Wednesday, November 28, 2012

New Experiences in Editing

I've been an editor (ok, Founding Editor) for Weave Magazine since a friend and I started it in 2008. We have printed seven issues featuring hundreds of contributors read by even more readers and subscribers. I've read hundreds of submissions, written thousands of emails, and yet somehow I've never been directly involved with the layout of any issue. Until now.

Issue 08 has been a long time coming. It was to be released this past summer, but was delayed six months so I could make some much-needed changes. After finding a wondrous Managing Editor and seriously amazing genre editors, I'm now completely removed from the process of selecting a majority of the work for each issue. While I still solicit work from writers and assist when a genre editor needs another opinion, the majority of my Weave time has been spent on finances, staffing, correspondence, marketing, and moving the business part of Weave legally from Pennsylvania to California. That last part took a lot of my time; California really likes making laws and someone really loves paperwork. These are the things you never think about when you say, "I'm going to start a literary magazine!" I never thought I'd be calculating our total sales tax (which varies from county to county in California) or filing paperwork with the city assessor.

With all that behind me (well, for now), I'm finally able to apply my creative talents to Weave again through the sequencing of Issue 08. This weekend I printed out all of the work for the issue and then read through a majority of the pieces again. It was thrilling to discover a number of themes and subjects emerge: death, aging, and the body; parent-child relationships; magical portraits of women; animals rooting and foraging; explorations of gender roles in a variety of relationships; and a surprising number of ekphrastic poetry (if I broaden the definition to include film and other artistic media). This issue has translations, flash fiction that's short than some of the poetry, a mixture of photography and visual art, and one piece of nonfiction written in the second person. Diversity, indeed.

I know that many of our readers won't sit down with the issue and read it front to back, but I still am taking the sequencing seriously. I really love the idea of each issue being a creation of its own, all the pieces taking turns in dialogue with one another. My favorite part of putting together my chapbook was the sequencing. Soon my living room floor will be covered with words. I'm happy this issue finally taking shape, and even happier that I can take part in its shaping.

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