Thursday, June 14, 2012

Six Questions for Joanne Merriam, Editor, Seven by Twenty

NOTE: As of 16 April 2013, Julia Patt assume editorial control.

Seven by Twenty is an online magazine, using Twitter as its publishing platform, for readers at home and on mobile devices. Read the complete guidelines here.

SQF: Why did you start this magazine?

JM: I think Twitter (which is the platform for the magazine) forces writers to compress their work in interesting ways, and I wanted to explore what could be done with that form. I don't do serials or anything like that, so each piece is truly limited to 140 characters (or actually a bit less than that as I require the writer leave room at the end for their name or twitter handle). I ended up also starting a small press -- Upper Rubber Boot Books -- in order to publish a "best of" anthology of 7x20 posts (140 And Counting), and have continued publishing ebooks there.

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

JM: I want to be surprised. I want to be touched or made to laugh. I want well-considered word choices.

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

JM: The main reason is blandness, followed closely by a work having been so compressed that it now only makes sense to the author. A distant third is failing utterly to follow submission guidelines (as, for example, the people who send 3,000 word short stories).

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

JM: Probably about half, I think, or maybe a bit less than that. I don't keep any formal statistics.

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

JM: Sure. I explicitly publish reprints, so I don't have a problem with any form of previous publication.

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

JM: I think it would be fun to know what authors I wish I could publish, or admire - as a writer I always like to know that sort of thing, since I think it says more about editorial preferences than explanations (show don't tell and all that). If I could convince them to write Twitter-length pieces and let me publish them, I'd love to see fiction from China Mieville, Joyce Carol Oates, Margaret Atwood, Jonathan Lethem, Carol Shields, Charles Stross, or John Scalzi, and poetry from Dorianne Laux, Rita Dove, Charles Simic, Lyn Lifshin, or Donald Hall.

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

NEXT POST: 6/18--Six Questions for Mike Foldes, Founder/Managing Editor, Ragazine.CC

No comments:

Post a Comment