Friday, November 8, 2019

Six Questions for Fred Charles and Annie James Thomas, Editors, Loud Coffee Press

Loud Coffee Press publishes flash fiction (99 to 1,000 words), poetry, and art. “Since its inception in 2019, Loud Coffee Press has sought flash fiction, poetry, and art that loosely combine elements of coffee and music. That's not to say our stories are about coffee and music - these components can either whisper in a story or scream as loud as the author prefers.” Read the complete guidelines here.

SQF: Why did you start this magazine?

Loud Coffee Press: The driving force behind Loud Coffee Press was our desire to create a writing outlet that gives back. We (Fred and Annie) are active in writing communities on multiple social media outlets, in our local communities, and online forums. We have a passion to share outstanding talent with the world and offer a platform to those around us. Do we believe in fate? Maybe. Annie always held a desire to start a literary magazine and Fred had run a literary magazine in the past. Starting this one was as easy as it was hard; coming up with the concept was the unique part. Loud Coffee Press was born out of a shared love for coffee and music… and, of course, writing.

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

LCP: First, we want to be wowed with creativity and boldness, and we don’t shy away from experimental works. Second, pieces that amuse and entertain us will almost always garner a fast read. Lightness in tone or theme can be helpful, although it’s not always necessary. We don’t take ourselves too seriously, and our chosen pieces, though polished and reflective of excellent writing, tend to be on the entertaining end of the spectrum. Finally, we want the story to carry strong emotion, contain the twist that’s key to flash fiction, and continue to resonate after we’ve put it down.

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

LCP: We have unique submission guidelines so we encourage submitters to read them. If you catch us in a good mood, we might be willing to overlook some guideline mistakes for the sake of a fantastic piece. However, our most significant turn-offs come in the form of bland, generic stories, pieces that don’t contain a story arc, or topics that are derivative of current trends. We love music-focused submissions, but we often have to deny a great piece because it could potentially violate copyright law with quoted song lyrics.

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

LCP: Draw us right in. We want to be dazzled with the opening lines of anything we receive. Make us question our beliefs about writing. Allow us to feel what the writer felt as those words first came to life. Most importantly, drop us in at a critical point. In flash fiction, it’s often said that during revisions, a writer can eliminate their first, if not the first and second paragraphs and still have a solid opening scene.

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

Loud Coffee Press avoids anything gratuitous that does not serve the story. We’ll consider almost anything if it’s key to telling an utterly compelling story. But, if it’s an especially heavy topic, it probably has to work a little harder to prove it’s worth in our magazine. Like we said, we tend towards the lighter and more amusing. We also draw hard lines with stories that intentionally shame, or we think would be offensive to the general population.

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

LCP: What makes us different from the sea of literary magazines that already exist? We like to think we stand out with our theme. All of our submissions have some hint of coffee or music. We’re also working on a second arm of our journal, called our “Jam Session,” where we invite writers and artists to “play in our sandbox.” Here, we work as a community to build an interactive world based on each other’s writing. Additionally, we interact heavily with our writing community via social media, contests, and blog posts. Finally, we, Fred and Annie, work as a cohesive team, continually building inspiration to take Loud Coffee Press to new and exciting places.

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

1 comment:

  1. herbkitson6@gmail.comApril 30, 2024 at 2:50 PM

    Do you consider submissions all year, or do you have a specific reading period? I love the title of your magazine. I have often burned my tongue drinking loud coffee on the run.