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 Indigenous Writers and Storytellers Issue


Our Guest Editors tell you what they want!

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Lisa Bird-Wilson and Tenille K Campbell chat with us about their visions for the issue, what they want to read in submissions, and a bit about their writing practices.

Submission deadlineFebruary 28, 2019


Guest Editor Q&A


As a Guest Editor, what are you looking for in submissions of poems/stories/creative nonfiction for this issue?

LISA BIRD-WILSON
I hope to receive stories from across Turtle Island, stories that speak to and paint a picture of our diversity as Indigenous peoples. Past, present, and future. Traditional, contemporary, and in-between. Indigenous writers be bold! I’m looking for stories that draw me in, keep me going, surprise me, and maybe even leave me changed in some way. Voice is really important to me—I want your character(s) to draw me in. I want your best and bravest version of the story you’re telling, well crafted and well edited. I’m hoping for a bit of magic. I can’t wait to read your submissions!

TENILLE K CAMPBELL
As the poetry guest editor, I’m looking for poems that tell a story, that make me pause and reflect. I love poems that challenge me, that use language/s in innovative ways. I want to be invited into their creative space and really feel a connection with what they are sharing.

How do you want this issue to look? What do you want this issue to be?

LISA BIRD-WILSON
Diverse, dazzling, real, lively, somber, challenging, true. Breathless. I want this issue to knock your socks off. I want it to defy all your expectations and preconceived notions about Indigenous literature and storytelling. I want us to show the world what we got.

TENILLE K CAMPBELL
I want this issue to be as diverse as possible in voices—coast to coast to coast. Indigenous experience is so varied within Turtle Island and I love that we have the space to showcase that.

Can you tell me a bit about your writing practice?

LISA BIRD-WILSON
I don’t have the time or discipline to write daily. I write when I can, in bits or chunks. A few times a year I’ll write for one or two weeks every day from 9-5 like it’s my job. Sometimes it’s painful and slow and other times it flows like magic. Sometimes I drink too much wine while I’m writing and it gets silly and other times I work like a serious scholar. I also read as much as I can and that frequently inspires me to write a scene or a bit of dialogue. Having a notebook at hand is necessary. Those notes often go on to become much more.

TENILLE K CAMPBELL
My writing usually happens in the middle of the night. I’ve tried to change this, but that’s when I want to write, when I finally have the space to breathe and the world is calm. Sometimes it’s a quick ten minutes to just get the outline of an idea down, or it’s three hours of writing one scene, speaking it out loud over and over again. I’m often exhausted come morning, but that’s what coffee is for.


Our Short Grain Contest is now open!

Deadline: April 1, 2019