Friday, February 1, 2019

Six Questions for Veronica Mattaboni, Editor-in-Chief, Peach Velvet Mag

Peach Velvet Mag publishes themed zines online and in print. Each of our zines is a self-contained narrative, cobbled together from contributors around the globe to form a new story for each theme. PV Mag accepts poetry, prose, art and anything in-between that’s 750 words or less. Writers and artists can learn more about our submissions process and FAQ here.

SQF: Why did you start this magazine?

Veronica Mattaboni: The idea to create Peach Velvet Mag was a culmination of several different things that had been stewing in my brain tank for a while:

I wanted to feel connected to a writing community that I could nurture, cheer on, and participate in. I wanted a publication that not only gave writers a chance to put their work up on the wall of greatness, but help create and develop something new and fascinating for the world. I wanted to do something that mattered.

And it wasn’t until I was walking through the labyrinth of publication tables at my first AWP Conference book fair, watching all the eager literary magazines shaking hands with writers and showing off the little literary worlds they’d built for themselves, that the idea solidified for me.

I came home from that conference, and a month later PV Mag came screaming into existence, in all its single blog page glory. It was messy and unruly and not quite sure which way was up, but we had determination and fistfuls of heart, which have taken us a long way. It’s mind-blowing for me how much we’ve grown since then, and we’re nowhere near finished. Keep an eye on PV Mag; we’ve got big plans.

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

VM: When our editorial team is digesting work, we first consider these three things:

Purpose: We want to walk away with something. Without purpose, it can be hard to justify why we should accept a piece. Every author has something that motivates them to write, something they’re trying to achieve with their work, and we want to see that your work achieves it.

Poignancy: We want work that evokes thought or emotion and resonates. We want your words to stick with us, to give us something to chew on, to be gripping.

Relevancy: We want work that speaks to the theme and our new adult audience. Each zine we produce revolves around a specific theme, and we should be able to understand how your submission relates to the theme. As well, our audience is generally 20-somethings, so we always keep that in the back of our minds while considering submissions.

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

VM: Well we make a point of not giving space to disrespect, hate, prejudice, unnecessary rudeness, and any work in which the purpose of the piece is to hurt others. So that’s an immediate turn off.

Outside of hateful language, we are often turned off when we get work that isn’t publish-ready. We’re your editors, not your mother. We’re not here to clean up your rough draft or proofread for you. We expect submissions to be polished, print-ready material.

That being said, we do often make suggested edits to help mesh together the collective concept of each zine, so all the pieces we accept make sense in the overall narrative of that zine’s theme.

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

VM: The words orgasmic, groin, and buttocks have not gone over well. If it’s cringe-worthy, chances are it’s going to be a tough sell.

SQF: If Peach Velvet Mag had a theme song, what would it be and why?

VM: For sure it would be Move Forward by Nelson Can, because much like Nelson Can, we are small but mighty, and now that we’re finally starting to pick up traction in the literary world, we’re going to keep moving forward into PV Mag’s bright future.

“Even if you can’t run, if you can’t walk, if you can’t crawl—move forward.”

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

VM: I’d love to talk a little bit about what makes our zines unique!

Unlike many literary magazines, our publications are not anthologies or collections of works. Each of our zines are designed around a specific theme or prompt, and the work we publish becomes a spliced patchwork of thoughts and notions that come together to form a narrative. Each zine is a new story. We choose our submissions based on how they work together and how they add to the overall narrative. I encourage writers and artists to look at our website to see what themes we’ll be calling for next, so they can be a part of that narrative.

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

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