Walking Is Still Honest focuses on promoting grass-roots poetry, poems about here and now, the day to day mundane. Poetry with honesty and the strength to rely on itself for support rather than the work of previous poets is wanted. Read the complete guidelines here.
SQF: Why did you start this magazine?
JW: One of my main goals with Nostrovia! Poetry was to promote the poetic community as a whole. I wanted to promote poetry to those who mis-labeled it, especially my peers in high school.
I founded Walking Is Honest Press in order to promote accessible, non-pretentious poetry. The goal is to show poetry that is as honest as walking.
SQF: What are the top three things you look for in a submission and why?
JW: Honesty is the first thing I look for. Is the poem heartfelt? Are you writing what you know?
Accessibility, as mentioned above, is next. Can someone who is not into poetry stumble upon this poem, and confide in it?
Relate-ability is key. Not everyone can relate to a poem, but I'm seeking poetry that the majority can.
All 3 of these traits are important to W.I.S.H.. They're pillars the press was founded on.
SQF: What common mistakes do you encounter that turn you off to a submission?
JW: Rudeness. Many people think they have the right to publication. When someone submits as if it's a privilege to be publishing them (even if it is), it's obnoxious.
SQF: Do you provide comments when you reject a submission?
JW: Not every time due to the volume of submissions between W.I.S.H., Nostrovia! Poetry, and The Kitchen Poet that I have to read over, but I do try to. Most people deserve the time of receiving personal feedback and constructive criticism. Sadly, time doesn't always permit.
SQF: Based on your experience as an editor, what have you learned about writing?
JW: That there is a beautiful diversity in writing. Now that we can all connect through the internet, we can see the writing of poets that may have never seen daylight otherwise. It's wonderful to read a poem that knocks the wind out of you in the submission piles that clutter my emails.
SQF: What one question on this topic do you wish I'd asked that I didn't? And how would you answer it?
JW: Where do you want to see the publishing industry go?
I want to see it fall into the hands of the average person, the community. Running a successful press is about putting forth the right amount of effort. Being successful in anything is about putting forth the right amount of effort.
I love how the internet has opened up the ability for anyone to cheaply run a publishing press, zine, or blog. I want to see this community continue to grow with quality publishers that sprout up simply because someone loved writing enough to help others put their work out there.
I have a lot of respect for the DIY method, creativity, and taking situations and opportunity into one's own hands.
Thank you, Jeremiah. We all appreciate you taking time from your busy schedule to participate in this project.
NEXT POST: 8/6 -- Six Questions for Joy Crelin, Editor and Publisher, Betwixt