This month our Lit Mag Spotlight is shining on the hip, graduate student-run publication from Emerson College: Redivider! Publishing since 1986, Redivider focuses on promoting unique poetry, fiction, nonfiction, art, and interviews. Read about a recent essay that particularly moved them, what types of submissions make them yawn, and why they’re all-around awesome. Take a look, take a chance, and enjoy!
CONTEST: Leave a comment on this blog post by February 27 to enter to win a one-year subscription to Redivider! This contest is now closed. Congratulations to our winner, Nick! Thanks to all who participated.
Give us the lowdown on your journal’s mission.
Redivider is a journal of literature and art produced by the graduate students in the Writing, Literature, and Publishing Department at Emerson College in Boston. We publish original poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and art, as well as staff-conducted reviews and interviews. We like to think of ourselves as quirky, edgy purveyors of fine literature. Writing from the journal has been anthologized in the Best American series and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.
Describe your ideal submission in 15 words or less.
First and foremost, quality writing. Unique, engaging, something that gets us talking. And please PROOFREAD!
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?
Our new issue features a stunning essay by Kathryn Nuernberger, “The Sameness of Days,” which we nominated for the Pushcart Prize. It’s a stark, beautiful piece that plays with time and structure in some interesting ways. And Joel Hans’ dystopian short story “Subsoil” will really get under your skin. It’s creepy in the best ways.
Regarding submissions: What’s the most common turnoff that you encounter (in terms of craft)?
We know a lot of time and energy goes into writing, and we in turn want to give every submission the attention it deserves. That being said, a lot of submissions are eliminated by the first page—even the first paragraph/stanza—if they don’t immediately catch our attention. An engaging opening is really important. Anything cliché, something we’ve read before, or something that’s just bland and uninteresting probably won’t get a second look. It’s also amazing how many submissions we get that have glaring grammatical and spelling errors. Even if the content is fantastic, it’s difficult to read when it’s sloppy, and it’s frustrating as an editor to take extra time and stumble over things that could easily be caught in a round of proofreading.
What’s the most common oversight (in terms of submission guidelines)?
We frequently get fiction or nonfiction pieces that go over our word limit. Unfortunately we have limited space in each issue, so we need to set a maximum somewhere (currently 10,000 words for fiction and 4,000 for nonfiction). If a piece is too long, we can’t take the time to edit it down, so it automatically goes into our “no” pile.
Why is your journal awesome?
We don’t subscribe to a particular aesthetic, which makes every issue unique. Because the journal is produced entirely by students, our staff changes annually, and new editors constantly bring fresh ideas and perspectives. We’ve been blessed to publish work by such well-known authors as Billy Collins, Sherman Alexie, and Denise Duhamel, but most of our contributors are emerging writers or even first-time authors—our 2013 Beacon Street Prize fiction winner had never been published before winning the contest! It’s pretty awesome to see established writers alongside newcomers.
Where can readers find your submission guidelines?
On our website!
Freeform. What else would you like to say?
Shameless plug: Each spring, Redivider hosts the Beacon Street Prize writing contest, awarding cash prizes and publication in our fall issue. Every submission comes with a free one-year subscription. This year’s contest opened for submissions February 15, and we have an absolutely amazing trio of judges: Cheryl Strayed (nonfiction), Terrance Hayes (poetry), and Christopher Castellani (fiction). All details are available here.
CONTEST: Leave a comment on this blog post by February 27 to enter to win a one-year subscription to Redivider!