The Superstition Review blog posts two types of content from past contributors to our magazine, guest posts and Author Talks. Both of these are posted regularly on the blog and are a great way for us to hear authors talk about their writing process and what they have been up to since being featured in the magazine. We now have an easier way for past contributors to submit both guest posts and authors talks to the blog. Both can be submitted by following a link to Submittable, an online submission form found on the front page of our magazine, or by clicking here.
Superstition Review is always looking to celebrate the achievements of past contributors and interns, which are featured in our weekly contributor and intern updates posted here on the blog. We now have an easier way for past contributors and interns to reach out to us with news of their literary and academic accomplishments. Updates can be submitted by following a link to Submittable, an online submission form found on the front page of our magazine, or by clicking here.
Editorial Preferences in Fiction: H. Rae Monk (Spring 2017)
I remember fondly an Advanced Fiction class, where my peers and I workshopped two previously published short stories. The first piece took up only a few minutes of discussion, because everything about the craft, the content and the emotion was air-tight. The second, with many a swiftly moving editing pen and several hands risen, in need to remark on this or that took much, much longer to finish with. I think the instructor had us do this exercise for multiple reasons, however I remember the experience, because I couldn’t help asking, “Why did so-and-so publish this when it’s so obviously not a fully realized draft?” I think there has to be an honesty contract between editors and those who submit. I won’t push a story for consideration because it’s just “good enough”, but I’ll advocate for stories that I believe in, from the title to the final punctuation mark.
I love short literary fiction because there are no places to hide; unnecessary information is erased, prose are polished, and a truth about genuine human experience and emotion remain. I search for fearless, relatable, fully-formed stories that keep me engaged from the first sentence to the last. I tend to focus on stories with clean, well-paced writing, attention to detail, sentence variation, as well as situations and interactions that subvert my expectations. E. Annie Proulx writes, “I find it satisfying and intellectually stimulating to work with the intensity, brevity, balance and word play of the short story.” I look forward to working with, and helping put the concise beauties of submitting contemporary authors out into the public eye.
Bio: Student Fiction Editor H. Rae Monk is a Wyoming native and an almost graduate of ASU’s Creative Writing program. When she isn’t reading every book that comes under her nose, she enjoys creating short fiction driven by characters that see the world through the lens of their abnormal vocations. She also enjoys strong coffee, bouldering, traveling on a tiny budget with a big backpack and engaging with her local literary community. Her future plans are constantly changing, but she is considering both MFA programs and jobs in publishing.
I’m much more comfortable in my imagination or immersed in metaphor compared to real life. So this, my first blog, is a different creature for me. According to Wikipedia there are over 134 million blogs as of October 2012. My ideal Blog Beast is some kind of huge scampering bird with developing wings, orange feathers, a protruding beak, an insect’s multi-dimensional eyes, too many ears, an alligator’s digestive system, a cat’s vomiting mechanism, with sharp teeth that can gnaw through anything. Avesanellus blog socialis (see picture at side). It mates and reproduces at an extraordinary rate.
My Blog Beast listens attentively to my every opinion and thought and responds with deep, insightful utterances when prompted. My Beast comprehends everything and, although it sticks by my side, it can be everywhere all at once.
I affectionately call it a Beast because not only does it require care and feeding, but it takes away time from other things I could be doing. So many other people have their own Blog Beasts these days and who can stop to pet or appreciate them all? And each one is different. Does my Beast have anything new or important to say? Will it communicate with others of its kind? Will it migrate? Lay eggs? Is it wild or domesticated? I will have to devise a way to test its intelligence and its agility. I’m told I need my Blog Beast to sell my forthcoming (and past) fiction and poetry books—but how can it do this with only its tiny webbed feet and strange strangled noises? Does my Blog Beast have ideas of its own? Should it be leashed or unleashed?
Content Coordinator for Poetry and Nonfiction: Ashley Maul
Once, she was asked to list five books she’d bring with her on a deserted island and without fail her answer remains: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, The Scarlet Letter, a collection of Allen Ginsberg’s poetry, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Billy Collin’s The Trouble with Poetry. Her favorite reading reflects her own writing style – a combination of youthful fancy and shenanigans mixed with sarcasm and adult confession.
Like many students so close to graduation, she is unsure of where the future will take her, but she is very interested in the publishing industry and imagines a career that allows her to telecommute as an editor for a posh literary magazine or book publishing company. With a history in bookstore management and an avid thirst for reading and writing, there is little she can imagine that can combine her interests so perfectly.
Art Editor Arjun Chopra
Arjun started working with Superstition Review over the past summer as a guest contributor with his blog series, “Dispatches From Delhi.” Despite being relatively new to the world of editing/publishing, Arjun finds his position intellectually stimulating and instrumental in giving him his first glimpse into the actual working side of writing. He finds his work to be a comprehensive learning experience in meshing creativity with professionalism, an invaluable skill of those who strive to make a living through their writing, a skill he is glad to have the chance to practice.
When not in class, doing homework, or compiling graduate application materials, Arjun enjoys spending his free time reading novels and poetry collections, writing, watching movies, skateboarding, and listening to a wide variety of different music.
Advertising Editor Brooke Passey
Along with her reading load for class, Brooke tries to read one recreational book a week. To stay motivated she posts weekly book reviews on her blog brookepassey.wordpress.com. She also loves horseback riding and spends her spare time training and teaching riding lessons. In the 15 years that she has been riding she has only fallen off a horse once—when she was reading a book while sitting on her horse bareback. Although she loves both hobbies she has since decided to keep them separate. After graduation she plans on pursuing a career where she can use her writing skills during the day and her riding skills in the evening.
