Wow! Things were a little different in the second round of submissions. For starters, we got over three times as many submissions, but, fortunately, the quality remained very high. It seems that ‘movement’ was inspiring to many artists and in a number of different ways. Thank you to everyone who trusted us with their work. Our great disappointment this time was that we had to turn down some truly excellent work.
Our call opened on 13 November 2016 and closed at midnight GMT (though we gave a little leeway to our submitters across the pond!) on 15 December 2016. In that time, we received 178 individual submissions from 77 different artists in at least a dozen forms – some really wild forms that we loved!
With 20 published pieces, our acceptance rate was just over 11% by piece or 25% by artist. Still a quarter of artists were accepted, although we only had one person with two pieces accepted.
We want to thank all our artists from Issue 1. We believe it is the tone and the high standard that their work set that invited and encouraged such a strong submissions pool this time. Artists pushed boundaries even further, sending us videos of them at work in their studios, digital representations of sculpture and oil paintings, and a poem that blends binary code with collage and spoken word on YouTube.
We also received some fascinating photography, ink drawings, fiction, choreopoetry, scripts and poetry. We struggled with some of this work because we weren’t always convinced that it had been submitted to us in its best form. This was a new challenge for us. What if a piece is excellent, makes us sit up, jump up, even, and excites us, but we think it would be stronger, more true to itself in a different form? In the end, we decided that we had to respect the art above everything else, including our own preferences. This meant, unfortunately, turning down some pieces that we loved.
Poetry was a particularly competitive group this round and so all of our accepted poetry had unanimous agreement that it was both of excellent quality and fit with the issue overall. The very strong submissions also meant that we had to decline some excellent pieces.
We were able, however, to offer feedback to all submitters once again. We hope that the feedback of our editorial board is helpful to artists and also demonstrates that we read with interest and respect for the people brave enough to hit ‘send’. However, we encourage all submitters to take our feedback with the knowledge that this is only our position and other publications might feel quite differently.
Many times, we find ourselves writing to submitters about the tone and goals of all the sins. Hate speech of any kind is not welcome. Subversion is encouraged. Creativity is valued, as is proper grammar and good editing. Sometimes we found ourselves in the terrible position of saying, ‘We loved this piece. We wouldn’t change a thing about it. It just wasn’t quite right for the issue that came together.’ Interestingly, this is the hardest letter to write and all we could do was strongly encourage artists to send us more work! When we say this, we mean it. We don’t type it lightly and it means that we like your work but couldn’t find a home for the particular piece(s) you sent us. Really do send more!
We are confident that you will agree that the pieces that form Issue 2 capture art through movement and movement in art in interesting and inspiring ways. They are of the very highest quality and represent both established and new voices. Enjoy, be inspired and then take action. Art is more important than ever right now and we are striving to be an outlet for this way of speaking, of resisting, of making positive change. Join us.
Featured image: ‘Falcon’ by Kristin Bergene
For Kristin, pen and paper are a meditation, either through the written language or with drawing images of fantasy. It is a positive light in the confusion of the daily grind. For the time that pen meets paper, the world exhales. To see more of her work, please start by visiting her website, where you can be linked to her blog, facebook artist page and Etsy site. www.kristinbergene.com