Riddled with Arrows Literary Journal

Last month I had the honor of being featured in Sapling, the weekly newsletter of Black Lawrence Press.

Sapling is a subscription-based newsletter dedicated to showcasing small presses and journals (details and subscription options can be found here.)  It’s an excellent resource for writers that includes open submission calls, interviews, and more. My interview as RwA founding editor is reprinted below, with permission.

Sapling: What should people know who may not be familiar with Riddled with Arrows?

Shannon Connor Winward: Riddled with Arrows is an online literary journal dedicated to metafiction and metapoems (ars poetica), and writing that celebrates the process and product of writing as art. We are zealously writer-friendly: we offer a modest payment for contributors, a super-fast turnaround on fee-free submissions and—when possible and warranted—a personal note for rejected work.

 

Sapling: How did your name come about?

SCW: The journal takes its name from “Poetry,” a poem by Pablo Neruda:

“…and I wrote the first faint line,
faint, without substance, pure
nonsense,
pure wisdom
of someone who knows nothing,
and suddenly I saw
the heavens
unfastened
and open,
planets,
palpitating plantations,
shadow perforated,
riddled
with arrows
, fire and flowers,
the winding night, the universe.”

 

SaplingWhat do you pay close attention to when reading submissions? Any deal breakers?

SCW: Riddled with Arrows exclusively publishes metafiction/poetry and writing about writing. You could submit the most stunning piece of writing we’ve ever read, but if it is not about writing, or at least self-referential in some way, we can’t use it.

Sapling: Where do you imagine Riddled with Arrows to be headed over the next couple years? What’s on the horizon?

SCW: Right now we’re working towards sustainability. Riddled with Arrows is a passion project that is entirely writer-funded—we have been blessed with a wide network of writers and linguaphiles whose financial support has launched us into our second year—but we are hoping to generate enough in-house income to keep paying contributors for years to come, and maybe even raise our contributors’ rates.

Content-wise, we are very interested in the interactive nature of web design as it can be applied to literature.  We’ve been dabbling in hypertext and embedded effects that enhance the reading experience—we definitely want to do more of that.  The focus of Riddled will always be the writing, but we’ve got some fun interactive projects in the queue.

 

Sapling: As an editor, what is the hardest part of your job? The best part?

SCW: The hardest part comes at the very end of the selection process when I have to choose which of my favorites to put in an issue and which to set free.  It’s always painful to say no to something wonderful that just doesn’t fit, for whatever reason. The best part, though, is seeing that finished product, and admiring the way all the selected works fit together to complete an issue. Particularly when Ro, our Design Editor, starts working her magic to make the words come alive on the site–it always surpasses my original vision. With all of the administrative work that goes into producing a journal, even an online one, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and lose sight of why we decided to do this—but that moment when it finally comes together makes it all worthwhile.

 

Sapling: If you were stranded on a desert island for a week with only three books which books would you want to have with you?

SCW: An anthology of world poetry, a blank notebook, and the fattest dictionary I can find.

 

Sapling: Just for fun (because we like fun and the number three) if Riddled with Arrows was a person what three things would it be thinking about obsessively?

SCW: Which journals are opening/closing to subs this week, a better word than “perspicacious” in the penultimate line of that poem, and whether coffee is the source of or the solution to all these strange somatic symptoms…

 Shannon Connor Winward is the author of the Elgin-award winning chapbook, Undoing Winter and winner of the 2018 Delaware Division of the Arts Emerging Artist Fellowship in Literature. Her work has appeared in Fantasy & Science Fiction, Analog, Lunch Ticket, The Pedestal Magazine, Minola Review, The Monarch Review, Qu, Literary Mama, Rivet, and elsewhere.www.shannonconnorwinward.com
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  For more info:

I have aspirations to write more blog posts – regular content, platform, and all that.  There are a lot of things going on right now that could use the added energy: Riddled with Arrows recently launched its second issue.  I’ve got new stories and poems floating around in the world or forthcoming.  Voting for the 2017 SFPA Rhysling Award just wrapped up (with two of my poems in the running),  the Dwarf Stars voting is now open (also with one of mine), as are the Elgins, plus we have a Contest and a bag of holding full of administrative happenings, well, happening.  In short, I done been busy.

But behind the scenes, life takes precedence.  We just wrapped up one of the longest and most difficult chapters of our family story, hopefully never to be revisited.  I’m still recovering, physically and spiritually, but mostly doing okay.  I’ve been enjoying a period of creative abundance–not just the desperate, defiant manic phase that I’m used to, but a purposeful, measured and meaningful stretch of good, old-fashioned work.  I’m hoping to keep up momentum over the summer to re-stock my story and poetry stables for submission, then maybe step into something bigger-picture come the fall, once both kids are safely ensconced in school (and not climbing on Mom’s head, literally, as she tries to write).

In the meantime, I’m prepping for a somewhat-surprise trip to northern California to visit my grandmother, who is turning ninety-six-years-young this Saturday.  I haven’t seen her in person in three or four years (or my hip uncle Bruce in more than I can remember), and I’ve never been to the West Coast before.  Although the hyper-focused, rarely leaves the house without her children mom in me is freaking out a little at the thought of switching planes in a strange city all by myself, the rest of me–the part that USED to have a life, and love adventure–is starting to get psyched.  I’m looking forward to a few days in new environs to work, write, and think without little voices overriding everything.  Plus, I get to spend a few more days (and, let’s be honest, the last ever) with a very special lady–the only grandmother I’ve ever known.

 


So that’s why I’m not publishing as much content as I’d like–I know, excuses, excuses.  This is just to say, hi, I love you, hope you’re having a nice summer! And also, stay tuned.  More words to come.  Eventually.

Help Launch Riddled with Arrows Lit!

St Sebastian, martyred by Ribot, Auguste Theodule

Riddled with Arrows is a quarterly online literary journal dedicated to writing about writing.  We seek (short) metafiction and metapoems, and writing that celebrates the process and product of writing as art.

Riddled with Arrows is currently CLOSED to submissions, but our website is LIVE, as is our INDIEGOGO Fundraising Campaign.

Riddled with Arrows will be a paying market because we believe writers should be compensated (“exposure” don’t buy groceries). BUT we don’t have a lot of funds to start with (we’re working writers and we need to eat, too)! Every dollar you contribute will help us pay a starving artist for their poem, flash fiction, or visual art. Feed the writers! Donate today!

Perks for RwA donors include:

$5 USD – Riddled w/ Arrows Patron Badge

Support Riddled with Arrows at the $5 level and receive a custom “Riddled with Arrows Patron” badge for your website or social media page.

$20USD – Poetry Fishbowl
Support Riddled with Arrows at the $20 level and you can challenge poet Shannon Connor Winward to write a poem on a topic of your choice. Be as creative or crazy as you like – but keep it clean, please. Fishbowl-inspired poems may be published on Riddled with Arrows or Shannon’s author blog. Copyright (and right of refusal) remains with the author.
$25 USD  – Prose or Poetry Critique
Support Riddled with Arrows at the $25 level and receive a personalized critique of 1 poem OR 1 flash fiction/prose piece (max 2 pages in either genre) by writer and editor Shannon Connor Winward.
$50 USD – The Gift of Poetry
Support Riddled with Arrows at the $50 level and receive a custom-crafted poem by Shannon Connor Winward. Personalized poems make great gifts for anniversaries, birthdays, and life’s many special moments.