Greatest City Collective is an new online literary and art “diary of the artistic process: rough drafts, works in progress, unfinishable works, and ‘complete’ works. They are open year-round for submissions of non-traditional forms of art as well as traditional forms of short stories, poetry, play excerpts, portraits, and photography. They are also looking to grow the collective with staff members as well. For more information, see my interview with staff members Tim Neil and Divinia Shorter with a link to submission guidelines below.
HOPKINSON: Tell me a little bit about Greatest City Collective.
TIM/DIVINIA: Whew. A little bit? Well, Greatest City Collective is a Baltimore-based arts organization looking to share the processes, work, and stories of human-minded artists, in print and in sound, while generating financial support for humanitarian institutions of their choosing.
HOPKINSON: How/why was it originally started?
T: In the summer of last year, I wanted to use my art to generate funds for critical non-profits, but was concerned about it crossing a line into the profiteering/saviorism territory. Divinia and I started a conversation about how I could do this, and it quickly developed into the concept of a collective. Initially, we planned on doing something small, primarily based in social media. Initially, we said we didn’t want to start an arts journal…or a podcast. Eventually, we recognized that in order to best serve the artists we wanted to celebrate, as well as help the organizations, and the change they fight for, we needed to fully commit to constructing a well-made home for our idea, and our hope.
D: At that point, we had to go all in, and think of who that home served and build it from there. We spent a lot of time wondering what was a way to show off artists without all of the barriers new artists run into- either money or needing a way into the door. We definitely don’t think we solved all those problems, but, as we initially intended, we formed a space and strategy through Greatest City Diary and Bus Ride Talks to get their work, voices, and the heart of what they care about out into space, and that’s all we want to do.
HOPKINSON: Who is your target reader audience?
T+D: If you enjoy the artistic process, and/or are familiar with its frustrations, astonishments, and impediments, this journal is for you.
HOPKINSON: What type of work are you looking for?
T+D: We’re looking for *checks notes* anything and everything. While we do encourage work from poets and writers, we’re also accepting visual art of all disciplines, and beyond that. We’re open to basically anything one creates and thinks, “I’m proud of this”, be it acting notes, visual arts, writing, recipes, you name it. As a journal of the artistic process, we welcome first drafts, notes of a project, half-crafted gems…and “final” drafts. What fascinates us by this experiment of a journal is the conversations to be had between pieces at various stages of completion.
HOPKINSON: What are some of your favorite lit mags/journals?
T: I love Poet Lore, Black Warrior Review, Ligeia, and Washington Square Review, to name a few.
D: I’m obsessed with Playwrights Horizons’ Almanac at the moment.
HOPKINSON: What is your favorite part of being on staff with Greatest City Collective?
T: I feel relieved to be building something that combines art with helping people.
D: Probably having other folks join our Collective. It’s just been Tim and I with this idea for a few months now, and we’ve been eager to get other voices besides our own working on this, and it’s nice to see that realized.
HOPKINSON: Where can we send submissions?
T+D: We welcome all submissions, inquiries, comments, concerns, prophecies at firstname.lastname@example.org
SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Always open (rolling)
SUBMISSION FEE: None
FORMS: non-traditional forms of writing/art, short stories, poetry, artwork
ISSUE FREQUENCY: Quarterly
SUBMISSION METHOD: Email at email@example.com // submittable coming
SIMULTANEOUS SUBMISSIONS: Yes
AVERAGE RESPONSE TIME: 3 Months or less
PAYMENT: “TBD; a primary goal of ours is compensating artists.”
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