Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Six Questions for Jeremiah Walton, Editor, Nostrovia! Poetry

Nostrovia! Poetry is a small, independent online press that publishes poetry through anthologies, contests, blogs, and various other platforms.  The goal is to promote poetry for everyone, but specifically the youth.  Learn more here.

SQF: Why did you start this magazine?

JW: Nostrovia! Poetry isn't a magazine. It's a mixture of publishing mediums meshed together to promote poets and writing in general but with a focus on the youth. I started the website with the focus entirely on my writing. Nostrovia! is the title of a poetry collection that I ignorantly attempted to publish through a vanity press in 2011, my Junior year of High School. I surrendered to them this year, after a long battle that lead to a pricey defeat and have taken the project into my own hands. It was a lesson I learned well. In late 2011, Nostrovia! Poetry began offering a blog form of publication to writers. It simply grew from there. 

Nostrovia! Poetry's mission is to rid the youth of their preconceived concepts regarding poetry. My peers label poetry as the "squawking of heart broken old men". I am not demeaning the literary merit of a love poem by stating this but simply saying that my generation's stereotype of poetry is unworthy of the craft.  

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

JW: I look for authenticity, power, and originality. I want your unique perspective on your personal world. I want your poem to be powerful, even if that power is projected in a subtle way. Experiment, create something new for me to read.

SQF: What common mistakes do you encounter that turn you off to a submission?

JW: When a submitting writer does not read the submission guidelines. I too often receive emails with the subject line "Poetry Submission," but they do not specify what publishing platform they are submitting to, whether it's blog or anthology, zine or nano.     

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

JW: I try to but don't for all. If I feel the piece of writing has some merit, then I will respond with encouragement and constructive criticism but also remind them that this is only my opinion, and there are thousands of other people who'd feel differently. 

SQF: Based on your experience as an editor, what have you learned about writing?

JW: I've learned that publication depends on the editor's taste. When submitting writing, it's best to seek a home for your work that seeks writing similar to your individual style, and the editor is the gatekeeper that decides if your work is allowed in. 

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

JW: "Do you publish writing previously published on a writer's blog?'

Yes. Great writing is great writing, and it needs to be shared.

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

NEXT POST: 3/08--Six Questions for Sam Bellotto Jr., Editor, Perihelion Science Fiction

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