Do you consider previously published work?
We do! As long as you are still the copyright holder, we consider work which has been published in other publications or on your personal blog. However, it is your responsibility to inform us if we need to credit another publication (eg: if your piece is under First North American Serial Rights). If you aren’t sure what your work is published under or if you are the copyright holder, please get in touch with the previous publication.
What are your themes?
We theme every other issue. A list of our upcoming issues and 1) whether they are themed, and 2) what the theme is can be found on our Issues page.
What do you mean by ‘creative response to the past’? Is it historical fiction?
At the WSR we stay away from the phrase ‘historical fiction’, finding that ‘response to the past’ opens out a much larger field for writers to negotiate not only singular events but their effect, meaning and historical impact.
Historical fiction and period drama tend to dominate the cultural landscape, and mainstream historical narratives – which feed into historical fiction – are told almost exclusively from a white, Anglo-centric upper-to-middle class point of view. It isn’t enough simply to recognise this; to change it must be actively challenged.
We chose the phrase ‘historical engagement’ because it can mean engagement on a macro or a micro level; how you as in individual engage with or think about the past, or how the past is engaged with and portrayed in a wider social & cultural forum. ‘Creative response’ comes from a similar place. We like a recognisable and unique voice from the writer, and an idea of how they interpret space, narrative, temporal distance and the effect of all three in their work.
Aren’t sure if your work fits? Submit it anyway! We always love a fresh perspective!
Do you accept rhyming poetry?
We will never turn a piece of work away because it rhymes! When used correctly, rhyme is a fantastic poetical device (consider ‘“He’s a cheery old card,” grunted Harry to Jack/As they slogged up to Arras with rifle and pack/But he did for them both by his plan of attack‘ from Siegfried Sassoon’s The General or the classic ‘Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary‘ which opens Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven.) If you think your rhymes add to your poem and do not limit the vocabulary or syntax, feel free to submit!
What’s the deal with commentaries?
We offer our writers the chance to provide a commentary with their work. This is purely optional, but it provides our writers (and audience!) with the opportunity to reflect on the genesis of their poem and what they hope to convey. Commentaries (or lack thereof) have no bearing in the ultimate decision to publish.