Friday, December 1, 2017

Six Questions for Katie Winkler, Editor, Teach. Write.

Teach. Write. publishes flash fiction  under 1,000 words, short fiction of 1,000 to 5,000 words, poetry up to 100 lines, and creative nonfiction to 2,000 words written by authors who are, or have been, a writing instructor at a college, university, public school, or through continuing education programs. The first edition premiered to great success on September 1, 2017. Submissions for the Spring/Summer 2018 edition open on October 1, 2017, and close on March 1, 2018. Learn more here.

SQF: Why did you start this magazine?

Katie Winkler: I have taught English composition at the high school and college levels for almost 30 years and have been actively pursuing publication for over 20. During that time, I have noticed that as I improved and began having my work accepted, that my teaching began to be positively affected. My understanding of the revision and editing process has improved, but even more importantly, as the rejections have rolled in, I have gained empathy with my students that I didn't have before. Also, experiencing the joy of acceptance has inspired me as a teacher and a writer so much that I wanted to provide a venue for my fellow writing teachers to feel the same.

SQF: What are the top three things you look for in a submission and why?

KW: The top three things I look for are craftsmanship, because it is one of the main things writing teachers are trying to teach; authenticity, because gimmicky writing or writing simply to be published often leads to a shallow piece; and love for language, because there is nothing more enjoyable for me to read than someone who is head over heels for the marvelous form of communication that is English. Other languages have their charms, especially German, my second language, but it is my native tongue that still makes my heart go flippity-flop.

SQF: What most often turns you off to a submission?

KW: Poor craftsmanship. How can I publish a poorly crafted piece in a journal for teachers of writing? I mean much more than grammar and mechanics. Occasional errors will not necessarily cause me to reject a piece.  Weak sentence structure, poor word choice, lack of organization, a pattern of errors, or a general disregard for submission guidelines -- these types of things show a lack of respect for the craft, and for me as an editor, and are likely to prompt a rejection letter.

SQF: What magazines/zines do you read on a “regular” basis?

KW: New Yorker, Glimmer Train, Huffpost, The Flash Fiction Press, The Oxford American, The Pedestal, Bold Life (local magazine)

SQF: If Teach. Write. had a theme song, what would it be and why?

KW: "School's Out for Summer" by Alice Cooper because summer is when I do most of my writing and marketing. I am too busy working with other people's writing during the school year to have much time for my own.

SQF: What one question on this topic do you wish I'd asked that I didn't? And how would you answer it?  

KW: How do you feel about your writers? I have only published one edition of my journal so far, but the quality of submissions and the graciousness of the writers accepted for publication have awed and humbled me. I feel that my contributors and I have formed some sort of special bond similar to a cast and crew working together to produce a play. I didn't expect this feeling, but I like it.

Thank you, Katie. We all appreciate you taking time from your busy schedule to participate in this project.

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