Since issue #16 came out, we’ve done a lot of work around here, and there is still a lot of construction dust in the air. Due to some recent publicity, we have started to get a whole lot more submissions, and to accommodate that, we have brought in some fresh blood to help us slog through the now teeming slush pile.
The first person to join the new team was Dan Townsend, whose fiction has been published in a number of reputable journals, including this one. He recently completed his Masters and asked if we needed some help with things, and we said we needed all the help we could get. In addition to reading submissions, Dan will be expanding our offerings by contributing some reviews and author interviews. His background as a professional fundraiser doesn’t hurt either.
Next, we called up Callie Mauldin, another talented fiction writer whose unique perspective really helps balance things out among us boys. In addition to being one of the best writers we know, Callie is also an actress and a comedic improviser, both of which contribute richness to her character-driven writing. Her ongoing work with Birmingham’s Sidewalk Film Festival will also help inform our future fundraising efforts.
So we felt pretty good then about out prose submissions, but we still needed help with poetry. We emailed Adam Vines, Managing Editor of the Birmingham Poetry Review, and he gladly offered up his three most talented interns to the altar of STR. Halley Cotton, Jason Walker, and Cheyenne Taylor all have extensive experience with both major literary magazines produced out of our local university, Birmingham Poetry Review and PMS (poemmemoirstory). In addition, all three are accomplished poets in their own right with multiple publications to their names.
Of course, along with all this new talent came a lot of new ideas and new energy. Matthew, Michael, and I are blown away by all the incredible ambition and insight these folks bring to the table, and we are working overtime to make bring their visions to fruition where we can. Some things we hope you will notice is a more streamlined look to the website, a (hopefully) clearer mission statement and guidelines for submissions, author photos to make things a little more friendly looking, and featured selections from our archives on the front page. There’s no telling what more we will be able to do by fall, but we are hoping to find ways to make the site more interactive and encourage our contributors to make connections with one another (which is an essential part of our mission).
This issue is also especially exciting because we have had so much work to choose from, and we have had some quite stimulating debates about what would make it in. We think this marks a clear step forward in the quality of what we have to offer, and we hope you feel the same way. We also appreciate your feedback, so feel free to comment on our Facebook page or send us an email (steeltoereview AT gmail).
–M. David Hornbuckle