Today Robin is yielding the floor to Amanda Vacharat, who edits a unique magazine called HOOT. We will let her tell you all about it.
We work like a traditional literary magazine, in that we accept rolling submissions from authors worldwide. Each month, we select one piece of poetry or prose to be designed, with complimentary artwork, onto the front of a 4x6" postcard. Our authors range from first-time writers to experienced, published novelists and poets. Occasionally, we accept submissions from artists as well.
The idea behind HOOT is that quality, contemporary writing should not just be available to capital-L Literary types — we wanted to make something that everyone from casual readers to serious writers could enjoy and participate in. Our issues are short (<150 words), and small enough to be hung as art on fridges or passed to friends. They are sort of like, in a loose way, a tangible form of a Tweet or a Facebook post — something that can be shared. In line with making the literary world maximally accessible, HOOT also publishes an online-only issue each month, and runs free online feedback sessions for short work every Wednesday evening. In March, we will also be running free, in-person workshops at the Moonstone Arts Center in Philadelphia. Subscriptions are also priced minimally, compared to other literary magazines.
For a look at the online issues, click here. The postcards look like this:
And here are two pieces I'm especially fond of from the online magazine:
From Issue 4, HOOT Online
by Marcy Campbell
I was under pressure from management to boost weeknight attendance. We’d given haircuts in the outfield. We’d trained a goat as bat boy. I’d worked with the talent agency before, hiring clowns, jugglers, strolling magicians, but this Jesus they sent me was a problem.
He was standing in the dugout in his sandals and robe, along with our sponsor’s mascot, a soft pretzel. When I explained my plan for the race around the bases, he said, “It’s undignified.”
“I already paid for you!” I replied, yet he refused to run.
“I’ve always wanted to pitch,” he suggested.
So with the fans primed for 7th inning stretch shenanigans, I sent Jesus to the mound. I realize it’s no feat to pitch to a pretzel. Yet, when that wad of twisted dough went down swinging after three strikes from the Almighty, I tell you, there wasn’t a soul left in his seat.
From Issue 2, HOOT Online
by Stewart Lindh
Could be the name of a town
Out in the Mojave,
A place to gas up,
Buy a cold drink and look around;
“I sure wouldn’t want to live here.”
Overhears your thoughts,
And your troubles begin.
Years later, an Eagle Scout ducking behind
A boulder to piss, finds your skull
Emptied of everything.
Writer's Guidelines can be found in detail on our website (http://hootreview.com/submissions). Basically, we like zest (!) — and things that follow the Refrigerator Rule (i.e. you could hang the piece on a fridge for all your friends to see, and you wouldn't mind looking at it for a month). All work must contain fewer than 150 words. We do pay the authors we publish on postcards.
Amanda Vacharat has interned at The Potomac Review, worked as an editorial assistant for a fiction/nonfiction editing company, and has studied fiction in classes through the Johns Hopkins Creative Writing MA program. Dorian Geisler (co-editor/co-founder) recently received his MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, has work published in The Believer and The Berkeley Poetry Review, and currently teaches English in Philadelphia.