Fiction Editor Abbey Maddix
Superstition Review is Abbey’s first experience working with a literary magazine and hopefully the first stepping stone to a career in the editing and publishing world. She finds the position demanding but educational, particularly informative when it comes to thinking about her own future career as a writer. Her work centers on fiction of all forms, exploring genres and forms and her own limitations. She enjoys pushing the boundaries of her comfort zone and enjoys exploring the question “What does it mean to be human?” from both a literary angle and a scientific one.
On Abbey’s “favorites” bookshelf there are the works of Kurt Vonnegut, Neil Gaiman, Italo Calvino, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, although she’d like to expand her experience with contemporary literature. Although she has a difficult time understanding poetry, the works of Pablo Neruda and Tomas Tranströmer have managed to win her over.
Behind every blog is a blogger. They are the unspoken authors of the internet that filter in a constant stream of news into your RSS Feed. As a Social Networking Coordinator for Superstition Review, Bri Perkins has learned first-hand just how challenging that job can be.
Working with a small team, Bri helps to maintain and write for the SR blog, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, which can include everything from interviews with esteemed authors to email correspondence to creating the latest trending topic. A resident night-owl, Bri usually can be seen tweeting in the wee hours of the morning or slumped over a keyboard asleep.
Having never really experienced the editorial process and the inner workings of a publication, Perkins applied to Superstition Review in hopes of getting hands-on experience in the literary world. Since then, her taste and exposure to art, literature, and writing has grown exponentially. Now a fan of Tin House and Ploughshares (and of course SR), she has developed a love of fiction and short stories. Her favorite readings range all the way from J.K. Rowling to Flannery O’Connor to the labels on shampoo bottles.
Bri is quickly approaching the finish-line of her undergraduate degree at ASU. Studying the unique combination of English and Psychology, she found she had a passion for the anatomy and physiology of the body, and in particular, the human brain. After graduation, she is planning to take a gap year to travel and read, which will be something new for a girl that has been barely beyond Arizona state borders. She subsequently plans to attend medical school at Midwestern University where she will study to become a doctor of osteopathic medicine, and ultimately, a neurologist or neurosurgeon. Bri hopes to translate the underlying themes of the liberal arts into the science realm in order to take a more well-rounded approach to healthcare.
Bri is 22 years old and is a Glendale, Arizona native. She loves overcast and rainy days, which are a rarity in the Valley of the Sun. She has no children and no husband, but she keeps the company of four very lovable mutts and one very fluffy kitty. Perkins currently works as a technician (also known as a Genius) at Apple fixing iPods, iPhones, Macs and iPads. She also volunteers as a Research Assistant at ASU’s Cognition and Natural Behavior Laboratory where she is studying the effects of shared space on productivity, and the effects of physical interaction on mental faculty and memory. Bri also works as a Psychology and Writing Tutor with the STEM/TRIO program on the ASU West Campus, which focuses its efforts on providing support for first generation and minority students.
When it comes to maintaining websites, knowing who is on the other end is a useful tool. Google Analytics provides us up to date information on who is visiting, where they’re coming from, where they’re going, and what they’re using to get there.
- In 2012 Superstition Review has already welcomed 6,940 visits and 5,092 unique visitors.
- Over 68.18% of those visiting the site have never visited SR before.
- Superstition Review has been host to 20,747 page views since January of 2012.
- The average visitor spends 2 minutes and 10 seconds browsing our site and visit an average of 3 pages per visit.
- Our busiest day was January 13th with 363 visits. January 31st came in a close second with 348 views.
- Our most popular page is our Issue 8 Poetry page, followed by our blog.
- Our readers primarily come from the United States, but we have visitors from India, the United Kingdom, Canada, the Philippines, Spain and more.
- Since 2011, our mobile presence has grown tremendously. Nearly 6.55% of our visitors are accessing SR from a mobile device, with over 300 of those devices being Apple iPhones and iPads.
Thank you to our returning visitors and we’d like to welcome our new readers. We invite you to browse our blog and our archives of past issues. Come back and join us for the launch of Issue 9 April 1st.
Among online literary publications, Superstition Review is unique; we are based out of Arizona State University (Polytechnic Campus), and we do not run our magazine out of a physical office. Suffice to say, this provides some advantages and disadvantages. (Though, I’ve got to say that pretty much everybody universally enjoys working in their pajamas.)
Another one of our distinguishing features is that we are a student-run publication. We are in the thick of words and work–we read for our classes, we read to publish, we go to work, we do our homework, and we also publish this Review.
Keeping that in mind, I feel the two main components of the SR experiences are growth and learning.
Every word to this blog, every minute touch up of the site, every poem submitted to our editors enables SR to grow. And as a creative writer myself, I know especially how much writers grow just by building up the strength of their own work and courage just to send something in with the hopes of publication.
We learn; every day is a learning experience. Some of us have never worked this close with publishing, or exclusively in an online environment, or on these many deadlines. Some of us have worked like this before, but with a new team, one always has to adjust to new rhythms. Hopefully, you are learning alongside us every step of the way.
If you’ve kept up with the SR News Blog, you may have noticed a lack of posts for the past week or so. Never fear! This is not us losing interest in keeping our wonderful readers posted, but a foreshadowing of wonderful news.
The SR News Blog is getting a makeover; one that will make it even more informative and interactive than before!
So check back at the beginning of next week to see the exciting new face of the SR News Blog!
And as always, thanks for reading!
If you’ve stumbled on this blog after searching on Google or WordPress, welcome! This blog is actually just a very small part of Superstition Review, the online literary magazine for Arizona State University’s Polytechnic Campus.
While this blog gives frequent updates of our progress here at the magazine, please check out our website to learn more about us. If you’re an author who is interested in submitting work, please visit our Submissions page by clicking here.