Some Aspects of Reprints
Collected while working on the BluePrintReview
Reprint Issue #22:
"re /visit /cycle /turn"
by Dorothee Lang (editor Blueprintreview)
This file started as a copy&paste of notes and mails, collected during the editorial process of the blueprintreview reprint issue, and - like the whole issue - turned larger and more complex than expected first.
Themes covered are:
- Revisiting Published Stories
- The Concept of the Reprint Issue
Orphaned Stories + The Stigma of Being Previously Published
- Online Magazines Gone Offline
- Lost and Found Magazines
- Previously Published Submissions
- Changing Web Layouts
- A list of retrieved magazines, speedily deleted, now online
- Side effects of previously published works: a link page
- Going live & first feedback
- Respect for Reprints
Revisiting Published Stories
February - April 2009
as always, the theme for the next BluePrintReview issue develolped through the previous issues, and this time, also through a couple of hundred short stories:
in february 2009, i served as preliminary judge for the Story South Million Writers Award. there were
so many, many stories waiting to be read. and even though i regularly go for strolls through the wide and wild world of online literary journals, the story south links took me to dozens of intriguing stories that had been published before but that i wouldn't have come across otherwise.
then came April 2009. and with it, the going live of blueprintreview #20 - 'the missing part'.
this issue included 2 previously published stories: 'Kissie Kiss' by Karyn Eisler and 'What We Thought We Knew' by Ben Tanzer. there were other previously published texts before this, the first of them being 'The Four O'Clock Café' by Daniel Hudon in issue 15, which also was the reason to switch blueprintreview guidelines to "reprints are fine" from that point on, but up to that point, there hadn't been any comments or reflections on this theme.
this changed with issue 20.
"Kissie Kiss" induced a chain of conversation on reprints, and how the layout of a story - and its context - can influence the reading experience. here the initial conversation, as Karyn forwarded it to me:
Re: BluePrintReview / Kissie Kiss
Thought you might find the following interesting in light of the release of BluePrintReview #20, and your inclusion of my story "Kissie Kiss" as a reprint. It is a brief exchange with a friend. - I find the whole concept of a reprint fascinating for the very reason that my friend points out - how taking the same words, and framing them differently can lead to a very different emotional response - a different experience entirely.
- Karyn Eisler
thoroughly enjoyed reading kissie kiss again and very much like the art/image choice to accompany the article... somehow, your story felt/seemed different in this journal than in the original.
it does have a different feel to it, doesn't it? how so, for you? i'm curious -
this might sound weird... but in terms of reading Kissie Kiss in Blueprint, it seemed freer, more airy, lighter for me (not in the substantive content or writing but I felt freer in the emotion it evoked for me)... maybe it was the spacing or formatting or the art work that accompanied your article... but it seemed more breezy, free flowing than the article's appearance first time round.
made me go back to the first version of Kissie Kiss again, and then include the direct link to it on the blueprintreview page.
they also induced a chain of conversations, of the kind with forwarded copy/pasted paragraphs:
Re: BluePrintReview / Kissie Kiss
Karyn, thanks for sharing those reflections. this is really interesting for me, to get a feedback on the layout. it also made me think that a lot of magazines don't accept previously published work, as they rather want something all new - but then, for me, it's fascinating to explore the different moods one text can take in different layouts / contexts. (i tried 2 other images before i found the match for Kissie Kiss).
i also forwarded your lines to the photographer Steve Wing, he is a regular contributor, and this is what he wrote back:
"This is really interesting about Kissie Kiss. First of all, I had the same reaction, without being able to put it into words. But the art with the original did sort of overwhelm the writing, I thought. It dominated the mood. I agree that the layout in BluePrint Review opens the writing up and lets it free, to be playful, which is how it was intended I think. As for the art, it is one of those combinations that only you would have made. I never would have thought to use that image for this piece. Yet it does fit and it brings somehow a new dimension to it all, not dominating, not stifling the freedom of the writing. It is playful in a different way, this image, and so is the overall effect." - Steve
Thank you for sharing the thoughts of Steve Wing. It really is interesting.
All of these insights suggest a new journal dedicated to reprints only - their
reframing, making them look beautiful. It could be called 'RePrintReview' - with
the same sensibility as 'BluePrintReview' - text inside an art gallery. And
there would be links to the originals for comparison purposes. Anyhow, that's
where my thoughts went -
Have a great day,
interesting thought: a journal dedicated to reprints. or maybe,
as a whole journal takes a lot of starting work - maybe one issue of
BluePrintReview? that might be indeed some idea.
the issue still might need a thematic clue, to give the submissions
some focus. maybe: "revisited", or something along those lines. this is good. maybe it could be issue #22.
ha! the things that come from a Kissie Kiss.
have a great day, too!
