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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Dreamy Authors and Unmentionable Creative Habits

The conclusion to our current roundtable discussion takes on a different tone as we chat about our dream authors and those unmentionable habits that are formed in the writing and editing process. Thanks again to all who asked questions, as well as to the editors who participated in this discussion! As our first international panel, we'd say this has been a smashing success. Don't forget to keep the questions coming through Twitter, Facebook, or email, and we'll round up another gaggle of editors to take on your queries.

Photo adapted from: nicknich
Shelly Holder (@writinflower01) asks:

If you had the ability to publish one famous author, dead or alive, in your magazine, who would it be?
Paper Darts, Holly Harrison     Virginia Woolf, no doubt. We owe a lot to her. She helped set the stage for strong women in literature, and she inspired the name of our literary endeavor. If Virginia Woolf doesn’t come up at least once per staff meeting, we’re having an off-day.

Gulf Coast, Zachary Martin     John Williams (the author of great novels like Stoner and Butcher’s Crossing, not the Star Wars composer).

Gulf Coast, Karyna McGlynn     Frank Stanford.

The Stinging Fly, Declan Meade     Alice Munro.

Hayden’s Ferry Review, Sam Martone     The dream writer, for me, would be Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But I think you could ask everyone on staff and you'd get a different response (say, this might be a good idea for the blog), which just goes to show you how eclectic our tastes can be.

What (if any) bizarre habits do you have while reading/writing/editing? 
Paper Darts, Holly Harrison     Pretty much every time Holly writes a sentence that she thinks is particularly clever, she instinctively puts her computer down and walks away… like a victory lap. Because Courtney [Algeo]’s vision is bad in an odd way, she reads books with one eye closed. Holly over-explains herself when editing, always terrified that someone will see an edit and deem it unnecessary. She bets this is annoying. When Courtney is stumped while writing, she’ll take a shower.

Gulf Coast, Karyna McGlynn     When writing, I like to listen to the Legendary Pink Dots and drink red wine; when editing, I like to pound coffee and listen to The Drums; and when reading, I like to drink water and listen to crickets.

Gulf Coast, Zachary Martin     I usually find something to chew on: Red Vines, vitamin gummies, pen caps, cat toys…

Paper Darts, Holly Harrison     Cat toys. That’s incredible.

The Stinging Fly, Declan Meade     Oh, they're too bizarre to admit to here, or any place else.

Paper Darts, Holly Harrison     Weak, Declan.

The Stinging Fly, Declan Meade     Most definitely.

Gulf Coast, Zachary Martin     In this day and age, Declan, isn’t caring enough about words to read, write, and edit them a bizarre habit in its own right? Seems like that’s what some people think.

Indiana Review, Katie Moulton     The IR office has been known to erupt in spontaneous dance parties. This can be a good thing or a bad thing. When stressed, some of us rewrite the lyrics of pop songs to reflect the literary journal experience. “Cull Me, Maybe,” anyone?

Hayden’s Ferry Review, Sam Martone     I don't think I have any, but after this question, I sure wish I did.

Check out past discussions for Tweeted Questions

If you have a question about writing topics, publishing, the ins and outs of literary magazines, or anything else you might wonder about (how many editors does it take to figure out how to turn on a perfectly functioning, new coffee pot?), let us know! Tweet us, message us on Facebook, or email us at

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