AJ: Okay, so earlier, Erin, when I asked you how the journal was going you said Spry is what you expected and then not what you expected at the same time. How is it different from what you expected?
Erin: Hmm, good question. Well, I expected that it would be a decent amount of work, but I think I felt a little more prepared than I should have, because while we can definitely handle the work, it is still a lot, but on a more positive note, I think that what is surprising me the most is that … things are different than I thought they would be… like areas I thought we’d need to spend a lot of attention, we only need to spend a little, and areas I thought we’d need to spend a little, we are spending more… But the best thing has been the submissions.
AJ: When did you start taking submissions?
Erin: I really thought that getting good quality writing would be SOOOOOO DIFFICULT for the first issue and it has not!
Linsey: Oh man yeah, we’ve had some wildly impressive submissions so far.
AJ: How many submissions do you have at this point?
Erin: Probably 150 right now, and we’ve yet to send out a proper Call for Submissions.
Erin: Just through Facebook and Twitter and emails. Yeah, exciting, right?
Linsey: And to answer your question, we started taking submissions on September 1st.
Erin: We are pretty HARDCORE about blind submissions, and we immediately reject nonblinds and I think there were two that were too long too.
Linsey: Oh totally.
Erin: We have our submissions manager locked down so that we can see NOTHING from our main logins, so it’s always disappointing to get a nonblind, because we don’t even bother reading it.
AJ: I noticed that was emphasized blind subs in your Submissions page. I also noticed that you’re allowing simultaneous submissions. On behalf of writers everywhere, thank you.
Erin: Aww, thanks. I think in some way, first and foremost, we are writers ourselves first and we just want to treat others as we would want to be treated.
Linsey: Oh ditto Erin, 100%.
When does Issue One come out?
AJ: So when does issue one come out? And how much material will be in it?
Linsey: Okay, so! Issue #1 is due out in the beginning of December.
In terms of material, what we’re envisioning right now is probably around five creative nonfiction pieces, five fiction pieces, and between five and 10 poems and five and 10 flash fiction pieces. Not to say that’s not flexible, but that’s how we’ve been thinking so far.
Erin: We just want to make sure that with the length being so short, we are still giving readers a good quantity, but at the same time, we will only publish quality. If we only get two good creative non-fictions, for example, that’s all there will be kind of thing.
Linsey: Oh yeah, absolutely.
Erin: And as an aside, we have very little creative nonfiction submissions right now, so we’d like more of those! Well, I would, as creative nonfiction is my little baby.
AJ: How often do you plan to publish? I know this is an online journal, but what’s the schedule?
Erin: As of right now, we are aiming to publish two issues a year. We would be open to publishing more often, but to do that, we would need to grow in size and in bank account too.
AJ: Very cool. And the name “Spry?” I bet I could guess, but who thought that up?
Linsey: Oh man, the “Naming the Journal” saga.
Erin: Ha. This is like a whole separate two hour interview.
AJ: There must be a short answer!
Erin: Well the funny, quick part is that Spry was probably the first name we came up with (or maybe first two or three) and then after about 6989 names, it is the one we chose.
Linsey: I think that Erin first came up with it as a potentially sweet name. Hahaha yeah, it made it through so many cuts of those 6989 names.
AJ: Isn’t that always the way? With wedding dresses, houses, cars, and journal names, apparently. It’s always the first one.
Erin: We went through like 40 stages of choosing a name.
We had some SWEET ones.
Like Sear for example
Linsey: Root was a cool one too.
Erin: But we didn’t want people searching for like a washing machine to find us instead of Sears (and sears.com owns sear.com).
Linsey: Haha oh yeah, that’s right!
AJ: How long did this all take?
Linsey: Oh man, um, maybe about two months.
Erin: Just for naming.
lol The naming might have taken the longest.
We were just so hell bent on getting the name PERFECT.
Linsey: Haha yeah, and making sure it rang right in the proper sentences:
“Hey, I just got accepted by _____”
Erin: Great example Linsey. Or like “___ has been published in the NY Times, Huffington Post and Spry Literary Journal.”
Linsey: Oh yeah, that’s a terrific example too!
Next Section: Looking to the future, about the editors and please submit!