For this week’s Lit Mag Spotlight, our new recurring feature, we have the pleasure of getting you better acquainted with The Carolina Quarterly, a great market for NEW writers! Open-minded and determinedly versatile, The Carolina Quarterly prides itself on constantly evolving and taking risks. Read on to see what makes The Carolina Quarterly tick!
CONTEST! Leave a comment by November 17th to win a FREE one-year subscription to The Carolina Quarterly with a choice of one historic back issue (Choice of Fall 1969 featuring Raymond Carver, Spring 1972 featuring Annie Dillard, Spring 1982 featuring Denis Johnson, or Summer 2000 Thomas Wolfe Centennial Issue). U.S. residents only. This contest is now closed. Congratulations to our winner Cheryl D. Thank you to all who participated!
Let the Q&A begin!
1. Give us the lowdown on your journal’s mission.
Our editorial staff is entirely composed of University of North Carolina graduate students and undergrads, and changes frequently. That means the journal constantly reinvents itself. We don’t get bogged down in one particular style or school of literature. Eclecticism is our strength.
We feel that the mission of a literary journal is to provide a home for the works of new writers and introduce our readership to authors they may not be able to read elsewhere. Since we publish three print issues per year and the equivalent of two issues in online content, we can afford to take risks on less-than-perfect work and will often invest the time honing it with the author. For this reason alone, we find ourselves publishing several first-time or early-career writers in each issue.
2. Describe your ideal submission in 15 words or less.
It should begin with the pleasure of novelty and end with the ache of recognition
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? Can readers find it online?
In our most recent issue, Fall 2011 61.2, we published “In Perfect English,” by Nahal S. Jamir. The fiction editors had already selected two funny, quirky, dialogue-heavy fiction pieces for the issue—both on the longer side—when they stumbled upon this story in our slush pile. Coming in at a tight four pages, the story nevertheless is able to build a great deal of pathos and a complex character sketch of a first-generation Iranian immigrant woman cooking dinner for her visiting adult children. The language is so delicate—simple yet poetic—that we selected a quote from this piece to feature on the back cover. A sample of the first page can be viewed here.
4. Regarding submissions: What’s the most common turn-off that you encounter (in terms of craft)?
Poems in the second person are prevalent and rarely done well.
5. What’s the most common oversight (in terms of submission guidelines)?
Our writers have been good about conforming to guidelines lately. Online submissions should be sent with each poem in an individual Word file. This differs from other online submission managers and sometimes causes consternation for our submitters.
6. Why is your journal awesome?
It is entirely student-run, eclectic, and evolving, with a literary heritage stretching back over 60 years (160 years if you count previous incarnations of the journal under a different name).
7. Where can readers find your submission guidelines?
8. How can readers connect personally with The Carolina Quarterly?
With a revamped website, a new Twitter and Facebook account, a great new electronic submission manager, and an ever-increasing amount of online-only content, The Carolina Quarterly is swiftly embracing the 21st century. We invite you to help us in this endeavor by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook, and visiting our CafePress site.
Leave a comment by November 17 to enter the contest to win a FREE one-year subscription to The Carolina Quarterly and one historic back issue! Don’t forget to tweet, facebook, and tell your friends! (This contest is now closed.)