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Fuselit Magazine Interview

Posted on 16 February 2007. © Copyright 2004-2024 WriteWords
A longer version of this interview is available to WriteWords Full and Community Members.
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WriteWords talks to Kirsten Irving, of Fuselit Magazine

Tell us something about your background.

FuseLit began in late August 2005, when we were living in Norwich.
I am forever grateful to a university friend for introducing me to the joys of ‘speed poetry’ – a brilliant cure for writer’s block and also a great communal activity. We would all sit down with a word someone had lifted from whatever novel they were reading, whatever poster they had just seen, write for ten minutes then read out what we had. Often whatever we wrote was by no means finished, but it felt good to write something nonetheless, and the piece could often be taken away, edited and finished as a really interesting poem, or at worst, salvaged for good lines and ideas. The best part was hearing what other people had written, in which direction they had taken the stimulus and what had resulted. I wanted to extend that into a magazine, taking a random word and seeing what sprang of it, what different people made of it in their own different styles.

How do you find writers?

For the first issue, DEMO, I sought out people online whose poetry and prose I had enjoyed in the past. I headhunted on deviantart.com, abctales.com and ukauthors.com among others, and the result was great. After that, people began to join the mailing list and send work themselves. Most become repeat contributors, which reinforces the idea of community and gives the magazine character. A lot of magazines tend to shy away from featuring the same author more than once, but we encourage it, because the same person could send two utterly different pieces for different issues. That said, we don’t have ‘favourites’ that bump other equally strong writers and artists out of the magazine through loyalty alone. If a piece is good, we want it, regardless of the author.

What excites you about a piece of writing-

It can be a number of things – usually I can tell very early on whether I like a piece or not, but occasionally something will grow on me and I’ll simply suggest a couple of edits. Unless a piece is really not for us, I’ll try and discuss options with the author for ways in which I think it can be improved, then listen to what they have to say.

But you asked what excites us. This list is by no means comprehensive or failsafe, many of the components contradict one another and including these things doesn’t guarantee we’ll go crazy for a contribution, but here goes: Unusual, quirky; mixed genres; well-thought-out titles (not just the key word whacked at the top); cheeky; subversive; delicious; deviant; sharp; toned; considered line breaks (for all poetry except prose poetry); perverting the cliché; cartoon characters; caustic observation; light-heartedness; conviction; focus; dialect; thought put into every aspect of composition, whether that thought is to be deliberately slapdash or deliberately meticulous; form; lack of form; new form. All this and more. Surprise us.

and what makes your heart sink?

Man, we put a whole section on the website about ways to make us reject your work. I think I included my pet peeves of “void”, “soul” and anything that sounds like the start of a James Blunt song. If you send us stuff that takes itself too seriously, or list that you’ve been in 90 bajillion journals (a few is nice), or that you have this dream, or that you have always known you had poetic blood, you’re going to bias FuseLit against you. All editors have foibles and though we try to keep an open mind, there are some things we’re never going to like. A simple bio stating a bit about yourself is fine. It’s cool to mention a couple of places you’ve been published – always interesting to know about other magazines out there and we do the same when we submit work. Just don’t tell us you’ve been in 90 – it ain’t gonna sway anything.

A longer version of this interview is available to WriteWords Full and Community Members.
Click here to learn more about becoming a member.

Comments by other Members

Nik Perring at 19:39 on 21 March 2007  Report this post
Great interview. Thanks for sharing. Great website as well.


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