Wm discusses how to generate submissions to a lit mag, specifically: exposure, prestige, editing, contributor copies, cash prizes, token payment, pro payment and revenue share.
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
You would think that with so few outlets for Mormon short fiction that submissions wouldn’t be a problem for any successor to Irreantum. My understanding is that that’s not necessarily the case. Very few Mormons fiction writers write Mormon fiction that shows the craft and maturity and potential appeal to readership that one would want in a lit mag that publishes more than four or five stories a year. A key reason for that, of course, is that there is little incentive to do so.
Any potential successor to Irreantum is going to have figure out how to increase both the number of submissions and the overall quality of them. That’s may be difficult, but I don’t see why one would even bother to launch a Mormon lit mag if you’re not going to aim to increase the number of stories written, submitted and published. If all the field needs are 8 or so short stories a year and a dozen to two dozen poems then that’s already covered between Dialogue, Sunstone and BYU Studies. So what can/do lit mags offer submitters?
Continue reading “Replacing Irreantum: Generating Submissions”
I’m sure that by now you’ve seen the winners of the which were announced last week. But have you also read Lisa Torcassso Downing’s post about this year’s fictioncontest? It’s very much worth checking out.
AMVer Tyler Chadwick won on honorable mention for his poetry. I hope that means that it will be published in a future issue. Although with only two issues a year and 5 poetry, 5 fiction and 4 essay winners (including honorable mentions), that’s pretty much both issues filled right there. I guess that’s why the publication no longer accepts rolling submissions.
I entered two stories in the contest this year: one was a piece of near future, post-apocalyptic science fiction that takes place in the same world as my 2010 contest entry; the other was a piece of contemporary literary fiction that takes place at an MLA conference in San Francisco. They definitely represent the two major tracks of my current fiction writing interests, and I’m currently wondering which one to go down.
Also last week: Volume 13, No. 1 of Irreantum arrived in the mail. I have yet to read it, but I did flip through it. AMVer Jonathan Langford contributes a review of Doug Thayer’s The Tree House. And several of our favorite commenters, including Scott Hales, Darlene Young, and James Goldberg have can be found in the table of contents. I also found myself looking at the cover and interior illustrations and thinking “huh, that style seems familiar to me.” Sure enough, Monsters & Mormon graphic novel artist Galen Smith contributed the art to this issue. I look forward to digging into it further.
I received a renewal notice with this issue. Printed at the bottom of the notice is — Irreantum featuring the NEW Mormon literature: “thoughtful, provocative, nuanced, articulate”
The deadline for the is this evening. I’m curious about what the rest of you are submitting. The Irreantum admins usually release how many total entries in a category, but I’d like to dig in a little deeper (but not in a way that tips your hand on exactly what you are submitting).
This poll is completely non-scientific, and I’m quite sure that most of those who enter don’t read AMV, but for those that do, please take a moment and fill out the following. Also: this poll (or rather series of polls) is more oriented towards fiction writers (who may also be poets and essayists). If there is interest in polls that come from the point of view of poets or essayists, let me know, and I’ll set something up.
So here’s what I’d like to know:
[poll id=”4″] [poll id=”5″] [poll id=”6″] [poll id=”7″]
I wasn’t going to do another round up post so soon, but three big pieces of news broke over the weekend (and in to yesterday — which was still my weekend because me and the family went to the Minnesota State Fair) that deserve a mention:
1. The have been announced. Irreantum co-editor Angela Hallstrom wrote in to the AML-list and said that while winning the contest is no guarantee of publication in Irreantum, most likely most of the winners will see their work featured in the magazine. Of note, for the first time the organizers revealed the number of entries — 71 for the fiction contest and 42 for the personal essay contest.
2. There’s a new edition of Mormon Artist. It includes a fascinating feature article by Iconia blogger (and artist and critic) Menachem Wecker titled “Are scholars and museums ignoring Mormon artists?” Mormon Artist editor Ben Crowder also announced that their fiction contest results and special issue should be available soon and that Mormon Artists is moving from a bi-monthly to quarterly schedule. As we’ve come to expect, this edition of Mormon Artist features great photography and illustration. In general, the Mormon publications have stepped up their game the past few years with their visual appeal — although some could still use better design and graphics.
