By Taylor Portela
This is the first in a series of blogs written by the editorial staff of the minnesota review interviewing editors and folks in publishing. We hope that these will shed some light on the industry and help you learn more about how, where, and why to submit your work.
Last month, I connected via email with Savannah Slone, the managing editor of Homology Lit. I’d been following the magazine for some time, impressed by its centering of historically marginalized voices and its uncensored representation of these communities. In particular, I was stunned and delighted by the inclusion of writers that speak boldly about their queerness, in all its gritty details. Homology Lit inspires me to keep challenging my notions of what a poem can contain. I hope you enjoy our conversation.
Taylor Portela (TP): Why did you decide to start Homology Lit? How did you go about starting it?
Savannah Slone (SS): I decided to start Homology Lit because I am passionate about nurturing diversity and, with marginalized voices being silenced throughout history, I wanted to create a space solely dedicated to encouraging and shedding light on underrepresented writers and artists. I used social media to share the foundational elements of my idea in order to connect with like-minded individuals who would later become members of my editorial staff, contributors, and dedicated readers. I put a lot of energy into research on efficiency and, in the early days, learned as I went.
TP: What do you hope to accomplish with each new issue?
SS: With each new issue, I solely aim to make at least one person feel heard. As a queer woman with a variety of disabilities, having a quarterly collection of art and writing like Homology, when I was younger, would have been incredibly influential to me and beneficial to my mental health. Feeling represented in the media you consume is game changing.
TP: What particular types of writing do you look for? Are there certain qualities outside standard literary conventions or architectures that you try to highlight?
SS: In terms of genre, we’re loose. Poetry, flash fiction, and creative nonfiction are our main categories; however, we are more than open to works that don’t fit in those margins. As far as qualities within a piece of writing, it varies piece by piece. We don’t publish by theme or require those submitting to actively contribute to a dialogue of marginalization. When a piece sings, it sings. Every piece we’ve accepted and published has been breathtaking to us, and always for reasons completely separate from the other pieces that hit us just as hard.
TP: As a newer publication, how do you see Homology Lit growing?
SS: Since we are so new, there is plenty of room for growth. I aim to expand our readership by continuous social media marketing and nurturing the continual successes of our past contributors. The ultimate goal is to help as many people feel less alone in the world. By representing a variety of types of individuals in art, poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, we hope it inspires others to keep creating. We have been reading and responding to submissions for over a year now and are nearing the first anniversary of our inaugural issue. Eventually, I’d like to be able to compensate contributors and offer print issues, as well. I would like to be able to donate print issues of Homology to LGBTQIA+ resource centers, homeless youth centers, domestic violence shelters, youth detention centers, abortion clinics, and more. We are only going up from here and don’t plan to back down anytime soon.
TP: What other publications do you admire most?
SS: We admire so many publications and the work they put out. Here are a small handful: Crab Fat Magazine, Obsidian, Foglifter, Acentos Review, THEM, The Offing, Apogee Journal, Callaloo, Nepantla, Arkana, Yes Poetry, The Brown Orient, Waxwing, Raspa Magazine, Winter Tangerine, TRACK//FOUR, and tons more.
To read the full interview, check out: https://www.taylorportela.com/blog/a-conversation-with-savannah-slone.
Savannah Slone is a queer writer from the Pacific Northwest who earned her B.A. in English: Professional and Creative Writing from Central Washington University and her M.F.A. from Lindenwood University. Her poetry and short fiction has appeared in or will soon appear in Paper Darts, Hobart Pulp, Split Lip Magazine, The Indianapolis Review, Pithead Chapel, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Crab Creek Review, FIVE:2:ONE, Pidgeonholes, decomP magazinE, TERSE, and elsewhere. She serves as the is the Editor-in-Chief of Homology Lit, athe Assistant Poetry Editor for Boston Accent Lit, and a Top 50 (very) Short Fictions Reader for Wigleaf. She is the author of HEARING THE UNDERWATER (Finishing Line Press, 2019). She enjoys reading, knitting, hiking, and discussing intersectional feminism. You can read more of her work at www.savannahslonewriter.com.
Taylor Portela is an MFA candidate in Creative Writing at Virginia Tech and serves as blog editor for the Minnesota Review. They graduated from the University of Michigan in 2014 with a B.A. in Philosophy and English Literature and Language. From 2014 to 2019, they lived in Washington, D.C., working in the tech policy nonprofit sector, as well as performing in drag. You can find their work online at Esthetic Apostle, PIVOT Literature, and Rise Up Review; in print at Sonder Literature; and on Instagram @LavenderScare16.