The Concept of the Reprint Issue
after #20 went live, i put together a feedback page for issue 20, and also included the inital notes about Kissie Kiss at the bottom of the page as "feedback/forward", and sent out a contributor mail:
RE: feedback bluerprintreview
"last week, the new issue of blueprintreview went live. today, i took some time to put together quotes from the feedback-mails i received, to share them with all contributors of the issue.
the quotes are up on an extra-webpage, here the link: http://www.blueprintreview.de/20feedback.htm"
just some hours later, i received a mail from j. a. tyler, which started the next string of reprint conversation:
j. a. tyler
thanks for sharing. so will the next issue be all reprints?
thanks for asking - i now added a note to the page:
"note: the "revisited/reprints" issue will probably be #22, as the upcoming issue #21 has a theme already: "shortcuts/detours"
i guess, the reprints issue first needs some time to figure it out - for example, there still should be a theme to it. otherwise i probably will be flooded with submissions of all kinds and themes, from cowboys to romantic poems to horror."
j. a. tyler
thanks for the info. maybe the reprint issue could have a related theme like cyclical / return / reoccur / repeat. just a thought. keep me posted - I love to submit when I have work.
best in all else.
and so the concept of issue 22 fell in place,
just 7 days after issue 20 went online: a reprint issue.
and the theme of the reprinted stories,
coming from the same angle:
revisited - returned - or, well: recycled, in the best of senses.
+ The Stigma of Being Previously Published
08. July 2009
today, the "reprint" call for submissions for issue 22 went online as part of issue 21 (here the link).
just some hours later, i received a first feedback to the reprint issue, in a mail from Tammy Ho (editor of Asian Cha). this came as a surprise - i only had sent out mail to the contributors of the new issue at that time. but the issue link was already spreading and moving through the web, and had reached Tammy. this is what she wrote:
Congratulations on the new issue of BluePrintReview! Also, I want to let you know that I am very glad to see the new call for submissions (and the story behind it). I was just writing something about the demise of small online publications and the fate of previously published works on my blog:
"The Demise of small online publications"
Your new CfS is very refreshing and generous. Wish you all the best,
i followed the 'Demise' blog link, and arrived in a situation known too well from own experience: work that was submitted and accepted / published, and then suddenly becomes homeless:
"I hate to see online publications go. All of a sudden the published works in those publications become orphans, URL-less. Other places don't want them because editors tend to like fresh pieces (Cha editors included!). Unless you hide your poems' or stories' publication history (i.e. lie), your pieces are in a limbo: published yet not published."
still pondering on texts that lost their homes, i moved back to the blueprintreview mail-account, and found a first mail with a question about reprint submissions.
"When you say reprints are you thinking of blue print review stories or elsewhere?"
and there it was. this slight hesitance of crossing an invisible line, paired with the thrill of doing something for the first time.
i smiled. and typed.
"i am thinking of other magazines / journals.
i am already curious for the submissions."
Online Magazines Going Offline
09. July 2009
today: more thoughts and conversations about online magazines going offline. here is one that made me melancholic for the e-zines mentioned:
technical question: i don't understand why the links to published works would ever disappear just because a journal stops publishing? should/could a person just make sure to save each publication on their own disk or computer so if a link goes dead, you could then use your saved version in your own archive/website? just wondering about 'preventative' measures ....
about the disappearing links: the thing is, some journals not only go into haitus, leaving the issues up in the web - instead they pull down the whole site, complete. so nothing is left. all links end up in error-pages. like this:
(brilliant first issue. then all went missing, including one of my postcard pieces. well, it somehow fits the name, right?)
(more than a dozen complete theme issues. beautiful work. gone.)
(funky and odd and different and.. gone)
the thing i don't really understand is: hosting a website costs not more than a pint a month. sometimes i wonder if maybe the editors were caught in a mail-argument with some contributors, and ended up frustrated, erasing page after page?
preventative measures: yes, saving every publication is a good idea, most browsers have a "save whole website" option.
then you could use the copy in an archive, but you would need to put it up as a webpage again, which means - the webadress changes. and of course, all connecting links on the page won't work.
here, for example, one of the poems i had published in turkmagazine, as a copy&paste page:
now i get all melancholic for all the lost issues and the orphaned pieces.
Lost and Found Magazines
14. July 2009
and good that i got all melancholic. while mailing about online-magazines-gone-offline with a friend, i remembered a web archive search engine. and also good that i still had the link somewhere, the thing is named: waybackmachine.
and it does just that. it moves back into the past. to lost magazines.
here are 2 of them:
last published issue: summer 2006
previous issues: Dicey archive
last published issue: #11, April 2006
previous issues: Turk archive
how wonderful is that? i will look for other magazines which have disappeared, and will probably do a series of lost+found blog entries.
update, 25. July / 2. August
found some more lost+found magazines, here the blog entries: into the past II and into the past III
Previously Published Submissions
7. August 2009
blueprintreview submissions opened on Saturday, and i already received some amazing texts. it's so good, to have a strong start of the submission phase.
the reprints theme seemes to trigger more unexpected submissions than usually, too. here's one that starts with the assumption that all editors are male, and is typed in sms-style:
am enclosing the xx previously pub. in yy; i can be recahed at xx.com thanks and take care
i had to read the line twice to understand it. still, if the submitted text itself had been a good fit, then i wouldn't reject it because of a hasty submission letter and a gender mixup.
and another surprise submission:
"I will fail miserably, in the one key call for this particular issue: PREVIOUS PUBLISHED! But the theme for Issue 22 just fits my poem "xx" so perfectly that I just had to pitch it as a possiblity."
it's intersting how things are turned around for this issue: people now pleeding for their previously unpublished work to be considered, despite the guidelines. who would have expected that?
