Friday, June 7, 2019

Six Questions for Genevieve Kersten and Eric Andrew Newman, Editors, Okay Donkey Magazine

Okay Donkey publishes poetry and flash fiction to 1,500 words. “Our donkey likes to read the odd, the off-kilter, and the just plain weird. If it has animals in it, even better. The donkey likes to read about animals.” Read the complete guidelines here.

SQF: Why did you start this magazine?

Eric & Genevieve: Since we're both writers ourselves, Eric of flash fiction and Genevieve of poetry, we've already been a part of the lit community for a few years. Eric has also worked as reader for a lit journal and loved getting to read new submissions every week.

There's just so much great, weird writing out there, we wanted to be a part of sharing it with the wider world.

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

E&G: First, it has to be weird, surreal or bizarre. Realism has its place, but it’s not here. We love the experimental.

We also love micros, whether it’s micro poetry or micro fiction. Although, there is a high bar for micros as you have so few words to make an impact.

Finally, we like a strong narrative. When some folks hear that we want weird, surreal, and/or experimental stuff, they throw narrative out the window. But we still want to see our stories and poems hang together in a cohesive way.

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

E&G: The obvious ones: racism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia. We feel that hate has no place in the lit community. We want to be welcoming to all people and have as many diverse voices as possible.

SQF: Is it really necessary to read the guidelines? They’re often long and boring.

E&G: Yes, it’s disrespectful to the publication not to read the submission guidelines. Luckily, our submission guidelines are pretty simple! One piece of flash fiction or poetry at a time, and the flash fiction should be under 1,500. As such, we tend not to like it when people send us three poems at once, or a 2,000 word story.

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

E&G: Like a lot of folks, graphic sex and/or graphic violence that seems gratuitous or exploitative are hard sells for us, especially violence against women or cruelty to animals.

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

E&G: Submission fees! We're committed to be a submission fee free magazine for as long as we're running. Unfortunately, this means we'll most likely be unable to pay our contributors, but it's really important to us that submitting to our magazine is free and accessible for everyone

Thank you Genevieve and Eric. We all appreciate you taking time from your busy schedule to participate in this project.

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