Tips from the Editors: Poetry

While I myself am a perfectionist at heart, sometimes so much so that it is my absolute detriment, I have come to learn that imperfection in poetry is where beauty often abounds.  As I have read through the submissions for our next un-themed issue (and as I am still reading – if you haven’t heard back yet don’t worry, I’m still wading through the submissions pool) I have noticed that the moments that grab me are the unexpected ones.  My breath catches when I read a line that makes no sense yet makes perfect sense or a stanza that stops me so that I can examine each word once more.  These are the moments that could be seen as imperfect in a poem, but that in the wild and unruly world of modern poetry create the spark that fans a thought or a word into a fiery work of art.

I can’t say that I really understood this concept until I took a poetry class in my final semester of my undergraduate degree.  Up until this point poetry seemed like something to be admired from afar and handled with crisp white gloves and feather dusters – something to be kept behind glass and not messed with for fear of breaking something as fragile as a sonnet or a villanelle.  I realized in this poetry class, however, that the fragility of poetry is a myth that I taught myself as I fed my poetic imagination a steady diet of classical poetry.  While I greatly admire classic forms and structure, I realize now that my favorite poems are those that play with structure just enough to leave me guessing what comes next or that switch the form up just enough that it’s fresh and exciting.  While knowing all the rules is important in writing poetry, it’s knowing when to break them, when to bring in the imperfections, that makes a poem magnificent.

So my tip to you, dear reader, is this: mess around with your word choice, your syntax, your synonyms and metaphors.  Don’t just admire the poetry canon from afar, dive in and make ripples everywhere your mind travels.  Perfection is overrated, anyway, and beauty lies in the crumpled up moments that you were about to throw away with yesterday’s newspaper but decided to take one more look at.  There’s beauty in catastrophe.

Submissions are Closed & Happy New Year!

As we wrap up 2017, we are also wrapping up submissions here at borrowed solace.  It’s been a crazy year launching the journal and releasing our very first issue, and it’s crazy to think that we are already closing down submissions for our second issue!  We are so pleased with how everything has been going thus far and couldn’t be here without each and every one of you reading this.  This round we received so many submissions and had more visitors to than ever.  With your help, the journal is truly starting to take off!

Stay tuned for more – our second edition will be coming out in late spring 2018 and then our third (!!) issue will come out in fall 2018.  We’re constantly thinking of ways to grow borrowed solace and have lots of ideas in the works.

Thanks for a fantastic year, a great second round of submissions, and, once again, thank you so much for submitting and entrusting us with your words!  It’s a big decision, sending your work out into the world, and we so appreciate your thinking of us when doing so.  We’re excited for whats to come and are excited to have you along for the ride. Here’s to the New Year!

One Week!

*Check the blog for updates and the inside scoop on where we’re at with the upcoming edition of the journal!*

One week! One week! One week!

I think that’s all us editors can think about lately as a week from now, Hinterlands will be coming to a metaphorical newsstand near you.

We so appreciate your support in this monumental endeavor we’ve taken on to create a literary journal for those in need of solace.  And while we are certainly looking ahead to when Hinterlands comes out next week, we are also looking ahead to our next un-themed issue and are looking forward to starting the submission process all over again.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all of your support!  We are so very excited for what’s to come in just one short week!



Where are we?

*Check the blog for updates and the inside scoop on where we’re at with the upcoming edition of the journal!*

The image plastered across all of our social media accounts seems like a good title for this blog post.  “Where are we?”  Well, all of the stories, poems, and essays for our first edition have been edited.  The photography has been chosen, and we are currently in the midst of putting the final touches on the bonus content that will be available to those who decide to purchase a digital version of the journal.

There seems to be several small details that go into the creation of a literary journal that most wouldn’t think of.  The ordering of the stories in each section, for example, or the best way to incorporate our author’s bios.

I’m confident that the final product that comes out in September will be magnificent, but it’s certainly been (and will continue to be) a journey to get there!

We’re so excited to get to share all of works that are going to be in issue 1.1, but not only that – we will also be sharing some of our own personal thoughts on writing, and introducing you to the contributors as people and writers, not just as a name on the page!  Stay tuned for more as we count down the days to the release of borrowed solace issue 1.1 Hinterlands!


Issue 1.1 is Taking Shape

*Check the blog for updates and the inside scoop on where we’re at with the upcoming edition of the journal!*

We at borrowed solace have been working hard (or hardly working) at getting our first issue out.  There have been so many wonderful submissions and simply not enough room in our first edition to include every piece that all of us editors have fallen in love with.  Some quick thoughts from the first few months of borrowed solace being in existence and my first little bit as poetry editor:

  1. When a journal posts specific admission guidelines, they are there for a reason!  Some of our guidelines are there because without your including them in your submission, we are hopelessly confused.  Make sure your name is on the document itself, not just in the submission manager!
  2. When an editor says that they hope you submit in the future, they mean it!  I have read several poems that I absolutely loved but that did not fit into this edition for a variety of reasons – length, topic, adherence to the theme, etc.
  3. We really do read each and every submission, and it’s time consuming!  I’ve thought in the past that the submission timelines for many journals were a bit ridiculous.  Now that I am an editor, I realize just how time consuming (in the best way possible, of course) reading through each submission can be.  It’s worth it, but with a busy schedule in my day-to-day life plus editorial responsibilities, reading and scoring each poem we receive is a long process.

We are so excited to put everything together and showcase all of your work!  We are truly thrilled by some of the excellent writing you all have been sending us and hope to be able to give more of your work a home in the future.