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Lit Mag Spotlight: Harpur Palate

HarpurPalate1Our Lit Mag Spotlight is shining its literary light on Harpur Palate! Their lovely staff took the time to talk to Writer’s Relief about what makes them swoon, what makes them tick, and what makes them “them.”

As always: Enjoy!

CONTEST: Leave a comment on this blog post by February 28 to enter to win a free issue of Harpur Palate, issue 12.1! Congratulations to our winner, Madison! Thanks to all who participated. This contest is now closed.

Give us the lowdown on your journal’s mission.

We are entirely run by the graduate creative writing students at Binghamton University, and our mission is to publish the best poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction we can get our hands on—whether by established authors, emerging writers, or international writers. Our editors change every year, but our main goal has always been to publish the best work we receive.

2. Describe your ideal submission in 15 words or less.

Fresh, well-written, and compelling. It resonates with readers and begs to be reread.

3. Tell us about a piece you recently published that got the staff really excited. Why did you love it? Why did it strike a chord?

In issue 11.2, we published Matthew Baker’s “The Misfortune That Summer,” which features a talking inflatable duck. The story’s style is very unique—we hadn’t published anything like it before. During the editorial process, we spent a long time discussing whether that piece fit Harpur Palate. Now it’s the piece we and readers comment on the most.

4. Regarding submissions: What’s the most common turn-off that you encounter (in terms of craft)?

In terms of craft, submissions that try too hard or were sent before they were ready. Don’t be in such a rush to get published that you neglect your work or make careless moves.

5. What’s the most common oversight (in terms of submission guidelines)?

We sometimes receive multiple submissions in the same reading period from an author. While we love to receive fresh work and encourage all writers to submit, it’s important that writers follow the guidelines and only submit once per reading period per genre (writers can submit both poetry and prose if they wish). It’s only fair to our submitters and to our editors, who read each submission with care.

6. Why is your journal awesome?

While our journal is a sleek bundle of the best poems and prose that come through our mailbox and Submittable portal, it is also the product of a group of people who seriously care about literature and are strongly active in Binghamton, New York’s literary community. Recently, our editors hosted Writing by Degrees, a conference that celebrates local and national writers as well as other literary journals. Our editors have also held a contest for undergraduate students at Binghamton University and workshopped with community members through the The Binghamton Poetry Project.

7. Where can readers find your submission guidelines?

On both our website and on our blog.

Check out Harpur Palate on Facebook and their blog, and follow them on Twitter!

Contest: Leave a comment on this blog post by February 28 to enter to win a free issue of Harpur Palate. This contest is now closed.

6 Responses to Lit Mag Spotlight: Harpur Palate

  1. Really interesting to hear what turns them off submissions :) Nice to know that’s it’s better to be patient with my work and to not take myself too seriously! :D

  2. Lisa, you may want to contact Harpur Palate directly with any inquiries regarding their conferences. Good question, though! You can find their contact information by visiting their site through the links in the blog article.

  3. It is nice you contacted me. I do not know what Binghamton Univ is; is it alternative? Will look it up. It is a sad state of affairs that people do not get heard more often by traditional universities. So many could write as well as published academics and novelists and never get heard, but, if treated ethically, their work would not be considered “worse.” Hope I win!

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