This time, we're spotlighting Collabant, a service which helps writers find writing partners. Neat, huh? It's 100% free, though donations are welcomed. What's more, one of the co-founders, Maxwell Junge, was published in the CCP's August 2014 issue! For writers pining after beta readers or writing partners, go check out this awesome site!
Hi, folks! As writers, we believe it's super important for creative types to support one another, so we're giving a shout-out to the folks over at Poetry Pacific. Without further ado...
Come one, come all! Writers, shoot your poetry (max five pieces) over to PP. Readers, immerse yourselves in PP's vast collection of online poems. Artists are also welcome to share their work.
And FYI, the CCP is still open for submissions. Just follow our guidelines for the chance to be published in our next issue!
A quick message to our readers and authors:
We ask and thank you for your continued patience as we prepare the upcoming issue for publication. Delays like this are not typical and are only a result of putting the health and recovery of our staff first. Rest assured, we have not forgotten about all of the wonderful submissions we received for this issue, and are looking forward to seeing it published as much as you.
Thanks again for your patience,
Kristina M. Serrano, Executive Editor
By: Kristina Serrano, with S. A. Starcevic
The debate between literary versus genre fiction is a long-going one, though one I feel is coming or has come to a resolution of sorts. The other day in a bookstore, I saw Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters by Ben H. Winters (and Jane Austen, of course). I already knew of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, but something about the idea of sea monsters in a Jane Austen classic made me think, Yep, the bridge has officially been crossed. And I think that is a glorious thing.
To me, labels on writing should only be for classification purposes. Making an author confine his or herself to components of a specific genre takes the “creative” out of creative writing. Which is why I am happy to see so many books “breaking the rules” now, because if they didn’t, how could we have fresh and exciting new stories to read?
Take the recent book-turned-movie Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion, for instance. Marion’s writing is rich and profound like literary fiction, but has the plot and character appeal of a genre novel. And what about good old Poe? His works of ornate prose are some of the most famous classics in history, and yet, they have been adapted into numerous horror films suitable for today’s cinematic trends.
Working together, literary and genre fiction are pretty powerful, but what about individually? There are obviously more “subgenres” to choose from in popular fiction, but, in my experience, I have found a large diversity in literary fiction as well. Some pieces take you to places and dreamscapes, others no farther than the mind of the main character. And while I primarily write and read young adult paranormal romance with occasional fantasy, gothic, and other varieties of fiction, I have enjoyed several literary pieces over the years.
What I love about The Corner Club Press is the diversity of submissions it receives and accepts. Although primarily a literary magazine, our difference from other literary magazines lies with that openness to the types and styles of stories we publish. Yes, we as editors look for clean, charismatic writing and captivating content, but, like literary agents, we look to feel a connection with each story.
I, personally, only accept stories that I feel connected to, because if I weren’t passionate about a piece, it wouldn’t be fair to the author, because I know I wouldn’t be able to throw my heart and soul into editing it. So for those of you who have submitted to us or anywhere else, oftentimes, your work isn’t rejected because you lack talent, but because the editor (or agent) didn’t feel as if he or she could give it the attention it deserves.
So, with that said, here is a little sneak peek from myself and Assistant Editor S. A. Starcevic of our individual reading preferences.
S. A. Starcevic: Thanks for passing me the mic, Kristina. I’m probably your polar opposite in that I think really descriptive, ornate, surrealist writing is a snooze-fest. Me? I want action. I want solid, multi-faceted, believable characters. Most of all, I want awesome. Don’t care what form it comes in. Get to the point, do it excitingly, and you’ve got yourself one hooked assistant editor. (Explosions help.)
As for length, I generally enjoy shorter pieces more than longer ones, but in our last issue I accepted a story that was nearly 6000 words, and it was probably one of the best I’ve seen yet. It was quirky and sad and funny, so I suppose I enjoy a bit of black comedy, too. At any rate, I’m not going to set any strict guidelines, because I’ll probably end up contradicting myself. Truthfully? I’ve accepted all manner of stories. Literary and genre. So take a stab, make it funny and tragic and interesting and all that tasty stuff. Back to you, Boss.
Me: As you know, I am a big fan of crossover appeal in literary fiction, but I also love rich descriptive writing that makes me see the smallest thing in a large new light (such as the short surreal story, An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce). I have also been accepting pieces that “take” me somewhere, whether the journey is cultural or by a fantastical element. Authors who aren’t afraid to stretch their creativity to the max, who find new and ornate ways to describe things without being excessive (I love writing colorfully and reading colorful writing), and whose characters are so flawed or broken that they are admirable are also what I look for.
What I am NOT looking for are stories about everyday scenarios and common/mild problems (such as Raymond Carver’s works, though he is a talented writer in his style). I can’t connect with simplicity/commonality, and therefore, I can’t do my best to help the author polish a simplistic piece.
S. A. Starcevic and I have greatly enjoyed reading your submissions so far, and we can’t wait to see what else you send our way. I hope this helps you in deciding if our magazine would be a good match for your story, or in selecting which of your stories you would like to send to us. Happy writing!