SQF: Why did you start this magazine?
Caseyrenée Lopez : There doesn't seem to be enough representation in the trans*/queer community, so I've always been eager to hear what these voices have to say. I live in the Deep South (Georgia), and have realized over the years that there are not many venues for the queer community, unless you live in or around the Atlanta area. This realization upset me in ways I'd never dreamed, so I took the internet to find community and build upon what was already out there. Crab Fat started as a means of publishing only Southern LGBTQ writers, but has greatly expanded the scope to reach a wider audience. Crab Fat wants the queer and weird in everyone. It's important to reach out to others and expand the community—all it takes is a simple conversation with someone to change their mind, or provide understanding that wasn't there before. I want to give writers a place to express their selves and not worry about judgement. Crab Fat is a safe place for writers of all types.
SQF: What are the top three things you look for in a submission and why?
- Originality. The web is full of blogs and websites that promote writing, but it seems they typically focus on mainstream. I want to read something that I haven't read 1,000 times. I like submissions that go against the grain and play with tropes. There is no trick to my selection process. I don't have strict rules. I just want to read something that makes me think—leave me questioning what I just read.
- Weird language. I love reading odd descriptions and seeing everyday objects from a new angle.
- Southern themes/places/characters. I'm born and raised in the South, so reading something that I can relate to is always a plus. Now, this isn't something that is set in stone, it's just a little extra nod to my heritage, and shows the world that weird and experimental things can come out of the South.
SQF: What most often turns you off to a submission?
CL: Anything that deals with child molestation. I've unfortunately received numerous poems that sexualize children and it's just disturbing. I don't want to read anything that demeans another person, let alone a child. Writing about women in a demeaning way will stop me in my tracks as well and lead to a quick delete and rejection.
SQF: Do you provide comments when you reject a submission?
CL: No, I wish I had time to provide more feedback, but being a one woman show makes it impossible.
SQF: Your guidelines state you love well done second person POV in short fiction. Can you point us to a story and briefly explain why it fit this description?
CL: Attendance and "Blazing Tumbleweed" are two that come to mind. There are a few second-person pieces that are in the issues as well. I love second-person because it puts the reader in the middle of the action. "Attendance" is about a dying woman, but its the reader who is taking care of the woman and watching her slow deterioration. Second-person raises the stakes and makes you involved in the outcome. Second-person POV uses "you" and "we," rather than using third or first person. Not everyone can write second-person without sounding awkward, but when its done well I love it.
SQF: What one question on this topic do you wish I'd asked that I didn't? And how would you answer it?
CL: How can writers know if their work is a good match with Crab Fat?
Read Crab Fat. Write weird prose. Write striking verse. Sell me authenticity.
Thank you, Caseyrenée. We all appreciate you taking time from your busy schedule to participate in this project.
NEXT POST: 3/13—Six Questions for Mallory Smart, Editor-in-Chief, Maudlin House