We have ten fabulous stories for you this time around from Nina Shepardson, Caitlin Hensel, Rona Fernandez, Rebecca Bennett, Tara Lee, Derrick Boden, Deborah Rocheleau, Wayne Faust, Sarah Gailey, and S.L. Dixon. There are eight really excellent poems from Beth Cato, Margaret Wack, Ron Houchin, Lorcán Black, Michelle Muenzler, Adele Gardner, and Neile Graham. And, in a new addition to Devilfish Review, one superb essay by Jean Braithwaite. We have new writers and familiar faces in this issue. It’s our usual glorious grab bag, something for every tentacle to grab hold of. We will be back in October with eight stories, eight poems, and one essay.
I want to take a couple of moments to address the fact that we missed April’s publication date. (It should be noted that I’m coming at this from a fiction perspective. Our poetry editors work magic and are an amazing well-oiled machine. All I know about poetry is that it’s ready when I need it, and I always adore the poems our editors choose.) Publishing is hard. Of course it is. We don’t just say yes to eight stories at random from the 100+ we have in our Submittable queue at any given time. Our fantastic readers, Allison and Gabrielle, read everything that comes in. Then Sarah and I go through and read what they recommend, along with any titles that catch our eye. Then we hem and haw and debate over the ones we like to find the ones we love. We read those eight again to polish these gems until they shine. Sometimes this is easier and sometimes it’s harder. It is always worth it. Then we put them up on the website.
It is hard work. It is worthwhile work. But it is work. And it is not the only work we do. Teaching, editing, grad school, parenting, writing are all some of the jobs we the Devilfish editors and readers have. Maybe this is why I had a horrifying chill of recognition when I read the farewell announcement from the editors at The Toast. We are not ready to shutter our site just yet, but I felt desperately relieved to see I am not alone. Our two guiding principles have always been go slow and steady, and don’t be jerks. So slow and steady. We are adding one nonfiction piece per issue. We would add more, but we can’t afford to just yet. Sarah and I pay for Devilfish out of pocket, and we aren’t quite ready to add another eighty dollars an issue just yet. We are also not ready to read through that many extra submissions a cycle.
Speaking of submission cycles, we are introducing them. We have always kept submissions open until we are too swamped to respond in a timely manner. This makes us feel like we are violating our don’t be jerks principle. We are leaving fiction submissions open for one more week and then closing them from August 10th through November 1st. Poetry and nonfiction submissions will remain open. Neither are at the volume of fiction submissions yet and so we can keep them open.
So that is the big state of the journal post. Thank you, readers, for staying with us. Thank you, authors, for trusting us with your work.