Wm discusses staffing and production for any potential successor to Irreantum.
This is a continuation of my analysis of the barriers involved in replacing Irreantum, the now defunct literary journal of the Association for Mormon Letters. Other installments:
Scope/Positioning | Staffing/Production | Generating Submissions | Financial Models | Starting Up
A literary magazine/journal is nothing without an audience, but it can’t even try to establish an audience without staffing to create the thing. That’s an obvious statement, but in the world of Mormon letters it represents a major challenge to any ongoing attempt to publish fiction. Very few fiction magazines can support a full-time staff. Many rely on institutional affiliation or at the very least on key staff who have faculty positions at institutions that will give them the time and even credit towards promotion/pay increases for their work on the journal. As far as I know there is no institution that would be willing to provide that. I don’t know that that’s the best idea anyway because of the issues I raise in the previous post. Academic or foundation support comes with a certain set of expectations that are often inimical to the more populist scope that a successor to Irreantum probably should attempt. Irreantum struggled with staffing, especially succession planning. In fact it’s amazing that it lasted as long as it did, and I personally am grateful for all of the hours that its various editors and other staff put into it. Continue reading “Replacing Irreantum: Staffing/Production”
For the complete list of columns in this series, .
Recently in a over at the AML blog, William Morris (someone I greatly respect and often agree with) talked about being frustrated by his first drafts because “the language seems so mundane.” Which resulted in one of those sinking feelings on my part — you know, like the one you get when the speaker in sacrament meeting talks about how bad things were when they missed their daily family scripture study, just when you were feeling good about reading scriptures together once last week. Or maybe like how you feel — at least, the way I feel — when I turn on the radio to one of those money management programs that keeps talking about how much I should already have saved for my retirement. But that’s another (though not entirely unrelated) topic.
The point is that I don’t really feel like much of a stylist. Sure, I revise — but it’s not to achieve any kind of lyrical prose effects. Really, I have only 2 main goals: to make my writing quick, clear, and easy to read, and achieve some kind of consistency in my characters’ voices. Those are hard enough.
Continue reading “The Writing Rookie Season 2, #5: Writing in the Plane Style”
I started to comment on Tyler’s post, “Preach on, Sister Meyer. Preach On.” But–look out–the comment mushroomed. Adam G’s comment especially caught my attention. His question seems to be, is it possible to talk about poetry–especially in terms of hierarchies and other high-falutin’ standards for determining a poem’s worthiness–with language that doesn’t float above us like a leviathan, bomb-totin’, gas-filled bag of pretension?
If that’s his question, I think it’s a good one. Continue reading “Poetry, asters to zeppelins”
Zoe Murdock owns, with her husband, H.O.T. Press, which for years published tech manuals. When she decided to write fiction–the semi-autobiographical novel Torn by God: A Family’s Struggle with Polygamy–she just went ahead and published it herself. (personal website, twitter)
Moriah Jovan started B10 Mediaworx to publish her novel The Proviso. The novel is the first in a six-part series. The second volume, Stay, will be released around Thanksgiving. (blog, novels website, twitter)
Riley Noehren is the author of Gravity vs. the Girl. And, yes, she published it herself under the name Forty-Ninth Street Publishers. (blog, twitter)
Table of contents
On the seemingly larger number of LDS women than LDS men in indie publishing
The future roles of traditional/indie publishers and traditional/e distribution
How to get folks to your site
On editing for publication
On paying the bills
On selling out
What we can expect from them in the future
Back to work
Now let’s start by letting them introduce themselves: Continue reading “Those LDS Ladies of Indie Publishing”
Part III: Poetry, Style and Literary Craft in the Book of Mormon
Often in Family Home Evening we would read from different translations of the Bible. Someone would have the KJV, someone else The Jerusalem Bible, another The Revised Standard or New English Version. We would take turns reading and the others would follow along in their translations, and sometimes comment on what we read. Shortly after my brother Kevin returned from his mission he read The Book of Mormon in Finnish and we followed along in English.
When we read Nephi’s lament at the death of Lehi in 2 Nephi 4 my father told us this was a psalm, and the only psalm in The Book of Mormon. I had begun noticing a lot of poetry in the Bible, partly because The Jerusalem Bible and others format the poetry as poetry, but thought there was not much in The Book of Mormon, except Alma’s “Oh, that I were an angel.” I know now there is a great deal more poetry in the Book of Mormon than Nephi’s psalm. Indeed, every time a writer says “Oh,” it is likely the start of a poem. Even without looking at chiasmus there is a lot of lyric poetry, including the Zoramites’ prayer on the Rameumptom and Nephi’s prayer on the garden tower. Continue reading “Gadianton the Nobler, Reflections on Changes in the Book of Mormon”
A prospective author I spoke with last week wanted to know what the next step should be in getting his manuscript published. The author told me about the project’s subject (a subject outside of what I publish) and explained that he had already written quite a bit of the manuscript, a non-fiction work, and wondered if he should approach agents or publishers about getting the manuscript published.
So I asked him who had read the manuscript.
No one, he admitted.
I’ve run into this situation before. Somehow some authors miss a critical step in preparing a manuscript for submission to agents and publishers — criticism. No author does his best work without feedback from others — feedback that identifies problems with a manuscript, that mentions its strengths and weaknesses and helps the author to decide what to change and what to leave alone.
In this case the author recognized the wisdom of getting criticism, and asked me to read and criticize his manuscript.
Of course, I said no.
Continue reading “Finding Criticism”