Friday, November 23, 2018

Six Questions for Janet Kuypers, Editor, cc&d magazine ("Children, Churches and Daddies")

cc&d (founded 1993) publishes poetry , prose, nonfiction/essays and works of art.
Read the complete guidelines here.

cc&d was named after a poem that talked about the dysfunctional nature of those things at times (which is why the byline for "Children, Churches and Daddies" has been "the UN-religious, NON-family oriented literary and art magazine"), and has been released in many sizes and formats over the years. Now it is released as both a free online (web page) issue and an ISBN# perfect-bound paperback book at Amazon. (We cannot afford to give away books, so contributors are not paid for their material they submit to us for publication, but we do release it in issues online for free - and all accepted writers also have their writing published as their own page sorted under their name in the writings section which is probably the most popular part of the website.)

 SQF: Why did you start this magazine?

Janet Kuypers: While working as a graphic designer I saw that many people I was submitting writing to were also published in a lot of the magazines I saw circulating at the time. This made me think that if their editors are published in these magazines, maybe I could be an editor too, which started the "Scars Publications" umbrella, and then cc&d in June 1993.

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

 JK: I look for clear writing (so material is more understandable). I look for descriptive writing (I don't mean overly embellished descriptions, I mean writing with enough detail that makes you feel like you've lived through the scene in the writing). And, we are always impressed when an original message comes to us in a submission (material over the same usual topics is not rejected, but writing on a new subject or relating something different, or maybe a familiar topic but with a different thought approach or twist to it will really catch our attention).

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

 JK: We do not consider rhyming poetry. If you are busy searching for a rhyme to match your lines, then you are not actively looking for the best word to accurately describe what you really want to say. The reader also gets lost in the rhyme instead of the message.

We also reject flowery pieces relating successes in life to a Christian god. (As I said, our byline is that we are UN-religious.) That does not mean we do no carry pieces that bring up religion - we do, on many religions, but back in the snail-mail early days of "Children, Churches and Daddies" we'd get cover letters saying things like "I'm a Christian mother for 4 and here are my rhyming poems."

SQF: What do you look for in the opening paragraph(s)/stanza(s) of a submission?

 JK: We look for something that makes us want to read on. I know that sounds vague, but the opening should have power. Make sure your opening is strong, so we don't have to go through a third to half of the piece to get the point.

SQF: Many editors list erotica, or sex for sex sake, as hard sells. What are hard sells for your publication?

 JK: The first sentence in our guidelines under "the really technical details", is that we don't go for racist, sexist (therefore no pornography either), or homophobic stuff.

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

 JK: I think I would like to address how poetry (which used to be something loved by many and was considered an important art) seems to have lost its value over the years, and how magazines like cc&d try to keep the poetry message out to as many people as possible. It seems like a futile effort sometimes (when people yell at us because we do not give away Amazon books to all contributors; here's a news flash, everything we do costs money and we lose money trying to bring literature and art to people), but sometimes, because it its such a hard sell, that keeps us going.

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

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