By Deb A.
Duotrope is a writers' resource that simplifies the submission process, giving writers more time to focus on actually writing. Agave Magazine Editor-in-Chief and Founder Ariana Lyriotakis recently added her voice to Duotrope's Editor Interview feature, offering insight into the magazine and how to become a part of it. What follows is an excerpt from the interview; the full piece is available here.
Agave Magazine, in 25 characters or less: Contemporary narratives
Ariana's favourite writers: Mario Vargas Llosa, Lorrie Moore, Haruki Murakami, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Virginia Woolf, Jane Austen, Wallace Stevens, Derek Walcott...
What sets Agave apart: Agave Magazine is a print and online publication showcasing contemporary literature, art and photography from around the world. Mixing literary genres and incorporating fine art pieces creates a magazine in which various modes of expression intersect and diverge. The look and feel of the magazine is streamlined and sleek without being intimidating. There is a great deal of white space, and entire pages and centerfolds dedicated to giving the individual works room to breathe. All of the literature, art and photography is brought to the fore and presented in an accessible format that we feel is engaging for a modern readership. Many of the pieces are accompanied by insights from our contributors discussing creative process, how they seek inspiration for their work, and behind-the-scenes information on the actual creation of the pieces themselves.
The ideal submission: The ideal submission contains all the essentials -- no more, no less. Restraint. Quiet fortitude. Skillful turns of phrase that take you to another place...
We also look for a contemporary narrative: does the author or artist weave a story or show us a new take for a modern audience? Do they have something valuable to contribute to the discussion? We avoid works with overt symbols and ideologies, experimentalism for the sake of pushing the envelope and not investigating form or genre, or anything that we feel is geared mainly toward antagonism or angst.
How much of a submission gets read before a decision is made to accept or reject it: We accept all literary genres so we get quite a mix in terms of submissions. I read through the literary submissions along with our Editor-at-Large. In the case of poetry, we accept up to five poems and usually I will read every single one. This is especially relevant because style and form can vary so much from poem to poem. A poet is able to to showcase variations, depths and experimentation, or use their poetry submissions to provide a continuity of style. As for longer pieces, unless something is particularly glaring, I will generally read the piece in its entirety. Even if we have the general impression after a few paragraphs that something won't be for us, we try to be as diligent as possible. If the particular content is not for us but the writing style is strong, we will often ask the author to re-submit.
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