Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Six Questions for Caleb Puckett, Editor, Futures Trading

Futures Trading publishes fiction, poetry, interviews and reviews. "Futures Trading finds value in all manner of literary manifestations, especially if they're forward-facing in nature. We publish new writing and related content on a quarterly basis." Read the complete guidelines here.

SQF: Why did you start this magazine?

CP: Prior to creating Futures Trading, I’d served in various editorial capacities for a few traditional print-only journals. However, much of my engagement with contemporary writing over the past decade has taken place in less traditional online journals. In some respects, creating Futures Trading was a way for me to align my interests and tendencies as a reader, writer and editor. In addition, I’d recently published a book of poetry, Caleb Puckett & Friends: In Mixed Company, which involved collaborating with a handful of other writers. I served as both a writer and editor of sorts for the work. I enjoyed this dual role, particularly when it came to developing a sense of interplay and shared emphasis among those distinctive voices. Futures Trading is a way for me to maintain some of that productive energy.

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

CP: If I have to narrow down my considerations, I’d say I first look at the quality of the diction and imagery. Does it shake me up or transport me? I also look for a sense of focus or concentration. I can appreciate a densely constructed piece of writing, but I really dislike verbosity. I go for pieces which are both generative and economical. 

SQF: What most often turns you off to a submission?

CP: Like most editors, I have an aversion towards mindless submissions. It’s usually pretty easy to tell when a would-be contributor hasn’t taken the time to become familiar with the publication before submitting work.

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

CP: I provide feedback on a substantial portion of the submissions I reject. I don’t think of the feedback as a way of justifying my decision or mollifying the writer. Instead, I think of it as an integral part of a larger exchange. It’s a way of inviting writers back into the discussion.

SQF: What magazines do you read on a regular basis?
CP: I read Diode, Mad Hatters’ Review, Nimrod, Otoliths, and Tryst, among many others. 

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

CP: If you could create a required reading list for potential contributors to Futures Trading, what work would top the list? I’d start with The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa.

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

NEXT POST: 11/17--Six Questions for D.M. Hedlund, Editor-in-Chief/Founder, Tethered by Letters

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