Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Who shall pass?

Too many blog posts ending in question marks, especially when I'm supposed to be the one answering questions.

Respect for the dead dictates a period of reflection and mourning. But now that Zygote is gone, that leaves Thieves Jargon with one less active front-page link. If there isn't going to be an active ZIMC archive, I'm going to have to replace that front-page link sooner or later. The question is, who is worthy of TJ front-page billing?

I had some hot chat with Jake Mooney the other day about how it seems like there have been very few new interesting literary journals popping up in the last year or two. For a while, I was thinking that Why Vandalism? was going to be the hottest new journal around, but I've heard that they don't reply to submissions, which is cardinal sin number one. Why Vandalism? can bite my bag. Mourning Silence made a very strong combined print/web debut, with work from Spencer Dew, Tim Gager, P.H. Madore, and a few others, but can you trust a journal that's been around for less than two issues? A strong start is good, consistency is better.

My first thought for a successor would be Word Riot. They've been around longer than the Jargon, and a lot of our better wirters have also been published there. Publisher Jackie Corley I met once in Boston, and she has a strong regional accent. So there's your consistency and quality.

But as always, I'm open to suggestions. Most of all, I'd love to hear about some upstart journals I haven't heard of before. Who is it that's going to make me sit up and take notice and think about rewriting everything that I've been doing for four+ years? Who's going to be carrying the mantle when TJ bites the curb like Zygote?

34 comments:

Ravi Mangla said...

Prick of the Spindle and Titular are doing some cool stuff. Both relatively new.

scuttlte butt said...

wandering army and pequin are cool.

word riot is classic.

Anonymous said...

The problem with Word Riot is they're just not that impressive looking from the front. No cool art.

P. H. Madore said...

wandering army is all-too-easily forgotten about, but they've been around forever.

erm... Published my ALTER EGO.

ALTER EGO.

That is, Henry Chalise.

He has a very well defined craziness all his own.

h.chalise@gmail.com

Ask him yourself.

Anyway, yeah, that MS is getting cooler and cooler.

Word Riot is a big swamp of content. I didn't know Corley was from the hood, though, that sort of renews interest. Really, since like I say, they have this mad swamp of content every month. Every month. DISPATCH had too much content its first three issues, as well, but it was also bi-annual.

Right, well, wandering army gets my vote. They are cool and oft-forgotten, maybe the Jargon could change that.

PS--of all the mentioned, mourning silence is the only who pays its writers... so support them, ya'll, even if you don't think they are trustworthy yet.

Anonymous said...

How about your homeboy over at Night Train?

Dan S. said...

My vote is for Smokelong Quarterly.

Miss Fortune said...

This has nothing to do with this post... Loved "Good Time Dan," another Jargon classic that'll stick in the memory banks for some time...

renaissance jones said...

word riot.

assface said...

dogmatika

Anonymous said...

smokelong...ick. they only* publish people who are editors of other zines. trading publishing favors trumps promoting art.

*admitted hyperbole

Anonymous said...

Sign your name, chicken shit.

Anonymous said...

Word Riot has good content, though their site isn't well organized. How about Noo Journal or elimae? They have the goods and the looks.

At the risk of also being called a chicken shit(I think that was meant for the anony who said ick), I think Smokelong's author interviews tend to be better reads than the stories themselves. But that's a serious accusation about them trading pub favors with other editors. Is that true?

dennis mahagin said...

Keyhole is a Comer.

P. H. Madore said...

SmokeLong is the epitome of e-lit's fucking old boy network. Sometimes the shit is alright, but it's all so self-righteous and want-to-be-mainstream, that I never can bring myself to care. Some great TJ writers have gotten in there, like Maggie Shearon. I used to try really hard to get into SmokeLong. There's no sense. You have to lack a certain amount of constitution to get into that place, you must be spineless.

Anonymous said...

P.h. hit the nail on the head with his comments about Smokelong!

Dave Clapper said...

