SQF: Why did you start this magazine?
Brian Michael Barbeito: Bougainvillea Road exists in order to feature writing that is unique and daring. I like the entire lit mag idea and their atmosphere and aesthetic. Though lit mags are obviously quite numerous, I don’t think there can be too many venues out there. As a poet and writer, I have had pieces accepted to a fine home after having them rejected elsewhere. Maybe Bougainvillea Road can be that home for someone else’s piece. Also, I have run the circuit of being a submitter, and worked with many editors. Since I am familiar with the neighborhood, I am hoping to be a good guide and curator.
SQF: What are the top three things you look for in a submission and why?
BMB: Firstly, that the piece feels energetic in some way and has some verve and heart of some sort. That is hard to describe but it is there living in the words and against all logic and reason, somewhere around the words.The second trait that is looked for is uniqueness. We like quirky, idiosyncratic, daring. Whatever type of piece it is, if it has this unique vision and/or heart, the third thing to look for is whether it is crafted well. This does not mean orthodoxy or traditional though we don’t eschew those things. It means that the writer in the given instance succeeded in executing his or her plan and that the piece we are looking at really has come to some kind of fruition and has a confidence in itself.
SQF: What most often turns you off to a submission?
BMB: Too much extra information about the submission, or too much going on in the piece for the piece’s own good. Some of these include quotes, sub-headings, several italics. Short writing pieces, though there is exception to most rules, usually don’t merit chapters, sub-headings, directories, and the like. It’s better to present the piece simply as possible and let it speak for itself one way or another.
SQF: Are you interested in publishing fiction only, or will you consider creative nonfiction and other forms?
BMB: We publish fiction, creative non-fiction, essays, memoir, prose poems, hybrids, flash, micro and mini, short stories, vignettes, plays, poetry, visual art. BRLM will accept and consider for publication excerpts of novels, novellas, and novelettes as long as these pieces can stand alone. We do not publish book, film, music, or art reviews at this time.
SQF: What magazines/zines do you read regularly?
BMB: CV2, Catch and Release- The Columbia Journal of Arts and Literature, Vagabond City, Literary Orphans, Cicatrix, Contraposition. Many more.
SQF: What one question on this topic do you wish I'd asked that I didn't? And how would you answer it?
BMB: Why should a writer submit to Bougainvillea Road? The answer would be that Bougainvillea Road cares about the writers and presenting, archiving, and promoting their work the best we can at the site and also through social media platforms. BRLM is always one hundred percent anti-oppression and equality based. Writers retain copyright to their own work. At Bougainvillea Road you will be in good company among an eclectic and valorous bunch of creative types who are willing to stretch the limits of their craft and do it well in order to get their vision across.
Thank you, Brian. We all appreciate you taking time from your busy schedule to participate in this project.