Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Six Questions for Annabelle Carvell and Carlotta Eden, Co-Founders/Editors, Synaesthesia Magazine

Synaesthesia Magazine publishes short stories, flash fiction, poetry, illustrations, photography, articles and reviews on a bi-monthly basis. Read the complete guidelines here.

SQF: Why did you start this magazine?

Annabelle: Synaesthesia Magazine started when both of us were unemployed. I had always longed to be entrepreneurial in some creative way. The word 'synaesthesia' was something I had first heard about as a teenager, and the sound itself was a romance in my mouth. Out of nowhere, one day the idea dawned on me - 'What about a literary magazine?' I knew I wanted to embark upon this journey with someone else, and I knew exactly who instantly.

I contacted Carlotta, who I knew to be just as passionate about reading and writing as myself, and there was instant business 'electricity'. We discussed the idea animatedly; we wanted an explosion of the senses through the expression of the arts. We wanted synaesthesia. 


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

Carlotta: Quirkiness, energy and short, rich lines. We like writing that’s honest and brutal, both structurally and in the story. We look for short stories that change, even if that change is small. We want to feel the inspiration and passion behind artwork and photography, and, luckily, we usually do. Our favourite submissions are the ones that blur senses and evoke a certain amount of synaesthesia.


SQF: What common mistakes do you encounter that turn you off to a submission?

Annabelle: Correct grammar, punctuation and spelling is a must, but it doesn't mean we toss these submissions aside. We read every single one of our submissions, and if we can see the content behind the mistakes, we'll suggest relevant edits. It just helps us to immerse ourselves in the pieces we receive if errors are minimal. The biggest mistake that would turn us off to a submission completely would be complete disregard of our set theme! 


SQF: Do you provide comments when you reject a submission?

Carlotta: We try to, yes. We’re both writers so we know what it’s like to be rejected again and again and receive no why or how or anything at all. It’s dejecting, so our shortlisters (those who we put on a shortlist before the final decision making process) always receive feedback about their submission from us (this applies mainly to our writers). We then begin liaising with writers in a mini-workshop conversation. Our writers don’t have to listen to our critiques or suggestions, but we’re the ones who are going to be honest, not their family or friends.


SQF: Based on your experience as an editor, what have you learned about writing?

Annabelle: We've learnt what we like to look for in a submission, and have employed that in our own writing. More personally, however, is what our experience as an editor for Synaesthesia Magazine has done for our writing - we are conscious of what the term itself means - we believe that synaesthesia itself is the greatest tip for any writer. Hear with your eyes, look with your hands, feel with your nose and smell with your ears.


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

Carlotta: Rather selfishly, we’d like to have been asked about synaesthesia. The studies on the condition are so minimal, and we hope to spread a little more awareness and understanding about it. We try to place a heavy emphasis on sensory confusion in an artistic sense. Synaesthetes get gritty with their writing. Imagine, for a second, if all letters had personalities, and that was normal to you. How differently would you write? We want you to think like that.


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

NEXT POST: 8/30--Six Questions for Alexander J. Smith and Adonis Leboho, Editors, Dead Beats

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