AJ Kirby in Issue 1 of Blackwire Literary Journal

Posted: October 17, 2013 in AJ Kirby Short Fiction, Other Writing by AJ Kirby

blackwireOne of my all-new short fictions has been published in the inaugural issue of the Blackwire Literary Journal. You can download your copy of this lovely-looking zine, or else read it on your screen, here: http://blackwireliterary.com/issues.html

About the Journal

(This is an excerpt from the Blackwire manifesto)

“This is not a magazine for people who simply want a good story to read, something to distract them, a story that just melts their hearts and makes good honest folk vomit in a dark corner somewhere. Of course, we at Black Wire have lovely hearts and if your impulse upon sitting down to type your masterpieces is to set fire to the primary organ of your readers so that the flame burns on a different kind of colour spectrum, then our advice to you is to climb into bed with us and reveal yourselves in our black leather sheets. Our staff live only to publish great literature; not just great in terms of new ideas but work by writers with the highest understanding of structure, flow, pace and colour. If we do not receive work that we think matches what we hope to achieve, we will simply not publish that season’s issue.

The reading staff at Black Wire have a long history of working with other magazines and know how predictable and bourgeois many of them have become. Though there are still a few good ones out there, let us not be too harsh. Still, this was the reason Black Wire was formed – to publish work that not only inspires through colour and language but that helps to nurture a new breed of writers that can help literature evolve into something more complex, simple and reflective of the great and terrible things that supposedly exist in the world around us. As for specific styles and ideas, do not assume that we are only interested in work that is experimental or full of insane characters. However, at the same time do not be afraid to send us work that does not follow set rules. For example, perhaps your story is set inside of a saucepan of boiling water and your protagonist is a German style hotdog.

Many literary magazines prefer a specific flavour of writing and if you do not purchase their magazine there is no real way of finding out what it is they are looking for. Unfortunately many literary magazines have the same kind of palette and so, as we see it, nothing different ever really gets accepted. If a writer submits their work to a magazine and is rejected, there are a few ways they might respond. If they had already decided that they are the next Franz Kafka, they might send the editor of the magazine a scathing email about how he or she knows nothing about writing and that one day they will be proven wrong. This is not a good way to react, as it shows the magazine that the writer is immature and in all likelihood not experienced, as all writers have had to deal with rejection. Also, it means that the reading staff of the magazine will have a good laugh at what a fool the writer is and they will likely ignore any submissions that they send thereafter. The second response is to quit. This is the worst possible response! It is only natural to feel disappointed when work is not accepted, but one must not give up, we must try again and our advice is to read, read, read. The best way to deal with rejection is to say ‘Well, if they didn’t like that, I shall write something better.’ Writing is a craft and like any craft the more we work the better we will become. Rejection is a natural and important part of becoming a serious writer. It allows the writer to divorce themselves from their ego and look at their work in a more honest and objective light.”

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