"We Love Our Readers. We Love Our Community." Editors on What They're Grateful For
Q: It's the time of the year for giving thanks...so take this opportunity to express gratitude for someone/something in your literary life.
Jason Teal, Founding Editor, Heavy Feather Review:
I'm thankful we can celebrate contributors past and future, who allow us to represent their work in print and online. Despite everything else in life, working with words has been a significant joy for me. Designing books, reading new submissions--publishing is just one way I've tried to give back over the years, and I hope to grow that response over time. Seeing community in action, whether it's small presses promoting necessary art through every kind of conceivable act, or donating sales to great organizations like ACLU and SPLC, adds momentum to this calling and fills me with a frenzy for outreach and trying to find more and more connections and opportunities between writers. Thank you so much for this opportunity, readers. Thanks also to my editors I've been so fortunate to work with along the way. Though we can't always/ever eat together, I think a lot about you and the mutual appreciation we foster.
Leah Scott, Senior Editor, F(r)iction:
What a lovely question. As an editor, I'm always grateful for writers who respond well to constructive criticism and are enthusiastic about improving their work. I also belong to a writing group—we've been toying with the name "Beak Eaters Collective," though nothing's set in stone—and these seven folks are immeasurably important to each other's creative process. We've somehow managed to maintain weekly meetings for several years, and the feelings of solidarity, support, and critique make writing a much less solitary practice. They're the best.
Andres Rojas, Poetry Editor, Compose:
I am thankful for the ecosystem of poets/editors I have on social media (especially Twitter and Facebook): support (both literary and political), book and essay suggestions, sharing poems, good news. Also it does have its downsides: others' successes can be intimidating and overwhelming, can feed self-doubt, but ultimately I am thankful for their successes because it shows me it is possible.
Jessica Rosevear Fox, Editor, Killing the Angel:
I'm grateful for all of the authors who have entrusted their work to us these five years that Killing the Angel has been releasing issues, and I'm grateful for the community of readers that has supported us and the work we do.
Philip Elliot, Founder & Editor-in-Chief, Into the Void:
I'm grateful for my little pugalier Darla who sits beside me all day when I'm writing and editing and only sometimes looks longingly at me for a walk/attention to which I inevitably and often immediately cave. Being a writer is in many respects a totally senseless activity of willful isolation and Darla and her little face make the whole thing much more tolerable! She also accompanies me on every trip to the post box to send out all the magazine copies. She is as much an Into the Void staff member as any editor!
JT Lachausse, Editor-in-Chief, Matador Review:
I’d like to thank Conner Habib, who is a rising force in the online literature community. We had the opportunity to interview Conner for our first issue, and his worldview has given us much direction. An advocate for greater spirituality and sexuality in academia, he represents the “alternative” nature that TMR embodies. A writer, a porn star, an occult philosopher, Conner reminds us that the personal is political, and we arm ourselves with this charge, and we thank him for the war drums.
Zach Yontz, Fiction Editor, Gigantic Sequins:
I'm thankful for George Saunders being totally cool when I met him at a reading and spilled my guts to him about what his writing has meant to me. Totally gracious and sweet. I'm also thankful for City Lit books in Chicago. They're super integrated into the local community and do a great job highlighting local authors and providing space for learning more about the literary community.
R.M. Cooper, Founder & Managing Editor, Sequestrum:
We love our readers. We love our community. We love new and old writers who tirelessly put pen to paper. We love you, and for that we're thankful. But this year, let's hear it for the delete button. 95% of the time, writing is 100% not ready for a reader's eyes. So be grateful to that little [delete/dele/backspace/<---] button. Thanks for letting us sound like dunces. Who else would forgive us?
Michael Prihoda, Founding Editor, After the Pause:
In thinking of the people who most impacted my literary life, I always come back to my former English teachers and professors. So for my mother, Ms. Anderson, Ms. Griener, Prof Hensley, and Prof Taylor, a wealth of gratitude. And for as much as I always told myself I would end up only in the literary world and not in education, I couldn't escape education and wound up in both, editing a magazine and teaching secondary English to a bunch of fourteen year olds.
Joe Ponepinto, Publisher and Fiction Editor, Tahoma Literary Review:
For TLR, I'd like to thank lit journal guru Jane Friedman for her advice and support, as well as co-editors Kelly Davio and Yi Shun Lai for putting up with my hare-brained "idea of the week" for the last 3 years. And a special thanks to our cover artists for their fabulous work. People tend to forget what an important part they play in making a lit journal successful. Personally, I'll thank Leland Cheuk of 7.13 Books for selecting my novel "Mr. Neutron" for publication in spring 2018.