Whale Road Review is an online literary journal that “takes its name from an old kenning. The ocean is the whale road. Whale road. Those words conjure an image of whales moving in patterns through the waters of the world.”
I wondered how and why this journal came to be, so I asked Whale Road Review founder and editor Katie Manning a few questions to find out. See my interview with Manning and a link to their submission guidelines below.
HOPKINSON: Tell me a little bit about Whale Road Review.
MANNING: With pleasure! Whale Road Review is a quarterly online literary journal that publishes poetry and short prose (flash fiction, micro essays, prose poetry—we like this weird boundary between genres). We also publish short reviews, and we gather creative writing pedagogy papers in our Teachers’ Lounge. We opened for submissions in July 2015, and we published the first issue in December 2015. I’m the founding Editor-in-Chief, and I work with a wonderful managing editor and team of peer reviewers.
HOPKINSON: How/why was Whale Road Review originally started?
MANNING: When I worked on literary journals (New Letters, Rougarou) in grad school, I knew that I wanted to start my own online journal someday. I love finding and promoting other writers’ work, and I love sharing short pieces online so that people who might not otherwise subscribe to a literary journal or sit down with a print copy might still be exposed to excellent creative writing.
HOPKINSON: Who is your target reader audience?
MANNING: I want to say “everyone,” but I’ll be more specific. I want readers who already love to read literary work, and our pedagogy papers target readers who teach creative writing, but I also want to sneak up on readers who don’t usually read literary journals. I especially love when people who think they don’t like poetry accidentally find a poem to love. I hope that sharing our pieces widely on social media allows us to reach all of those readers.
HOPKINSON: What type of work are you looking for?
MANNING: With poetry and short prose, we’re especially looking for work that is memorable. We want pieces that haunt us long after we’ve read them. We also want reviews of poetry and short prose that have had a similar effect on the person writing the review.
With pedagogy papers, we’re looking for all sorts of teaching ideas—individual prompts, collaborative exercises, out-of-class assignments—that will be useful to people who are teaching creative writing in a variety of venues.
HOPKINSON: What do you wish you’d see submitted, but rarely comes in?
MANNING: This is hard to answer. We have such an abundance and variety of creative work submitted to us, and we receive a lot of great review submissions. If I could wish for one thing, I think it would be more pedagogy papers. We’ve gotten some incredible pedagogy submissions, but we don’t receive a large number of them, probably because those who would write them are busy teaching! I find these essays so useful in my own teaching, and I’ve heard from many people who are using these ideas in their classes as well. I’d love to receive and publish more of them.
HOPKINSON: What are some of your favorite lit mags/journals?
MANNING: There are so many to love! To narrow it down, some of the online literary journals that we most enjoy include Stirring, Glass, THRUSH, Brevity, Rogue Agent, Smokelong Quarterly, Boxcar Poetry Review, Right Hand Pointing, Hermeneutic Chaos, The Pedestal Magazine, Queen Mob’s Tea House, Waxwing… I could go on for a long time.
HOPKINSON: Where can folks send submissions?
MANNING: We accept email submissions in the months of June and December, and our full guidelines are here: http://www.whaleroadreview.com/submission-guidelines/.
HOPKINSON: If someone has a question, how can they contact you?
MANNING: They can reach us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DEADLINE: June 30, 2018
SUBMISSION FEE: None
FORMS: poetry, flash fiction, and micro essays