I’ve always dreamed about getting published on sites like Flakmag, Black Table, Opium Magazine and Wordriot, amongst others. I believe that I started dreaming about that a little too early. But that is no matter now. Because I think I’m finally ready, prepared and good enough to try my luck and try to convince the editors that I can.
When I joined The Simon as circulation editor a month ago, I knew that I had taken my first step into the world of literary websites. In addition, writers like Claire Zulkey and Will Leitch, in particular, opened my eyes. I don’t mean to offense, but they were not known to anybody before they started to submit to Flakmag or Black Table. They were just like me: a simple person on this planet. At this point in time however, both writers have published books.
Backwash introduced me to the world of Internet writers two years ago, when my application was accepted. From then on I wanted to spread my wings and started to explore. I started to syndicate to The h2g2 Post over at the BBC and became more interested in literary websites. The Simon then was my following step. It would get me closer to those literary sites, I’ve always loved. And it got me closer.
Being circulation editor means getting in touch with people, more specifically with editors of those literary sites. I have emailed Todd, editor in chief of Opium Magazine on behalf of The Simon and I’ve also contacted ChangeThis, Sal editor of the compilation publication Free Words and writer Elizabeth Crane, amongst others. I now really fell like a member of the elites and cool literary people on the Internet. My next step is now to create a name for myself as writer.
You may notice, at the top of this blog’s sidebar, that there’s the link, My Poetry. I started writing poetry this year and as I should have recounted on my poetry page, some of my friends and my parents thought that the poems were actually of a good standard altogether. I started to believe that they indeed were but I never thought of actually getting them published somewhere. Never, until two days ago.
I sent five of my best poems to Opium Magazine’s print edition and a couple of others to Wordriot. But that’s not the end of the story. Apart from my poetry, I’ve also written a game review (I hope Wil Wheaton is proud of me) for Opium Magazine .print #2. As I clearly stated in the email I sent to the editor, it was the absolute first time that I had ever written a review of whatever sort and also warned him that the review either totally sucks or is pretty cool. I however am pretty satisfied about it. I mixed the real game and some fiction to make the review seem unique, you know.
Apart from sending some poems and a review, I’ve also pitched Flakmag. I’ve pitched them a couple of times before – and between you and me, I really feel ashamed about it right now. In case you didn’t know, this Saturday is the Human Rights Day and the local branch of Amnesty International is organising a walk to sensitise people about human rights, obviously, and also to spread the word about Amnesty International and what it is exactly that it does. I emailed Eric at Flakmag on Monday with a pitch of the story I’d like to write about the day. I’m still waiting and crossing fingers on whether I get the green lights to write this article.
From: Khalil A.Cassimally Mailed-By: gmail.com
Date: 05-Dec-2005 16:02
Subject: Pitch: Amnesty International and Human Rights day
Next Saturday, the 10th of December, is the human rights day. And here in Mauritius, a small island in the middle of the Indian Ocean with a population of 1.2 million, the local branch of Amnesty International is organising a walk. I personally am not (yet) a member of Amnesty International but I’ll be taking part in the 5km walk nonetheless. In fact, the walk will be opened to anyone who feels concerned about human rights, whether in Mauritius itself (police brutality, mostly) or throughout the world. Amnesty International Mauritius is expecting around a thousand walkers on Saturday. There is also the possibility that the Mauritius Minister of Justice and Human Rights will be participating. He has been contacted although there has been no word confirming his participation for the time being.
I am planning to write about the walk (NOT a first person account) itself in the article to show readers of Flak that the youngsters are actually doing worthy things and that they care – contrarily to what the traditional media seems to think. Indeed, this walk has been organised with much help from teenagers (like me) and many of the walkers will actually be teens. With this perspective I hope to catch the attention of the young and less-young readers and push them to get involved with Amnesty International or any similar organisations.
However I was thinking that this walk might prove to be a good excuse for writing about Amnesty International in general.
I could write about how it came into being and the landmarks of the organisation up till now. And of course, how people can contribute. In fact I am planning to make this the core of the article, with the walk as the subject/peg which will bring me to the topic of Amnesty International, if you know what I mean. I should add that I plan to personally contact Amnesty International Mauritius and work with them for this article. I have many friends who are involved with the organisation and I already have Amnesty’s contact phone number on my desk.
I should think that an article of about 2000-2500 words is a good estimate and I’ll have it ready on Tuesday, the 12th of December, if you so wish. Also, some friends of mine will take pictures while we’re walking on Saturday and I can can get them for the article, no problem.
Any suggestions and further ideas on how I can improve this possible article are welcome. So, if you are interested in publishing this article, please let me know.
[Not Scientific Science: http://www.backwash.com/content.php?id=358 ]
But in any case, this article will be written whether Flakmag is interested in publishing it or not. My friends over at Amnesty International Mauritius suggested that I publish the article on the local branch’s own journal, as soon as I shared my idea of writing about it with them. So, I’m definitely going forward with this.
To summurise, I’m waiting from Flakmag about my proposed article about Amnesty International, Wordriot about my poems and Opium Magazine about some more of my poems and a game review.
Well actually Opium Magazine did email me back. And they didn’t reject my poems! However I was sending the poems for their print edition and apparently the following issue will be devoted near-entirely to interviews. But Heather, co-editor of Opium’s print version, made it clear that some poems are going to be featured in that special edition. That edition however, may well be published in about eight months or so and she kindly asked me whether she should keep the poems or whether I would prefer to try my luck on getting them published on the web version of Opium Magazine. Nah, I wouldn’t give up getting published on paper, in a magazine, for anything. However something isn’t too clear in my head. Has Heather decided that my poems are good enough to be included in the print version or has she just short-listed them for inclusion in the print version? Well, in any of these two cases, that’s the closest I’ve ever been to seeing my name in a print magazine.
Ah, almost forgot: I received my caricature for my backwash column. It’s pretty cool and I’m really very excited about it. I can’t put the caricature here sadly, but you can always admire it by visiting my column at backwash.