(Note: 'Craic' in Irish means 'fun'. We haven't mispelled it. It's not the illegal kind that you may or may not smoke- we're not judging- just to clarify!).
So... Issue #1 went well. At least we think it went well. These things can be hard to judge.
Mostly we're relieved that the writers involved were happy with the results of our first issue of Anomaly (which I personally want to frame the cover of) and that is more than we can ask for. Many of them were highly complimentary about the look of Anomaly: Issue #1, which is all thanks to Joseph Birdsey, whose wonderfully magic fingers brought about just the perfect look for our first issue.
I (Lorcán- yeah, it's me who does the internet things!) had no idea from the beginning of this concept that we would succeed in even reaching our first issue- let alone any others after that. None of us had any real notion we'd get even this far. Which, actually, was what was so cool about this whole process.
We could do exactly what we wanted: set our own rules on everything, analyse what we liked about other journals, what we didn't like, what we would and would not do and just go from there. This has all been an experiment. It just so happened that we quite liked that experiment and we want to continue it.
As a writer, I want it to continue. I'm sure other writers do too. We've had quite a few emails from writers (and not just ones who got published, before any of you raise eyebrows!) saying that they've loved what we've done, the way we've handled things, our submission manifesto- for want of a better description- but these are all things that are very important to us as we go on. Even if we get to Issue #2, or 5 or 12, those submission requirements will not change because those are the building blocks on which Anomaly, as we envisioned it, is built upon. Sure, they might seem overly-generous by most journals' standards. Fine. So, they are. We don't give a shit for having the first place in one poet's publishing credentials- "First published in Anomaly: Issue-" Fuck off. No. That's not what we're doing.
I'm a writer. I've been published here, there and a few other places over the last 12 or 13 years (which means nothing. If I'd get to 35 and wasn't heard of, I'd expect that. Welcome to the industry- it's not for love nor money that you do it) but do you think for one second I've turned around to an editor and said "By the way, this was first published in..." No.
I kept my mouth shut and also, who cares? If they like it, they'll publish it. If it contributes some idea of something akin to what they want? They'll take it. If it fits with the protocol they set up for themselves? It's in. I've never not simultaneously submitted and even when I did, depending on the place of publication, I've known they must have seen it was published somewhere else.
Google is a hard mistress to mislead. It's right there. They either checked and didn't care, or they were too lazy to bother. Either way, I've never had a place of publication come back to me and say, "Actually, we've noticed this was previously published in..." Why? If it's good enough, why rock the boat? And if it's not good enough? It's a poor excuse. So, we've just dispensed with that altogether. Maybe I'm too Irish- but I don't like airs and graces. So, there'll be none here, thanks.
But I'm also not being dismissive of other journals, I don't want that to be the idea that anyone comes away with from reading this. We're trying, in a small way, to be different. We're trying to say "You've published this already? Okay... well, if it's good- great! Let's publish it again" and see how many more people you can reach as a writer. Because that is what is important to a writer- and to us.
"No simultaneous submissions" why? Because you might... what? Not get there first? Get where, exactly? What is the point of that? As a writer, I read that, consider it, disregard and submit anyway. As every journal who has it on their submission page knows very well anyway that any writer with any ambition worth their salt will pay no heed to that. No writer will abide by that and I personally have no time for that kind of bullshit. I don't do it- I'd be a damned fool, as a writer, to do that- so why should I, as an editor, expect any other writer to do so either? I don't. None of us here do.
We're trying to do something different. We're here- email us, tweet us, comment on the podcast page (on any topic you like, which goes directly to our inbox). We are open to engaging. We actually had an email from a young woman who sent us a limerick, which was totally never going to be published but I just happened to be checking the main email, and it totally made my day.
I emailed her back to say, you know, this is never getting in but thanks for putting a smile on my face. She absolutely made my morning that day and she was just chancing her arm with it but it made me even happier to realise that, okay, we're doing something- we seem open enough that someone would, for jokes, email this (fairly good, actually I have to admit!) limerick for kicks. That makes us feel like, Okay we're on track, we're doing the right thing. That's the atmosphere we wanted to create around Anomaly. Brilliant.
That first issue was both a test of nerves and determination but we did it. Now, however, comes the very real test: can we repeat it? Can we get to Issue #2? We are getting submissions already, which is amazing but we need more. We need anyone who reads this to spread the word. Share the blog, share the website, the podcast- anything!
We want everything you can send us- poetry, fiction, non-fiction, commentary, artwork and photography. We want each issue to be stonger than the last. We started such a good thing with Issue #1, let's keep that spirit going!
Lorcán Black, Roseanna Free, Oliver Tatler & Joseph Birdsey.