Friday, September 18, 2015

Six Questions for Kathryn Merwin, Charlotte Covey, and Erin Taylor, Co-Editors-in-Chief, Milk Journal

Milk Journal is a biannual literary magazine that publishes poetry, fiction (including flash fiction), nonfiction, and reviews. Read the complete guidelines here.

SQF: Why did you start this magazine?

Milk Journal: We wanted to make something that anyone, anywhere, had a chance of getting accepted to, no matter their race, gender, orientation, or status in the writing world or in life in general. We wanted to read blind, so no one’s prior achievements or lack thereof would have bearing on their chance of having their work accepted. Also, we’re writers ourselves, of course, and we get tired of seeing boundaries placed on writers. We wanted to see what other writers could come up with if boundaries were taken away.

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

MJ: We look for something we haven’t seen before. Even if it’s not something we’re particularly into, something unique will definitely get you noticed, even if it ends in rejection. You want the editors to remember you. You want to push boundaries.  We look for a clear, cohesive plot. If we don’t know what’s going on in your poem or story, it won’t matter what the language sounds like. We also look for vivid imagery. We want to feel something when we read your work. We want to feel like we’re there getting our hearts ripped out right along with you.

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

MJ: When people don’t follow the guidelines! We read blind, so if people leave their name on the attachment, we can't consider them. We also like a good title. It’s the first thing we see, and it can really affect how we experience the poem or story.

SQF: Will you published works previously posted to a writer’s personal blog?

MJ: No, not at this time. We, like many other journals, consider that to be self-publication.

SQF: If Milk Journal had a theme song, what would if be and why?

MJ: I think we all agree that if we had a theme song, it would be, "The Last Lost Continent" by La Dispute. We all have tremendously different tastes in music, but as poets, lyrics are important to us. The lyrics to that song encompass our philosophy pretty seamlessly.

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

MJ: If I had to pose one, it would be, "What sort of content do you particularly enjoy in creative pieces?"

The answer to that question would be, we are especially drawn to work which tackles the issues faced by women, non-binary people, and other under-represented groups. We, as readers and writers, have noticed a painful lack of varied voices and backgrounds in the literary sphere. We want to be a part of the change.

Thank you, Kathryn, Charlotte and Erin. We all appreciate you taking time from your busy schedule to participate in this project.

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