Your Editor Has Issues, Part 3

in which she demystifies the long-rumored blog series, then jumps, without segue, into a shameless plug of the poetry contest.

Hello again. Hope you like Melusine's new look for autumn. I thought it was time for a change, and our web guru (Thanks again, Web Guru!) did some great work, as usual, outfitting us for the season. (But if you liked us better in blue, no worries; we'll be looking for something brighter to wear again this winter.) By the way, our web guru just asked me to pass along the info that the site in general looks a tad shinier in Internet Explorer 8 than it does in IE7 or earlier versions, although it looks shiniest in Firefox or Safari.

I know I promised a topical rant this month instead of more hashing over of logistics, but things ran slightly behind schedule for the launch this fall, mostly due to personal stuff going on in the offline world, so I am just now getting around to opening up submissions for the biweekly blog series, and I thought this would be as good a time as any to share some more details with you about that. Once the blog is off the ground, there should be plenty of time for rants.

At least for the time being, the blog will post only creative nonfiction shorts. Also of note: the blog series will replace the nonfiction section in the quarterly issues, so longer nonfiction pieces will no longer be solicited, although queries for special feature articles are still welcome.

What I'd like to see most are (creative – and preferably nonfiction) opinion pieces. In all seriousness, I suppose "rant" is far too strong a word (I have to watch cable news in connection with my day job, so I do get more than a healthy dose of that sort of thing.) But I would like to hear some thoughtful, in-depth personal analysis of topics that matter to 21st-century women, preferably told in a candid, personable way that is enjoyable to read (i.e. no recycling of your essays from Women's Studies 101, please ;)

Autobiographical shorts are welcome, too, but what I'm looking for in all blog submissions is how well the pieces speak to Melusine's small but diverse (and hopefully growing!) reader base. Any story, no matter how personal, can be relevant to any other reader, no matter how disparate his or her experience, if it is told well enough. (I think I just paraphrased a famous quote there. Help me out if you remember which one.)

Anyway, with that said, submissions are now open for the blog series. The only official guideline is that no submission exceed 2,000 words. With the holidays coming up, I won't promise any entries appearing before 2010, but if those dark, chilly December days drag on particularly long, well, anything's possible.

One last note especially for poets: Don't be shy about submitting your entry to Melusine's first annual poetry contest, the Vivienne Haigh-Wood Prize. The deadline is February 15, 2010, and full details can be found here. (Hint: There's $500 up for grabs here, so I would be checking this out myself if I were a poet not hopelessly affiliated with this journal.)

Enjoy the issue! Our featured artwork this time around is all photography: work by Dorothee Lang, a visual artist and writer based in Germany; Steve Wing, a visual artist and writer who is our first male contributor; and New Zealand visual artist and writer Reihana Robinson, whose artwork was featured on the cover of our debut issue as well as this issue's cover.

JEK