SQF: Why did you start this magazine?
Richa Gupta: The reason I’ve come so far as a young writer is because of the acceptances I’ve received from other literary magazines. And I really want to give that opportunity to deserving young poets across the globe—because I know the power of a single acceptance: it can cement your confidence in yourself, and really increase your literary audience.
SQF: What are the top three things you look for in a submission and why?
RG: Most important aspect of a submission: the message. What is the poem/story trying to convey? Why read it? We look for the touching, the emotional, the frightening. It should be memorable, and not an adaptation of another literary piece. And that’s another facet: the voice. We want to hear the writer’s voice shine through; it can be tempting to emulate another poet, but one’s true voice may be lost in the process. It’s always important to use an authentic persona, since that can really enhance the message and tone of a poem. And lastly, the image. Can your words paint a picture in our mind? A word of advice: think of your words as a paintbrush, and the mind of your readers as the canvas.
SQF: What most often turns you off to a submission?
RG: Work that hasn’t been proofread. Grammatical and syntactical problems in an otherwise interesting piece can be very off-putting, not to mention irritating. It’s all right if you only submit a few lines of poetry—for we’d definitely prefer a short piece that has been proofread, to pages and pages of dangling modifiers and other grammatical issues.
SQF: How do you select works to appear in Moledro?
RG: Based on the answers in question two: the message, the voice, and the image. We want authentic, passionate voices that tell us something new. None of our issues are themed, thereby giving submitters the opportunity to truly let their juices flow. The received poems/stories are distributed to the editors; the editors are given a final date to respond to the submission with an accept or reject. Based on the reasons given by each one, in addition to the general consensus, the poem is either accepted or rejected. In the rare occasion that the editors are completely split over a submission, I personally consult with the managing editor, and the two of us make a final decision.
SQF: If you could have dinner with three authors, who would they be and why?
- (late) Ayn Rand: her philosophy of Objectivism intrigues me, and I’d definitely want to learn more about it.
- (late) Isaac Asimov: his science fiction stories, which span over a vast range of topics, are terrific! I’d love to know where he got his inspiration from.
- (cliché as this sounds) J. K. Rowling: Harry Potter is my childhood book… and, well, I’d just like to thank her for kindling my love of reading.
RG: I would go with: what are your future plans for Moledro?
Well, Moledro aims to publish every three months, and our second issue will be released in mid-June, 2016. Quite a few people have asked me about how long I’ll carry the magazine. And my answer is always the same: for as long as we can, for as long as we keep receiving fresh, exciting new submissions from budding writers.
Thank you, Richa. We all appreciate you taking time from your busy schedule to participate in this project.