We had another cracking round of submissions as we welcomed art on the theme of landscape. We encouraged artists to challenge traditional notions of the theme and to show us the landscapes, mindscapes and futurescapes that inspire, plague and live inside them.
In June, Sinead did a public talk for the British Council in Athens, Greece where an audience member asked a tough question about representation in publishing. She wanted to know why more POC, women and LGBTQ artists don’t appear in publications. One of our hopes with all the sins is that it will become a space for voices that are underrepresented.
There are a few things that we can say in response to this question with strict respect to the numbers that we see at all the sins. Firstly, we don’t ask submittors to provide personal data about their race, heritage, gender identity, sexual preference or anything else that, frankly isn’t any of our business, so the numbers that we have are based exclusively on the information that artists provide us in their cover letters and bios.
These suggest that the majority of our submissions come from people who identify as male, but a large proportion of our published pieces come from artists who identify as female. In this last round, 40% of the submitting artists chose to use traditionally female pronouns and 67% of the pieces published were created by people using those pronouns. This marks the third issue where the majority of contributors identify as female. In total, 57% of all the work we have published was created by women.
All our editing is done blind, so we don’t know until after the final round who has been accepted. The only exception to this rule is when we discover that we have chosen multiple pieces by the same author. We want to provide a platform for as many artists as we can while maintaining the quality or integrity of a particular issue and all the sins as a publication. We also don’t want to take multiple pieces from an artist who might well find a home for them in another publication, diversifying their publication/showing record.
Given our blind process and the fact that over half of our accepted pieces are created by women, we are confident is saying that female-identifying artists around the world are creating art of the highest quality. We are proud to champion their work.
We saw our first dip in submissions this round, which were down by 19%. With 15 published pieces this meant there was a 5% acceptance rate by piece. Although we had fewer submissions, our acceptance rate by artist went down to 9.4%.
The main difference we saw this quarter was a significant increase in the visual submissions. Almost 9% of the work we received was purely visual and there were more that incorporated videos, text and, of course, our first piece of graphic fiction. It seems visual artists are really looking for places to show their landscape work! We saw so much fantastic art that we had to make some pretty tough calls on what would make the final issue.
Once again, poetry had the highest number of submissions, representing 65.6% of all the work, prose (fiction and creative non-fiction) made up 12.1%, and 3.3% of the submissions were multi-media or mixed forms.
As we look toward upcoming submissions calls, we hope to continue to see mixed-form, prose and visual art submissions continue to rise and we hope to see more diverse voices. Upsetting the status quo is what we’re about – so send us your strong voices and speak out!
Featured art: With the Waves and with Your Voice, by Kate Bae. 8×10 inches, acrylic on wood, 2017
Immigrating from South Korea to the US in 1994, Kate Bae has exhibited throughout the world. Among many honors she was awarded residencies at MASS MoCA, Wassaic Artist Residency, Contemporary Artists Center, and Seljavegur Residency at Reykjavik, Tentacles Art Space in Bangkok, Trestle Gallery residency in Brooklyn and Sam & Adele Golden Foundation for the Arts Residency in New Berlin, NY. You can check her paintings at kateisawesome.com.