Riddled with Arrows is an online literary journal dedicated to writing about writing. We seek (short) metafiction and metapoems, and writing that celebrates the process and product of writing as art. No restrictions on genre or form, so long as the work is about writing, straight up. Read the complete guidelines here.
SQF: Why did you start this magazine?
Shannon Connor Winward: I kept seeing guidelines for journals and lit mags that specifically discourage writing about writing. It blows my mind that there's this taboo in the literary community against literature exploring itself. I think that's ridiculous and unnecessarily limiting and in a way it devalues what poets and writers do. Riddled with Arrows was created to fight against that, in some small way--we want to create a safe haven for metafiction and metapoems, and writing that celebrates the process and product of writing as art.
SQF: What are the top three things you look for in a submission and why?
SCW: First, the submission must have some meta- or writing-related element, since that is our primary editorial interest. If we are reading for a themed issue, the submission must also satisfy that theme. Secondly, I look for a strong voice, evocative language and artistry, great storytelling, a clever twist, a killer line—something compelling and noteworthy. Lastly, I look for work that is not exactly like what we've already published—I want a new approach to the genre, something I never thought of. But it also has to snuggle in with the concepts I'm developing for a given issue. I like to arrange poems and stories so that they take on new dimensions when considered with their surrounding work. Each issue is meta-tastic.
SQF: What most often turns you off to a submission?
SCW: Erotica for its own sake with little or no consideration of our editorial mission, particularly where women are merely objects in some guy's gore-fantasy. I also get twitchy when it's clear a submitter didn't read our guidelines.
SQF: Do you provide comments when you reject a submission?
SCW: It isn't always practical, but I try. The submission process can be so demoralizing. I want to let writers know they are valued and that a rejection isn't personal.
SQF: If Riddled With Arrows had a theme song, what would it be and why?
SCW: "My Baby Loves a Bunch of Authors" by Moxy Fruvous, for reasons I think are pretty clear. (Great question!)
SQF: What one question on this topic do you wish I'd asked that I didn't? And how would you answer it?
SCW: Are we a paying market? Damn right we are, because we value authors. That said, most of our budget is funded by financially struggling authors, so we welcome contributions. There's a "donate" button on our homepage.
Thank you, Shannon. We all appreciate you taking time from your busy schedule to participate in this project.