Friday, February 28, 2014

Six Questions for Ariana D. Den Bleyker, Editor, Emerge Literary Journal

Emerge publishes flash fiction to 750 words and free verse poetry. "We aim to publish writers who are currently emerging on the literary scene. We recognize how hard it can be to get that first publishing credit and hope to be a foundation for the writers seeking to be published here." Read the complete guidelines here.

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

Ariana Den Bleyker: An ideal submission would include a thoughtfully written cover letter complete with a short 3-4 sentence bio and perhaps list a couple poems previously published by Emerge that the submitter admires. I stress that the submitter submit a minimum of 3 poems and 3 stories but no more than 5 of each. Utmost, at its core, the submission will be filled with passion, voice and place, words that linger, ideas used in magnificent ways.

SQF: What turns you off to a submission?

ADB: Cover letters that are addressed in a generic, form letter way. I like to be addressed personally. I dislike reading a submission where it is clear the writer did not research my journal or at a minimum follow the guidelines.

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

ADB: Yes. However, I require that the work be taken down from the blog prior to submitting it. It is my hope that the writer keep it down until it is published.

SQF: You also manage a press that hosts an annual chapbook contest. Please tell us a little about that.

ADB: ELJ Publlications is the parent press of Emerge Literary Journal and scissors & spackle. After taking over scissors & spackle in April 2013, I made the decision to turn both journals into annual print journals and focus more on the press. This was done to make a publishing schedule that was heavy between September and April for personal reasons. The press continues year round, but the bulk of publication is done between those months. ELJ is publishing an average of two chapbooks a month. ELJ hosts The ELJ Publications Chapbook Competition, The Pioneer Prize, The Jenny Catlin Chapbook Competition, and The We Will Plan Big Things Poetry Prize. All of the competitions target a different demographic. The We Will Plan Big Things Poetry Prize is for a first full-length poetry collection. I've also decided to open up an occasional micro-chap themed collection consisting of 5 poets with 8 poems each. The authors included are monetarily compensated and receive two copies of the collection. 

SQF: What magazines do you read most often?

ADB: Stone Highway Review, Thrush Poetry Journal, Camroc Press Review, Eunoia Review, Right Hand Pointing, Heavy Feather Review, The Adroit Journal, The Seneca Review, Ploughshares, and many, many more. Whatever and whenever I can get my hands on poetry.

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

ADB: How I manage to balance a full-time day job, write, edit, publish, run a household and take care of a husband and kids all at the same time? Very carefully and with a lot less sleep than the normal person. 

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

NEXT POST: 3/4--Six Questions for Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Editor, Bad-Ass Faeries Anthology Series

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