I’m so stoked to announce the release of the inaugural issue of if&when magazine — the literary journal journal.
I had been wanting to do a zine of some kind for the last year, and it topped my pre-baby bucket list. On January 24 Victoria Billings and I met for dinner. Turns out Vicki had listened to my rambling at some point (bless her heart) and over sushi, she outlined her plan for the magazine. It would be like Highlights for poets; not just presenting great work, but encouraging and prompting writers to write!
That first weekend, I set up the if&when website and we opened a two-week submission period. We received 197 submissions from 45 authors. That meant lots of reading. Because of the huge response, we had the blessing and curse of being picky — accepting and rejecting pieces was a topic of great debate between Vicki and me.
I feel that the design of the magazine is really unique. For pieces that don’t fill a full page spread, we include ruled pages for notes, doodles, or your own pieces. There are also writing prompts and a game based on one of the poems. Many of the pieces have photos or illustrations by myself, Vicki, or from Flickr’s Creative Commons collection. Perhaps in the future, we’ll also accept artwork, but for now it seemed much simpler to keep the look and feel locked down, particularly given the short turnaround time for the project.