Feminine Inquiry is a feminist literary and arts zine founded in Austin, Texas by a group of like-minded folks. They are an intersectional zine focused on highlighting the work of women, trans* folk, genderqueer people, people of color, those under the LGBT umbrella, those disabled, etc. They want to celebrate artists, writers and creators by creating zines that emphasize the achievements of marginalized voices while focusing on the feminist issues.
They've published three beautifully designed print issues so far (all of which are free to download via digital copy or can be bought in print): Summer 2015 issue, Fall 2015 issue, and Spring 2016 issue.
I wondered how and why this new lit mag came to be, so I asked editor Jourden Sander and she kindly replied. See my interview with Sander and submission guidelines below.
HOPKINSON: Tell me a little bit about Feminine Inquiry.
SANDER: I’ve always wanted to create an inclusive, feminist literary space and I’m still working to make Feminine Inquiry as inclusive as possible. A while back I started noticing literary journals that published few women and even fewer people of color. This is, of course, a larger problem in the world as a whole but certainly one present in literature. I created Fem Inq hoping to foster a safe space for people of all types to explore themselves creatively.
HOPKINSON: What gave you the idea to start an digital lit mag?
SANDER: Well, Feminine Inquiry is and has always been published in print–I am obsessed with a book/zine as a physical object; however, I spend a lot of time interacting with other literary journals and zines, many that are only digital. I came to appreciate the instant gratification of digital mags and how easy they are to consume and share. It’s very important to me that Feminine Inquiry continues to produce print zines but I wanted us to enter the digital world of literature and expand our community.
HOPKINSON: What type of work are you looking for?
SANDER: We are open to works of all kinds in all forms. We have published plays, poems, lists, flash, essays, and more. We focus more on why we like something and less on what it is. I think we are whimsical at heart and all yearn for pieces that take our breath away. We want people to send us something that is brand new and exciting–we want writers to send us their boldest, weirdest works that even they’re not sure about. We especially want pieces that are inclusive and feminist in nature. We define this loosely–a work doesn’t have to be about motherhood or menstruation or the female identity to be “feminist,” though those topics are fine, of course. We’d love to read short stories with diverse and complex female characters, or CNF pieces discussing one’s queer identity, or listicles about mental health, or flash containing differently-abled characters, or poems about black identity, or something combining all or none of the above. We recognize that the lit world has an abundance of diverse and talented creators that are not being represented. We will always strive to include those creators.
HOPKINSON: What are some of your favorite journals?
SANDER: Wow, there are so many excellent journals and mags out there. The Fem is easily one of my favorites. They have created a safe community for female-identifying and non-binary people of all types in literature. Other journals, mags and pubs I love include Femsplain, The Offing, Luna Luna Magazine, Vagabond City Lit, and Crab Fat Magazine, though there are so many other great ones. I’m always stumbling on stellar new literary spaces.
HOPKINSON: Where can contributors send submissions?
SANDER: We highly encourage writing of all forms. We mostly only limit submissions by length, otherwise, we’ll look at any form or genre.
Long details for subs are located on our submission page here and the selfie call is here.
The short version of our submission guidelines is that writers must send their work to email@example.com with a bio! We have no submission fee and will be paying between $10-$30 per piece accepted (higher or lower depends on how many contributors we end up accepting).
HOPKINSON: If someone has a question, how can they contact you?