If y'all say so. I don't suppose some actual facts would deter you, or is your thinking too much like the McCain campaign's (close-minded) to accept facts? Here're a few:

In just over five years, we've published 313 writers. That's over 60 different writers per year on average. Put another way, we average about 75% content per issue from writers we've never published before. But according to Madore and the anonymice, I guess they're all editors of other lit mags.

We also lay out our largest financial bit (a grand over the last two years) to writers we've never worked with before. Clearly, we know Beth Thomas and Stefanie Freele pretty well now, after having worked with each of them for a year, but at the time we awarded those fellowships, we didn't know either one of 'em. Neither was an editor at the time, either (although we liked working with both of 'em enough that they're both editing for us now).

And I doubt people have noticed, but I can count on one hand the number of pieces I've had published in the past three or four years. I just don't write that much these days, so the idea that I'm trading favors with other editors is laughable. My last pub was in Per Contra. We published Miriam ages ago, but have never published Bill. Ditto my last few pubs before that.

And... we read blind. Or rather, I do. Bios are kept separate from subs in our admin center. Editors CAN read bios before reading stories, but I don't think most do. I know I don't. But I have no way of proving that. I can only assert that it is so, with full knowledge that it is so.

Madore, you've harped on this very topic for years now. Can you just get over it already? You alternate between tonguing my ass in emails and then publicly denouncing SLQ. It's tiresome. Your writing, at least that which you've submitted to SLQ, hasn't been good enough. Period. Full stop. And your bipolar private/public behavior suggests to me that maybe it's time to stop self-medicating and get a prescription.

All that said, my vote for the link would be for elimae or wigleaf. You ask about a kickass new journal in the last couple years? Wigleaf, all the way.

phm said...

Erm... Someone give us the statistics of the jargon...

P. H. M. said...

Madore, you've harped on this very topic for years now. Can you just get over it already? You alternate between tonguing my ass in emails and then publicly denouncing SLQ. It's tiresome. Your writing, at least that which you've submitted to SLQ, hasn't been good enough. Period. Full stop. And your bipolar private/public behavior suggests to me that maybe it's time to stop self-medicating and get a prescription.

Like I said, sometimes your shit is really bomb, and I tongue the ass of all people who publish great shit.

So then, you guys say you publish about 4%. That means that you've had just under 8000 writers submit in FIVE YEARS? You're an internet dinosaur, you were one of the first things that ever popped up when I wrote, "literature" into google so long ago. So what does that mean, does that possibly mean that we're right about this? I mean, 313 / 4 (to get 1%, 4% being the amount you publish) x 100, right? Yeah, that's right, even Madore can do a little bit of math. So maybe we're not just bullshitting, huh? Maybe you read a lot more bios than you'll ever admit, and create an illusion of possibility on the off-chance that you might get something great from someone you don't know.

Maybe I have tongued your ass, man, but you do it all the time, so I don't know where you get it off being all righteous about it. Or is it just that you think that's the kind of uncouth shit that will get you props around the dregs of Thieves Jargon?

I don't buy it, whore, so take your lies somewhere else. You've had at least probably 15-20K different writers submit, and out of that, you've republished the same few assholes so many times it's pathetically obvious what you're about.

renaissance jones said...

pssst, Madore, stop before it gets worse. you done got served...

P. H. M. said...

I'm not trying to have a flame war. I didn't mean to ignite one if that's what I've done. This guy speaks in math all the time, though, so I finally did some, now that I had a figure to work with, which granted I could have gotten on my own. Served? No... Google this guy's forum/blog posts of the last few years, would you? Him saying I tongue anyone's asshole is like a convict saying someone's a shithead for doing time at the county jail. I won't lie, I've tongued my share of literary assholes, but I have nothing on the esteemed half-writer Dave Clapper. Someone said in the last post, a phony writer would be someone who claims to love writing but never does it; people who are in love with the idea of writing, at worst. Well, me, I am certianly in love with the idea of writing, and I write far less than I'd like to, but at least I can admit that. I just don't write as much fiction as I used to. Clapper hasn't written much besides letters from the editor. When he did write, he was good, I won't lie. Pretty sure I've read all his electronically published work. Anyway, I'm not going to stop. I know this isn't a post about a SmokeLong Quarterly, but Dave Clapper made it into one so, on with it.

