The Woven Tale Press is an online magazine founded by Editor-in-Chief Sandra Tyler. WTP is a free monthly magazine, is always open for submissions, and looking for a wide range of art and writing, including videos, press features, creative writing, and visual arts. They also run an annual contest that does require a fee and has a deadline of September 15, 2018. Scroll down on their Submittable page to submit to the magazine for no fee.
I wondered how and why this journal came to be, so I asked Contributing Editor Joyce Peseroff a few questions to find out. See my interview with Peseroff and a link to their submission guidelines below.
Also, don’t miss Peseroff’s recent guest blog post: Getting Started after Not Writing for A While
HOPKINSON: Tell me a little bit about The Woven Tale Press.
PESEROFF: Sandra Tyler had a wonderful idea: discover and recommend the websites of noteworthy writers and visual artists who may not be as well-known as they deserve to be. Each issue includes beautifully produced virtual gallery tours, poems, prose--a visual and intellectual treat. On the WTPCentral blog, there are special features almost daily, including artist and writer spotlights, exhibition, indie book and website reviews, and regularly monthly columns like DeWitt Henry's "Literary Bookmarks," featuring links to resources and author sites that are both informative and inspiring for working writers. Sandra and her staff search the internet to find WTP contributors, posting interactive content from sites and blogs so readers can find more information about their favorites. As Sandra writes, "Cybersphere is a galaxy, with as many creative souls as there are stars - our WTP editors strive to enable those stars shine a bit more brightly."
HOPKINSON: What type of work are you looking for?
PESEROFF: I've been both a poetry editor and issue editor at Ploughshares, as well as editor, with Jane Kenyon, of the little magazine Green House. It's always wonderful to see how much good work comes in, and always hard. What distinguishes the best is its ability to surprise. The best poems go in unpredictable directions, use language in fresh ways, open or challenge a reader's perceptions. I like to think my interests are pretty catholic--as a student, I loved William Carlos Williams and Gerard Manley Hopkins. I don't use the strategies of Language poets, but I enjoy Leslie Scalapino. I rarely write poems in received forms, but I enjoy A.E. Stallings.
Jane Kenyon, when asked what it was like to be the "junior poet" in her household--she was married to Donald Hall--said, "He knows things nobody else knows. But I also know things nobody else knows. It's funny how everything in your life, every experience, everything in your reading, everything in your thinking, in your spiritual life--you bring it all to your work when you sit down to write. And he knows what he knows and I know what I know." I'm searching for poems distilled to an original voice that stops me in my tracks.
HOPKINSON: What do you wish you’d see submitted, but never comes in?
PESEROFF: Working for Ploughshares in the 1980s, I'd open all the day's mail. I'd skim for familiar names, and read cover letters for interesting publishing histories. I urged our first readers to give me anything that made them think twice. So I read a lot of poetry. The most exciting "finds" were by writers I'd never heard of, some who'd never published before, or never in a nationally distributed journal. I cherished those "firsts"--I felt like Keats reading Chapman's Homer, only I'd get to publish Chapman. I can't read what doesn't come in, so I urge writers to submit even if this is the first time, even if they've never published before.
HOPKINSON: What are some of your favorite lit mags/journals?
PESEROFF: Agni, The American Journal of Poetry, Breakwater Review, Memorious, Ploughshares, Plume, Scoundrel Time--these are web magazines or print journals with a strong on-line presence. Consequence is an annual with an international focus on the culture and consequences of war, and Salamander is an eclectic journal out of Suffolk University. Kaveh Akbar's Divedapper featured interviews with major new voices in contemporary poetry, and has a terrific archive, although the site's not currently active. Ron Slate's On the Seawall is also in transition--for years a wonderful place for reviews of literary prose and poetry, Ron's expanding it to an on-line journal.
HOPKINSON: Where can folks send submissions?
PESEROFF: Here's the link to all the information about no fee year-round submissions: https://www.thewoventalepress.net/how-to-submit/
Here's the link to all the information about the contest: http://www.thewoventalepress.net/literary-competition/
There are cash prizes, but first prize is the Elizabeth Sloan Memorial award, in honor of Sandra's mother who was an artist - a one-week retreat in her Hamptons home which is one block to the Atlantic ocean beach. This is a particularly unique opportunity, to stay in this 1909 expanded cape with her mother's paintings throughout, abstract expressionist landscapes inspired by the ocean vistas. The deadline is September 15, and all contest entries will be considered for publication by the magazine as well as for the contest.
HOPKINSON: If someone has a question, how can they contact you?
PESEROFF: You can contact Sandra directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SUBMISSION FEE: None for regular magazine submissions
PAYMENT: None for regular magazine submissions
FORMS: videos, press features, flash fiction, short stories, memoir, poetry, experimental writing, and visual art