Renda Dodge, Managing Editor extraordinaire, knows how to generate excitement for her many-sided arts and literary magazine, Line Zero. I was notified that I was a “finalist,” which means not only publication in the next issue but also a chance to be the “winner” or “editor’s choice,” and thus gain special feature. Being chosen as a finalist is jazzy in itself, because Ms. Dodge only takes ten poems per issue (one per bard). The quality of the zine is mind-blowingly cool. Here is a link to a “sampler” of issue 5, provided on the site:
The sampler starts off with a masterful cover, awesome of photo and captivating of font. After professional credits, and the wowness of the sleek pdf format, you find an article by Andrea Hurst and Brandon Lafave. Husrt is a major literary agent and runs her own company. Did I say major? Let me repeat: Major!!
The article is of vast relevance if you are thinking of writing/marketing a novel. Heck, here is a short passage:
Rejecting manuscripts is easily our agents’ least favorite part of the job, outside of receiving unsolicited pitches while on vacation or in restrooms. But it’s a necessary one. We’d love to sign every project we fall in love with, but just because we love a project, doesn’t mean it’s commercial enough for a large publisher. Reading the first fifty pages allows agents to see what’s working in a manuscript, what’s not, and whether it will appeal to a general audience. (“The First Fifty: Why Manuscripts Get Rejected”)
After this incredible start, the sampler goes on to give you frissoning visuals, short stories and poems. The “Winner” in poetry of Issue 5 is revealed to be Catherine Warren for her work “Apiary,” a soundstream of resonant Dickinsonian images.
(Reading “Apiary” I’m pretty sure I won’t be named the winner of the upcoming issue. I can’t sustain my voice for so long and so beautifully. I’m basically good for a few quirky ideas. In my accepted poem, “Face,” I compare human expressions to a scrotum...)
Other poets I recognize in Line Zero (not necessarily issue 5) include the well-known John Grey, and also Jami Kali, the courageously darkling editor of The Vein.
Bolstering Dodge’s savvy sense are some intriguing regular contributors , including one who “has edited over four million words of clients’ fiction in the past two years.” Also, there is Bailey Shoemaker Richards, mantled by the intimidating title of Literary Content Editor. Do not mess with this person!
You can’t beat Line Zero for the kind of professionalism and quality that grabs serious attention. I urge you to investigate!
Thank you, Editor Dodge and team, for giving so much to the internet kingdom of literature & art.
PS: As part of being a “finalist” I was asked to supply a list of ten songs I was listening to “right now” while I create. Although I don’t listen to music as I write, I do consider music a major influence over my afflatus. Here is my list (surely I won't get kicked out of the next LZ issue for supplying my music list in advance, right?):
deceptacon (le tigre)
right through you (alanis morissette)
fuck the pain away (peaches)
white elephant (volcano suns)
american idiot (green day)
exhuming mccarthy (rem)
hare krsna (husker du)
criminal (fiona apple)
ready to go (republica)
And here are the ten finalists for the upcoming issue:
Ken Kesner—Bordering Why
Lauren Ziemski—On How To Remember Your Dreams
Lois Holm—The Labyrinth Walker
Mark Parsons—Course Of Desire
Drusilla NicGowan—Safe Room
Lynn Hoffman—Where the Ice Sinks
John Sibley Williams—The Sea Within
Mitch Grabois—Cat & Rat