Friday, September 11, 2015

Six Questions for Marie Schutt, Founding Editor, Liminoid Magazine

Liminoid Magazine is a free, online publication that publishes four issues per year. Our mission is to promote unique fiction that's on the cusp: neither here nor there, unbound by convention or genre expectations. We accept fiction of 500 to 10,000 words. Read the complete guidelines here.

SQF: Why did you start this magazine?

Marie Schutt: After I graduated, it took me a long time to figure out how to manage a day job and still embark on my career as a writer. Basically, adult stuff. Eventually, I figured out how to fit it all in and get the writing done, but I realized I was very disconnected from the larger literary community, and I wanted to find a way to be more involved with all the people who were doing what had been my dream career since I could hold a pencil. I was submitting my work, following a lot of writers and magazines in various places, and reading the new stuff when I had time, but that was about it—and it wasn’t enough.

I finally just decided to jump in and do it. What I hope to accomplish with Liminoid Magazine is to provide a platform and support for writers who are doing excellent work.

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

MS: Style is incredibly important to me. Liminoid Magazine has a certain aesthetic, and I’m attracted to work where there is a very defined, clear voice maintained throughout the piece, a deliberate economy of language. There’s always a little thrill when I come across stories like this—when I find a sentence or a word choice that’s unexpected (because I’m reading it for the first time, because I wouldn’t have thought to write it that way) yet expected (because it fits with the rest). I also like to see writers take on elements of different genres and create something new and interesting out of them. New interpretations of reality, challenging identities, interesting formatting choices, that kind of thing. Lastly, I want to see work that represents the best a writer has to offer, no matter what stage of their career they’re in: work that obviously challenged him or her as she was writing it, revising it, making it whole.

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

MS: A lot of editors probably say this, but it’s disappointing to me when it’s clear that someone hasn’t bothered to proofread or polish up their work before submitting. I see a lot of first drafts, but as I said before, I want to see the best a writer can do—work they can be proud of, work that represents their talents well. Even tiny, brand new magazines like Liminoid Magazine receive tons of submissions, so the very least submitters should do is meet the most basic of requirements (not to mention submission guidelines).

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

MS: Unfortunately, no. If I am on the fence about a submission but ultimately reject it, I may include a comment or two, or if someone asked a specific question in their submission email I’ll answer it in the response. Unfortunately there are just too many to supply comments for everyone, though I wish I were able to.

SQF: If you could have dinner with three authors, who would they be and why?

MS: Amelie Nothomb (her novel Hygiene and the Assassin totally changed my views on how novels could be structured), Yasunari Kawabata (his Palm of the Hand Stories is one of my most beloved short story influences, and where I found the first examples of effective ‘negative space’ in storytelling), and probably Amelia Gray, because THREATS and Gutshot might be the only things I’ve read that I’ve actually had physical reactions to. (It probably doesn’t help that I read parts of both on a plane.) I find her writing so disorienting, yet so true to human interaction and the ways our perceptions of situations are often so completely disconnected.

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

MS: Well, I’m always interested in hearing other editors talk about how their own experiences as writers and contributors affects their approach to editing, so I guess it would be “How have your experiences as a writer affected the way you edit?” I am pretty early in my career as a writer but when I review submissions I’ve become extra-aware of response times (and the time management needed to get back to people in a respectful amount of time—it’s harder than it looks when you’ve got a full-time job). Also building the image of the magazine in places other than our issues and website—making it something people are curious about and will share with other people, since that’s how I’ve discovered a lot of the journals I’m into.

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

No comments:

Post a Comment