Blanket Sea is an arts & literary magazine dedicated to showcasing the work of artists and writers living with chronic illness, mental illness, and disability. They publish from February to April and from August to October.
I wondered how and why this magazine came to be, so I asked Editor-in-Chief Alana Saltz a few questions to find out. See my interview with Saltz and a link to their submission guidelines below.
HOPKINSON: Tell me a little bit about Blanket Sea.
SALTZ: Blanket Sea was founded in January 2018. We’re an online arts & literary magazine dedicated to showcasing work by chronically ill, mentally ill, and disabled creators. We accept poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, reviews, and art. We publish accepted work on our blog once a week from February-April and August-October with occasional special features and bonus posts in between. We’re always open to submissions and charge no fees to read or submit work. We’re in the planning stages for our first anthology.
HOPKINSON: How/why was Blanket Sea originally started?
SALTZ: As someone who has lived with chronic illness, mental illness, and disability for most of my life, I’ve found it challenging to find the right outlets for my work. There aren’t many spaces, especially dedicated ones, where disabled writers and artists can feel safe and welcome, especially in the literary and art worlds, so I wanted to create a space and community like that.
HOPKINSON: Who is your target reader audience?
SALTZ: The work is by disabled creators, but we aim for the content to be experienced by anyone with an interest in reading, creativity, and the arts. Our goal is for the work we publish to bring new awareness around important and marginalized issues to the general public.
HOPKINSON: What type of work are you looking for?
SALTZ: We want work that is compelling, evocative, and moving. Above all else, we’re looking for honesty, truth, and openness. While the work itself doesn’t need to directly address the experiences of illness and disability, we encourage submissions along those lines, especially because those are the types of submissions that other magazines might reject because they have a quota for work about disability or don’t feel comfortable handling or publishing it.
HOPKINSON: What do you wish you’d see submitted, but rarely comes in?
SALTZ: Visceral, immersive, and focused prose, either as creative nonfiction or fiction. Whenever we get prose like that, we grab it. There’s a place for more expansive and generalized essays, but those also need to have clearly-defined tension, story, and stakes to be engaging. We want writing that brings the reader right into the experience, into the moment, not just explain it point by point.
HOPKINSON: What are some of your favorite lit mags/journals?
SALTZ: Moonchild Magazine, Rhythm & Bones, Yes Poetry, Occulum, OkayDonkey, and Kanstellation.
HOPKINSON: What is your favorite part of being on staff with Blanket Sea?
SALTZ: There’s so much I enjoy about running Blanket Sea. I love reading the submissions that come in and sharing them with our wonderful and dedicated team of section editors. Ultimately, giving a home to important work by underrepresented creators is why I do this. Any steps we can take to bring new awareness to disability rights is invaluable, and I’m honored to do my small part in that.
HOPKINSON: Where can folks send submissions?
SALTZ: Our submission information can be found at http://blanketsea.com/submit
HOPKINSON: If someone has a question, how can they contact you?
DEADLINE: Always open
SUBMISSION FEE: None
FORMS: poetry, creative nonfiction, fiction, art
NOTES: Accepts reprints