Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Shaking things up with a publication schedule change

Here at Blood Lotus, we’re big fans of switching things up. 

We started BL in early 2006, with FrontPage and a little naivete. A couple odd color combinations later, we had the website thing down. Then we built our archives. Then we changed to a blog format. Then we changed to Issuu, our e-reader. Oh yeah, and we doubled our editorial staff size. Also, countless site revamps. We like to rearrange the living room furniture, what can we say?

But we’ve always been a quarterly. Until now.

Beginning early in 2014, we are excited to announce that we’ll be shaking things up once again by switching to a biweekly format. 

Every other Monday, we’ll post a poem/group of poems or a short story by a featured author for a two-week period. We hope this format will cast more of a spotlight on our deserving authors and generate more conversation on our blog. To that end, we’ll also offer commentary on every published piece: what we love about it and why it was chosen, directly from the co-editor who discovered and accepted it.

Awesome, you might say. But why, you might also ask.

Because while we think we do a good job of promoting writing we believe in, we’re also always thinking of how we can do it better. Then we read Brett Ortler’s piece at The Barking, in response to the Kill List litroversy, and this sentence stood out to us: 

From Blazevox to Seth Abramson’s poetry list to pretty much everything ever written by Anis Shivani, it seems that as a community, poets are more interested in controversy than in actual literature. If you doubt that, when was the last time an article about a sonnet or a prose poem or a free-verse piece got 150 comments and eight gazillion shares? I can’t remember all that many. In our little world, it seems that poetry controversies go viral, but actual poems don’t.

We think the poems (and stories! and art!) we publish are worthy of going viral, and we want to present them in a way that is more conducive to that kind of engagement.

But wait, there’s even more. Because we still love the process of compiling and publishing a cohesive issue, we’ll collect the best of the biweekly posts in an end-of-year digital issue that will also be…wait for it…available on demand as a gorgeous and affordable print issue. More details on that when the time comes. And guest editorships? Voting by readers on which pieces to include in the year-end issue? All distinct possibilities we plan to explore.

For now, it’s business as usual. With a large editorial collective, our response times are getting faster, and while we’ve always been an eclectic journal, the range of styles and voices and the diversity of our authors is only growing. Lastly, we’re always open for submissions, and that won’t change. Year-round, we’re eager to read your finest work, and to promote our authors to the best of our abilities.

Even when it means rethinking things, and making radical changes. Yeah, we'll probably revamp the blog again, too.

We’re very excited about the future of BL, and hope you’ll start to visit and interact on our site more often.

Warmly (really, stay warm out there),
The editors of Blood Lotus