January 22, 2016
Dear Intrepid Readers,
This week I learned how to make naan from scratch. OK, you’re thinking, That’s cool and everything, but I actually clicked onto this website because there’s a letter from the editor on Fridays. You’re right. So here’s the thing about making naan: it’s like any other bread, and bread making takes patience. I made naan a few times this week. The last time I made it was the time it turned out best—not only because I’d learned how to be patient, but because I was picking up tricks, remembering the process, and altering the recipe to suit my needs. The obvious compound metaphor here is that writing—like curating a magazine or managing a press—all have common elements with the process of making bread. A recipe for success. Following the recipe until you know the steps well enough to start making changes. Patience: you’ll need to know how to walk away and let the yeast rise. Tenacity and hard work: kneading the dough, even when your hands get tired. All this before it even touches the oven, much less is tasted and shared by the bakers. This winter has been an exercise in patience for us here at Zoetic. We’ve had our recipe and we’ve been tweaking since we founded the press, which is fast-approaching its 2nd anniversary. So the close of 2015 and the start of 2016 have meant perfecting the art of being patient, so that when we have a hot, fresh loaf of bread to share with you, we’ll be confident that it turned out exactly the way we wanted it to.
Patience pays off. We’re thrilled to bring you our 7th issue of NonBinary Review, The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins, which is finally LIVE and ready for download —as ever, completely free. This issue is an interesting mix of mystery and feminist treatments of the source material. We chose a text that was sort of a niche favorite, and we were delighted to receive feedback from submitters who enjoyed exploring this hidden gem. We invite you to read the original work with the new narrative threads and poetic interpretations and see how modern writers took on this classic text. The new issue is free for iPhone and iPad users—just install the app!
We started the tough process of curating the next issue of NonBinary Review, Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, this week. Over the coming weeks, we’ll be finalizing the lineup of authors and pieces for publication, and begin the process of prepping the work for publication. These steps, too, require patience: you can’t rush through the reading, it takes time for our associate editors to weigh each submission and decide which works best represent the central theme of the issue, as well as how to arrange these pieces for presentation so that you, the reader, can best enjoy the work. As we curate each issue, it’s always a welcome surprise for us to watch the issue unfold in front of us. The Art of War promises to be a very special issue, and we’re looking forward to bringing it to you this spring.
We also want to remind you that we’re open for submissions for NBR issues #9 and #10: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s A Study in Scarlet, part of the Sherlock Holmes canon, and Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. This week, contributor Erin Elizabeth Smith’s manuscript, Down: The Alice Poems, placed in Cider Press Review’s annual book contest, which is in itself a pretty awesome feat. We’re doubly thrilled for this success because some of the poems from Down are scheduled for NBR#10, as well as the forthcoming re-release of Erin’s collection, The Fear of Being Found, with our press. Congratulations, Erin!
Spring, of course, turns our thoughts towards AWP 2016. This week at Zoetic Press, we began the countdown to AWP—we’re just 8 short weeks out, and that time is going to zip by even quicker than you’d think. Last year, we brought our AWP-exclusive physical book, Mythmaking, to AWP for readers to enjoy. This year, not only do we have additional copies of Mythmaking, but Lise’s been hard at work on design and layout for AWP-exclusive copies of every issue of NBR’s Alphanumeric features! This, as you know, is unusual for us—we’re a digitally-driven press, and our regular publications are all done through our exclusive reading platform, Lithomobilus—which remains the best way to enjoy every issue of NonBinary Review, Unbound Octavo, and our upcoming full-length releases. But 2016 is also our year of innovation, so we’ve been listening carefully to user feedback and are gradually incorporating more ways to bring you our writers to enjoy as our engineers work tirelessly to expand and perfect our platform to optimize your reader experience. We’re still in the dough-kneading stages of production, so there’s still work to do, but the oven’s hot and waiting.
After taking an informal poll of members of our Facebook group about our blog posts and social media updates, we’ve decided to incorporate some of your suggestions into our “recipe box” for 2016 and beyond. 2 weeks ago, we launched a new postings schedule on both our Rhizomatic Ideas blog and our social media to give you more of what you want to read. Kolleen Carney O’Brien, our resident social media maven, is eager to find the links that keep you buzzing and help you become a more productive human being…by wasting some of your time online.
We’re still pinning all the best writing prompts, silly writer memes, inspirational quotes, and books that get us ready to curl up in a chair, on our Pinterest boards, which are always available for your browsing pleasure. On Facebook, you can follow our pages (Zoetic Press, Lithomobilus) to keep up with the latest happenings, online features, blog posts and book reviews. The Zoetic Press Facebook group is where you’ll find new Alphanumeric features, contributor spotlights, and other literary community news.
We also have a YouTube channel for those of you who like to hear the authors reading their work. So if you’re interested in hearing more from us about updates, new releases, and some of our plans and projects for 2016, sign up for our monthly newsletter. We’re serious about your privacy, and promise not to flood your inbox. If you want to be a guest writer for Rhizomatic Ideas or profile one of our contributors, we’re always interested in hearing about the topics that interest you, or your responses to blogs we’ve published. We know that there are some topics that pique your interest more than others, and we want you to tell us what you want to see more of. Or if you want to grab the mic and tell us more, send us a pitch: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’re always interested in reviewers for book review swaps, so check out our submissions for reviews, or contact us to get in on the review swapping!
Until next week—