Moveable Type: wildness
January 25, 2018
A conversation with Michelle Tudor, Editor
How did wildness begin? What was the goal when starting the magazine?
We decided to start wildness when we realized there was more work we wanted to release than would be possible solely through our press (Platypus Press). We saw it as a means to expand the number of voices we wanted to share with others; a means to magnify and stimulate, to focus on a more varied canvas.
Describe your decision-making process for selecting work to appear in the magazine.
Right now, and I imagine for the foreseeable future, it’s just myself and Peter [Barnfather, Art Director]. We review all submissions together, consider how we both feel when reading the work, and ultimately come to a mutual decision about whether to publish it or not. Without outside readers, we feel we have a closer relationship with the work we publish (both as a journal and a press), and we really love that about the mechanisms we have in place.
If your magazine has an ethos, what is it?
That’s a tough one. I think that it’s normal for journals and magazines (including us) to want to say, “we want the best work” but due to the subjective nature of taste, that’s become a contentious turn of phrase. It’s true though, it’s just the best work to you (or your readers). We have a fondness for nature-based writing (poetry and nonfiction), and tend to prefer place- or person-based literary narratives in fiction, but as you’ll see in the journal, those are not requirements or prerequisites for being published in wildness. We just want work that resonates with us, or we feel will resonate with our readers.
After wildness, what’s your favorite writing venue?
We get asked this a lot and we always tend to forget somewhere we love! But a few places that have influenced wildness are: Thrush, Birdfeast, The Offing, and The Adroit Journal. Also, we love some of the newer venues like Elizabeth Onusko’s Foundry and Luther Hughes’s The Shade Journal.
What is your plan for the future of the magazine?
Well, this year we introduced our “the Wilds” section, which is a daily feature where one of our contributing editors highlights a piece of creative work from around the world; we also have a mini-interview section called “Five Things” and a weekly book review. Next year we’re expanding the daily section to cover all seven days, we’re also hoping to increase our reviews to twice a week, as well as expanding “Five Things” into its own independent project. We also started the journal as bimonthly but switched to quarterly for 2017. As we moved into the latter part of the year we realized we preferred the more consistent regularity of bimonthly, so we have switched back to that format. The beauty of being online means we can switch around fairly easily without worrying we’re going to alienate our readers. Generally, though, we hope to keep releasing works that stimulate the readers (and ourselves), work that we hope means something to people.