Everything in Aspic is a new literary journal published quarterly with a free to enter monthly poetry contest. They are currently open for their monthly contest and for submissions of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, essays, or hybrid work for their first December issue.
I wanted to know more about what this new journal is up to, so I asked Editors Chelsea Margaret Bodnar and Stephen Lin some questions to find out. See my interview with Stephen and Chelsea and a link to submission guidelines below.
HOPKINSON: Tell me a little bit about Everything in Aspic.
S: I was an editor for Three Rivers Review, a journal associated with the honors college at the University of Pittsburgh in undergrad and I really missed being able to read a wide range of works and talking about those works so I thought: hey, why not start a journal? And then I think I just bugged Chelsea about it until she agreed to run it with me because I think she's an amazing writer.
C: Aahhh shut up, Stephen! Basically, I want to put things I like into the world. And Stephen is a great writer and better than I am at social media things & promotion.
HOPKINSON: I see that you run a monthly poetry contest with cash prizes, how do you fund those awards??
S: We pay out of pocket for them lol. Maybe one day when this is bigger we can take donations and put those towards large prizes and events but for now I'm personally okay with funding some of this directly.
C: With my day job! I'm a legal secretary, so it's not like I'm rolling in cash, but if worst comes to worst, I guess I could make one of the other people who use my Netflix account start paying for it.
HOPKINSON: Who is your target reader audience?
- S: Everyone and anyone? I think we're mostly curating work based on our own aesthetic judgment, but I personally want to make something that is surprising and even entertaining to most readers regardless of their familiarity / investment in writing as medium.
C: What Stephen said. I'm here for people with lousy attention spans. I want everything to be engaging without becoming taxing.
HOPKINSON: What type of work are you looking for?
- S: Similar to the above, I'm personally here for it regardless of what it is. I know my own sensibilities skew towards the more experimental and abstract, towards wrestling with both the philosophical and the immediately personal, but really I just want something that hits hard and I don't particularly care what direction it comes from.
C: I have a preference for writing that uses language in surprising ways without becoming lofty and inaccessible. Just send me something pretty. If it comes from a perspective I'm not abundantly familiar with, that's a bonus!
HOPKINSON: What do you wish you’d see submitted, but rarely comes in?
S: I personally want to see more pop culture poems, more essays analyzing video games and our strange technological landscape, and maybe some good jello recipes.
C: I have a soft spot for poetry about movies I like.
HOPKINSON: What are some of your favorite lit mags/journals?
S: Some personal favorites are Spiral Orb Eleven, Freezeray, The Destroyer, Rogue Agent, Powder Keg, Fire Poetry Journal, Rigorous, and Dream Pop Journal. I'm sure there's a bunch more I dig that can't remember though. Also shoutouts to local publications like After Happy Hour Review, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, The Mantle, Collision, and Hyacinth Girl Press!
C: I'm a fan of Freezeray, Menacing Hedge, Gigantic Sequins, Track//Four, Barrelhouse' I second Stephen's shoutouts, particularly to Hyacinth Girl Press!
HOPKINSON: What is your favorite part of being staff for Everything in Aspic?
S: Posting memes on our social media. Or reading submissions.
C: Stephen's memes.
HOPKINSON: Where can folks send submissions?
HOPKINSON: If someone has a question, how can they contact you?
S & C: Face is the place. email@example.com yo. Or check us out on Facebook, instagram, or twitter.
MONTHLY POETRY CONTEST DEADLINE: End of every month
SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Nov. 30, 2019
SUBMISSION FEE: None
- Monthly poetry contest prizes: 1st – $15, 2nd – $10, 3rd – $5
- No payment for publication in quarterly issues
FORMS: “poetry, fiction, nonfiction, essays, whatever you got”