It started out of a contempt for The New Yorker. Not because it is particularly bad, but it is particularly undaring, a tepid force to be at the front of the literary world. And the poetry is meh. So, theNewerYork came out of this and a stanza from a Byron poem where he asks writers to test their mettle and push the boundaries of the literary mind. Poems and short stories have been around for millennia, novels for almost 450 years, theNewerYork wants to find and publish new or forgotten forms: the epistolary, the aphorism, the post-card, or the classified ad.....

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

  1. The way it breathes (or if it's breathless) 
  2. Its seduction. (If it's holding a drink, if it strikes immediately or if it's all smiles, if it puts its hand on the small of my back, if it leans in. If the first line is a good one and the second too.)
  3. It should be a mouthful.

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


Cliches up the wazoo. Overly elaborate prose. Heavy on the metaphors and similes. Boring. While we love unpublished writers or first time submitters we often find that they are simply trying too hard, the overambitious writers that Bukowski said "could never ever write the sentence 'The dog walked across the street.'" We would rather read grammatical mistakes and dense cataloging than trite subject matter and overwrought comparisons.

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

J&J: 25%

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

J&J: Yes

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

J&J: Something about what sort of books we have on our bedside table. I have Charles Bukowski, Marshall McLuhan and Michel Foucalt. Jane, the other editor, sleeps with Lorine Niedecker, Frank Stanford, and Jane Bowel's biographer.

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

NEXT POST: 1/26--Six Questions for Krishan Coupland, Editor, Neon Literary Magazine

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