Friday, May 12, 2017

Six Questions for Tolulope Oke and Damilare Bello, Co-founding Editors, Lunaris Review

Lunaris Review publishes literary flash fiction to 1,000 words, and short stories and creative non-fiction to 4,000 words. Read the complete guidelines here.

SQF: Why did you start this journal? 

Lunaris Review: As at its foundation, there were none or few magazines and journals of art in Africa that published non-Africans. Hence, Lunaris Review started as a platform to harness and project creativity from around the globe.

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

For Prose:

  1. A story that has followed submission guidelines. Too many submissions dwell on a badly structured story! 
  2. Flow. Every sentence should feed into the next in a not so forced way. A story that fulfills its mandate. No one wants a story whose plot is plagued with pretensions. 
  3. Character development. All characters must want something. We look for a story with well thought-out and harnessed philosophical/psychological thrust.

For Poetry: 1. Essence 2. Aesthetics 3. Originality

On every work that I sit to look at and pick from the numerous submissions, essence quickly becomes the first thing that I look out for. Essence to me is what defines the time frame of how impactful such work would be, say, thirty years from now. Essence gives me an impression of the depth and how profound that kind of work is and would be to humanity. Aesthetics is also an interesting thing that draws me to particular submissions from the lot. Aesthetics —the beau and aura— of works stimulates me to take a further read and critical yet objective selection of a person's work. Aesthetics, be it imagistic expressions and detailed metaphoric usage would get me selecting one kind of work over another. Finally, originality can't be ruled out when I am making selections from submissions. Originality holds a powerful light into the eyes of the readership — a kind way— measuring the prowess of the writer.

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


For Prose:

  • Verbosity. Most often than not you will find you are telling and not showing.
  • Dial down the suspense a notch. We need as much info as possible as soon as possible. 
  • Comma splices and punctuation errors.
  • Counter narratives and disjointed plots.

For Poetry: Poor verbiage and lack of essence. I believe that poetry, or any other kind of writing, should not be a centrality scope for looking for verbosity –a situation that draws so much into wrong usage. Without essence, a work loses its power; its feel... its growth over time.

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

LR: Sometimes. Feedback always builds writers. Also, if the writer demands, and sometimes if a story we desire needs a good deal of reworking.

SQF: What magazines/zines do you read on a “regular” basis? 

LR: Granta, Jalada, Enkare, The New Yorker, Afreada, Creative non/fiction, Aeon, Hazlitt. Ploughshares, One Throne Magazine.

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

LR: If you had asked what keeps Lunaris Review going? The answer is simple. A strong, dedicated and passionate Editorial Team, the love of art and the lovely responses we get from our contributors and readers.

Thank you, Tolulope and the Editorial Team. We all appreciate you taking time from your busy schedule to participate in this project.

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