Sonic Boom publishes experimental poetry, Japanese short-forms including haiku, senryu, and tanka, flash fiction/hybrids/haibun, and visual art in a plethora of media. Read the complete guidelines here.
SQF: Why did you start this magazine?
Shloka Shankar: I turned to creative writing rather tentatively in my twentieth year, and wrote morbid poetry. I never saw myself as a poet, but it was cathartic, if not anything else. I started doing some research and decided to put myself on the literary map. I began experimenting with different forms along the way, including Japanese short-forms and found poetry, and contemplated starting a journal of my own. I didn’t know if I was being overly ambitious, what with my half-baked knowledge and a few dozen publication credits.
I envisioned for Sonic Boom to provide a platform that would showcase all forms of the written word, without genre distinctions. I wanted the amalgamation of the “mainstream,” the contemporary, and the bizarrely, yet accessible experimental forms of work.
SQF: What are the top three things you look for in a submission and why?
SS: Freshness. A strong voice. A risk taker.
What will always stand out in a piece of writing, poem, or artwork is its freshness. Tell us what we know in ways we never thought possible or imagined, in a voice that is uniquely yours, rid of artificiality, clichés, and the “need” to impress. Blend genres, invent your own rules, metre, or form, and, most importantly, be true to your craft.
SQF: What most often turns you off to a submission?
SS: Writers who submit their work without having read our submission guidelines and past issues. We know it can get tiresome to read all the journals out there, but if it’s not a right fit for us, why bother at all?
We are all human and none of us claims to be infallible, so we ignore most spelling errors, but bad grammar and awful sentence constructions make us feel queasy.
SQF: Do you provide comments when you reject a submission?
SS: I try to provide comments and suggestions wherever possible, especially if a piece could possibly find a home elsewhere, or if it truly just wasn’t for us at that time. There’s no such thing as a polite rejection, but we try our best to soften the blow.
SQF: What magazines/zines do you read on a “regular” basis?
SS: I enjoy reading Right Hand Pointing, Otoliths, Failed Haiku, the other bunny, The Wanderer, Otata, Bones, Poetry WTF?!, NOON: journal of the short poem, and many other fine journals.
SQF: What one question on this topic do you wish I'd asked that I didn't? And how would you answer it?
SS: What are your future plans for Sonic Boom?
We hope to launch Sonic Boom Press later this year and are eagerly looking forward to publishing chapbooks and e-books by some of our most favourite writers and authors. We will also be coming out with a “best of” early next year.
Thank you, Shloka. We all appreciate you taking time from your busy schedule to participate in this project.