3. The Mormon Review, a blog/online journal devoted to cultural criticism from a Mormon perspective, launched yesterday with a look at the two versions of Battlestar Galactica by James Bennett. I like that you can download PDF versions of the file. I think it’s weak that discussion on the articles is slotted over to time Times & Seasons. I’m not sure how The Mormon Review is going to carve out its own identity when most of the publicly viewed energy is directed towards T&S. But it’s off to a rollicking start, and it’ll be interesting to see what future articles bring us.
Irreantum 9.2./10.1 is a double issue, containing the fall/winter 2007 and the spring/summer 2008 editions. Edited by Angela Hallstrom, it contains seven pieces of fiction, two critical essays, two creative nonfiction essays, 11 poems and four reviews. It also features art work by Maralise Petersen.
With the abundance of short stories, the two critical essays and especially the original art, this double issue, in my mind, is the closest Irreantum has gotten to becoming the refreed, (utterly) literary journal that it claims it wants to be. These changes culminate a process that began several years ago when Laraine Wilkins took over the reins from Chris Bigelow. I have very mixed feelings about this process — and my reaction was made all the more complicated by the fact that this issue marks my debut in print. Continue reading “A look at Irreantum 9.2/10.1”
The next issue of Irreantum will feature “Speculations: Trees” my first creative work to be published in print. Many thanks to the editors for a) considering publishing an honorable mention and b) working with me to edit it for publication. It’s a double issue so it costs $10 and can be (you can also view the table of contents there). Or you can subscribe to a full year of Irreantum for $16. Or join the AML for $25.
But if you want to read it, you’ll have to track down a copy of the issue because out of respect for the AML, I will not be providing it for free anytime soon.
If you will be receiving this issue of Irreantum or are motivated to purchase it, you might want to wait and read the liner notes until after you have read it. Spoilers abound and a lot of the below won’t make sense without a knowledge of the work. Sorry.
I’m not sure how to describe “Speculations: Trees” — and have tried out several different options none of which seem to really work for people — but what I would currently call it is a series of five short pieces that are sort of a combination of creative exegesis, prose poem and parable. Or something like that. I’m open for suggestions. Anyway, here are my completely self-indulgent, but hopefully not entirely dull liner notes: Continue reading “Liner notes for “Speculations: Trees””
It’s good to see the Association for Mormon Letters working to get caught up with publication of its literary journal Irreantum. I always find it a bit puzzling and sad when a new issue is published and is not mentioned in the Bloggernacle, on the AML-List, etc. So I’m going to take a stab at a quick, subjective review of Volume 9, Number 1 (which I guess would be the spring 2007 issue).
I admit it. The major reason I keep my AML membership (and I did let it lapse for a while because I was unhappy about the delays with Irreantum and the lack of AML Annuals — which are very important to me because I’m not able to attend the yearly conference) is because I want access to short stories written for the Mormon market. I would be very happy if every issue, regardless of theme/focus, published 5-7 short stories.
This issue features four — the winners of the 2006 Irreantum Fiction Contest* (there was a tie for third place). I enjoyed them. I wish that there wasn’t such a bias towards your standard American literary realism short story. But I can’t really complain — two out of the four stories knocked my socks off, and I think that’s a pretty good ratio (the other two were just okay).
“Light of the New Day” by Darin Cozzens is the first place winner. It’s easy to see why. About a middle-age unmarried man who lives with his ancient, irascible, well-meaning-but-controlling mother on a farm, it is a polished, complete story with a couple of amazing images and all those small details and moments that literary readers enjoy. It’s a very good story that has some interesting things to say about the Mormon experience. Very anthology worthy. But it doesn’t really break any new ground in terms of Mormon literature — or rather it doesn’t do anything with form or content that really surprised me. And yet, I really like it. Continue reading “A look at Irreantum 9.1”