Friday, February 16, 2018

Six Questions for Eva Wong Nava, Founder/Editor, CarpeArte Journal

CarpeArte Journal publishes flash fiction/articles/essays to 1,500 words and poetry. Each submission needs to be inspired by a work of art (selected by the author or the editor). Read the complete guidelines here.

SQF: Why did you start this magazine?

Eva Wong Nava: I started CarpeArte Journal as a platform to publish my own pieces of writing. They range from flash to essays and reviews which have mostly been inspired by art. Each piece of writing on the blog features a piece of artwork which has inspired the story and acts as a segue into the story featured. At the end of each piece, under 'Eva's Comments', I offer a reading of the artwork and an explanation to why the art work is relevant (when possible) to the story. As an art historian, this is one way for me to talk about art and to use art as an inspiration point for story telling, fictional and/or otherwise.

I want to encourage new and emergent voices to the blog; to give other writers a platform for their stories. Writers are inspired by many things, mostly by images, in my view. These images are either embedded in our unconscious and have nothing to do with art at all or they are inspired by quotidian moving images. Many times, an object we see can stay in our dream space for some time before language comes into being.

Writers can submit a piece of art that has inspired their writing or one that s/he feels acts as a visual gateway into their work. They can explain why they've chosen this image which I will add to 'Eva Comments'. Failing that, I also accept writing that has not been accompanied by a piece of artwork. In this case, I will select a piece after reviewing the writing which I feel will segue into the writing. I must say that the pieces of artwork chosen have an art historical value to them. This allows me to relate any art historical information that is relevant to the artwork.

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


Is the writing of quality? Is there literature in the writing?
Does it make me think/reflect on the bigger picture that is life?
Is the writer using language that is original and/or awe-inspiring?

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


Sloppy work that has not been edited
and quotes from other authors embedded into the work.

I want to hear the writers' voices in all their rawness and originality.

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

EWN: If a piece is rejected, it is because it doesn't fit in with our style guide. A rejected piece is never about the unworthiness of the writing (I think there is value in every piece of written word) but merely due to personal taste which cannot be accounted for qualitatively, anyway.

Personal taste makes me reject writing that puts others down or language that is offensive; such pieces will be automatically rejected without comments. If I offer comments, it is because I feel that the work can be improved further; it is done with love from one writer to another, not critiquing for the sake of critiquing. A rejection is never about being a failure as a writer but about being more resilient as one; I'm happy to publish re-submitted work as I understand that the submission process can be such a daunting one. In terms of rejection, I have rejected artworks on account of the author not being able to find an appropriate way to credit the owner or artist of the work. This is important to me as an art historian. In this case, I will always find a piece to accompany the writing.

SQF: If CarpeArte Journal had a theme song, what would it be and why?

EWN: Vivo Per Lei by Andrea Bocelli because when one lives with love and passion, all things are possible. (Andrea Becelli's life is an example of this.) Writing is possible when one loves the craft enough to be pulled into it by all forms of words represented by the numerous languages in the world. I especially love the Italian language for its magic and rich tones.

This song is what I play when I start a piece of writing. I let the music linger in the background and allow the words to sink in before I type. This song is playing now as I respond to your questions.

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

EWN: Why is the journal called CarpeArte?

CarpeArte - Seize Art - is a spin on the famous saying CarpeDiem. A Picture Speaks a Thousand Words as the saying goes and that is what inspires me in my writing and I'm sure inspires others too. I want to see art and literature being made accessible to everyone.

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

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