I was paging through a variety of literary journals and magazines today just looking for something good to read or submit to and I realized that it was just fun reading the concepts or themes of the journals and magazines. One called 3Elements gives three words as prompts and the submissions need use those words in some way. This is really interesting to me because I always think of journals and magazines as places to put your just happened to be done work. This one is super generative, as are many many more I’m finding. So that made me think about how I would want to frame a journal and or magazine.
If I was making a journal inspired by this semester in poetry I think I would call it ‘Formal Wear’ however all the prompts or themes would be about challenging form. I think I would accept essays about form or challenging form (hopefully some that completely contradict each other), and then maybe only poems that were either breaking form or making new forms. Maybe the writer would need to submit a little description of the form as they see it and why they chose to break it? I don’t know but paging through the different themes really made me think about what writers want to read and why that’s important. I think as writers we want to justify and validate why we take risks and have our own style by reading other people. We also learn every time we read whether it be about an emotion we didn’t know we felt or a style choice we would have never tried. I think again this makes me feel that art is an ongoing collaborative work that no one can claim on their own and that doesn’t take away from authenticity.
If you were asked to generate an idea for a journal or magazine tomorrow what would your theme be? Why would you want that theme? What would other writers get from your journal?