Friday, March 24, 2017

Six Questions for Diane D. Gillette and A. A. Malina, Editors, Cat on a Leash Review

Cat on a Leash Review publishes flash fiction under 1,000 words and short fiction of 1,000 to 2,500 words. Read the complete guidelines here.

SQF: Why did you start this magazine?

Diane Gillette: It was something I wanted to do for a very long time, but it was a daunting task to start on my own. When A. A. Malina and I started our writing partnership I brought up that it was a dream of mine. From there, we started sharing ideas and realized we had a similar vision of what this literary magazine could be.

A. A.: Starting a literary magazine wasn't even on my radar until I met Diane, but when she mentioned she wanted to, I was immediately intrigued. Our shared passion for fiction made this a perfect partnership.

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

D: We look for a lasting impression from the stories that we accept. It needs to be something that we keep thinking about long after we finish reading it.

A: We’re also looking for fresh approaches to storytelling. It can be a story we’ve heard before, but told in a way that surprises us.

D: We also really appreciate crisp, well-revised manuscripts.

A: Yeah, it’s common for writers to get eager and send a story out before it’s undergone enough revisions. We’ve turned away several stories that had a lot of potential, but just weren’t ready to be published yet. We often encourage writers to send us revisions of stories that we liked, though.

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

D: Stories that seem too familiar, such as the classic love story, hard-boiled detective story, coming of age story, etc.

A: We also turn away anything that has blatant misogyny, racism, homophobia, etc., if it doesn’t serve a purpose in the story. For instance, it’s fine if it’s used to develop a character, but not if it’s just there for shock value or to demonstrate the author’s own bigotry.

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

D: We don’t usually have the time to offer comments, unfortunately, but occasionally when we feel a story has a lot of potential and we want the author to know there were aspects of the story we enjoyed, we will give a personalized rejection with encouragement to re-submit.

SQF: You recently published your first issue. What advice would offer someone considering starting their own publication?

D:  I wouldn’t recommend trying to do this on your own.  We found out early on that it is a lot of work, but fortunately we had each other to lean on and pick up the slack when one us got to busy with the rest of our life.  Having a partner you can count on makes this much more manageable.

A: It’s also a good idea to start during a vacation or break, so that you have plenty of time to work on it without distraction.

D: Oh, and set realistic deadlines.  Give yourself enough time to actually get plenty of submissions and choose qualities ones.  And don’t forget to use social media to your advantage!

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

A: Well one aspect we didn’t cover was how we came up with the name of the literary magazine. We thought of it one day after going to a summer fest together. I was taking advantage of Diane’s air conditioning and endless supply of La Croix, talking about how I had tried to walk my cat, Nomar, on a leash the other day.

D: Then I suggested we call our lit mag Cat on a Leash Review.

A: I’d had the exact same thought at that moment, so it was immediately settled. Nomar became something of our mascot after that, particularly since he’s so photogenic.

D: Not that we’re crazy cat ladies or anything.

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

No comments:

Post a Comment