Madore

Brian said...

Two things:

1) I don't find SLQ spineless. They've published some pretty dirty shit of mine, and I'm a nobody with few pubs and less conections.

2) What about Lamination Colony? Just throwing it out. It's an interesting pub, plus it rhymes with Zygote in my Coffee. So long as your drunk and you want it to rhyme.

best,
brian allen carr

Dave Clapper said...

Paul, I think you make some good points, but they assume that throughout the five years, we've had a) the same submission rate, and b) the same publication rate. Our acceptance now is probably closer to 2%, in fact, and at our beginning, it was probably around 10%. In total, we've had somewhere between 6000 and 7000 submissions.

But I'd like to ask a quick question: what is an acceptable level of re-publishing the same writers? On average (excluding the anniversary issue, which admittedly asked several of our old faves to jump in, but was also a double issue to accommodate that), about a quarter of the writers in each issue are return writers. What should that number be? Clearly, it's okay to publish a writer more than once, or you'd only have been in TJ once, right?

And again, sorry, Matt for going afield with all this. Paul says I took it there, but I was only responding to what came before.

Oh, and another nominee of a really solid mag that's fairly new: Dogzplot.

P. H. M. said...

I have this nagging feeling that the more visible a magazine gets, the more obligated it is to unearth rarer and ever-rarer talent. Obligated. Not just to wait for it, either, but to seek it. With great power comes great responsibility, right?

Madore

Dave Clapper said...

Well, we're trying. That's part of the reason we expanded our staff so much. Of the ten pieces we've accepted for the issue we're reading for now, nine are by folks we haven't published before. The tenth is the final of three pieces Kinsella was kind enough to let us have (and I hope it's okay for editors to remain fanboys of the people who made them want to write in the first place). There'll be at least one other that'll be a repeat once we decide on which piece to publish by our Fish Fellow (the whole point of which is to find folks we haven't published before and then to work with 'em for a year). And there are two more from the slush right now that we're awfully close to sending out acceptances on, both of which are by folks we haven't published before.

And as soon as I get off my ass and get it posted, we'll be posting an announcement for submissions for the '09 Fellowship, too, so that'll be another $500 for someone previously unpublished by us.

A couple of us have specifically encouraged submissions from students at high schools where we've spoken, too. I'm hoping to increase that in the future. Been three publications from that so far, and I'd like to see it become a more regular occurrence.

Anonymous said...

I think Poor Mojo's Almanac is along the same lines as Zygote.

Timothy Gager

P. H. M. said...

PS -- Lamination Colony truly kicks ass. Someone should teach them some web design principles, but otherwise, they're really, really, really, really fucking good...

DOGZPLOT said...

I REALLY LOVE:

WIGLEAF

KEYHOLE

SMOKELONG PUBLISHES SOME AMAZING SHIT AND ANYONE WHO SAYS OTHERWISE IS RIDICULOUS.

P. H. M. said...

Otherwise.

DOGZPLOT said...

MY POINT EXACTLY

P. H. M. said...

Ridiculous?

Maybe.

Wrong?

No, especially being that I never said they don't publish good shit. They just don't have the same drive as other magazines to be multi-written... Well, this discussion was over last week, but nonetheless, yeah.

DOGZPLOT said...

phm... you are correct. you did not say they dont publish good shit.

thank you for dictating how long a conversation is allowed to exist.

nathantyree said...

Wow. This went wrong right away.

My vote:

Dogzplot or Poor Mojo's Almanac(k).

Both kick

Anonymous said...

Dogzplot is garbage that hurts my eyes. It's not the fault of the writers' there, though.

Marry J. said...

Seems clear to me that either Word Riot of Common Line are the best choices.