Changing Web Layouts
10. September 2009
the first pages of the reprint issue are now coming in layout. while working with the texts and images, and including the links to the original publications, i also contemplated on the layout of BluePrintReview, which only changed slightly since the first issue. how would the issues look in another layout? - should i consider to shift the layout with the next issue, in 2010? turn to css-stylesheets, with all the technical gimmicks included, tags and archive functions and all?
but somehow, i like the hands-on approach to blueprintreview, the issues that feel like piecing together collages. and the manual additions to the archive. still, the idea of having a flexible layout - maybe even various layouts for one issue (like rumble magazine with its blue dream / hot pink / sea turtle settings) - is fascinating.
in that mood, i moved to the BluePrintReview blog, and then started to play with the layout options there. i added a search-function and a newsroll in the sidebar. and then - changed the layout. now the blog comes in new colours and shapes. here the link: just a moment, new.
for me, the dots in the background related to the imprints moments leave in time - the colors and lucidity symbolizing the possible range.
some first feedbacks:
"Just1M is great, like a fresh start there, a new space, a new mood!" - S.
"the new dress for the bpr blog is really nice - all the dots! it is a very 'happy' dress!" - K.
and isn't it surprising how quickly the old layout version is drifting from memory? here a (slightly copy&paste-converted) online sample of it: just a moment, before.
as to BluePrintReview itself: i don't know. right now, i can't really imagine the magazine in a completely different layout.
A list of retrieved magazines, speedily deleted, now online
24. September 2009
the reprints issue is now in the finalizing stage. while working on it, i had the idea to put together all the lost+found magazine links, and add them as an extra page to the reprint issue.
giving it a bit more thought, it became apparent that the better approach would be to create a "retrieved" link-list in a medium that invites contributions from all who are interested: wikipedia.
so i logged into wikipedia, and started a page there.
well. it didn't work out.
the page immediately got marked for speedy deletion by one of the wikipedia editors. the reason noted on the page is:
"G11 : Unambiguous advertising or promotion)"
the page with the note is still online, here:
"Wiki: Retrieved Literary Online Magazines"
i first was struck by the deletion and the reason given. then i browsed the Wikipedia editorial pages. turns out, one of their base concepts is: no initial research. all major facts need a referal from an outside-wikipedia-source. so i guess, that's where the deletion is coming from. it still was a bit frustrating (especially with all the wikipedia-pages that don't exactly reach this standard, but are online anyway).
and of course, it felt ironic (and strangely fitting, too): a list of lost+found magazines, put online, just to see it speedily deleted again.
after that endevour, i moved back to plan A, and include the page in the blueprintreview reprint issue. that's where it is up now, here the direct link:
Retrieved Literary Online Magazines.
the page also includes a note that invites anyone to send found archive links to lost magazines.
& a wiki sidenote: there actually is an official appreciation page for the Best of the Wikipedia rejects: The Wikipedia Knowledge Dump.
Side effects of previously published works: a link page
30. September 2009
i did a longer blueprintreview session yesterday, it's so exciting to see the new issue of blueprintreview come together. there are still some tasks and difficulties to solve, and a whole list of details to adjust and check and take care of, but yesterday evening i clicked through the pages that are in layout, and it's starting to look like an issue.
i also caught up with submission mails, sending out replies. usually, there are either acceptances or rejections - but with the reprint issue, i had the idea to add an extra page with "revisited links" to the issue, and include the link to the pieces that were interesting, but didn't really fit into the issue as it shaped out.
the draft of the link-page is up here:
22 further reads:
re /visited poems & stories
the page also giving an idea of how the issue could have shaped out if it had taken a slightly different shape. i will see, maybe i add such a page to other future issues, too.
(the only reason artwork isn't included is simple: artwork submissions ran short from beginning).
Going live & first feedback
9. October 2009
the reprints issue is online. i put together a mail to current and recent contributors with some reflections on the issue, and then added those lines to the about page.
it's so exciting to see the issue online. and also, to receive the first feedback. there are some first mails, and also some first blog entries.
here some quotes:
re: blueprintreview issue 22
"clicking back and forth through the pages creates a plethora of different backdrops and possibilities for interpretation. it really is a celebration, and collaboration, not only between writers and visual artists, but also between so many online publications."
- Karyn Eisler
A super duper looper!
This edition has VeloCiTy indeed: Visit, Cycle, Turn.
- Jeff Crouch
Here I did a bit of blogging on it.
I like the rhizomatic sprouting of side pages that relate to the issue.
- Daniela Elza
i now put a feedback page together, here the link:
and here, quotes from blog posts about the issue:
14. October 2009
the reprints issue keeps receiving feedback, and keeps growing in extra pages.
i now decided to add an extra page: "re: re/vel", and include it in the top navigation. the page also gives an overview of the "extra pages" of the issue (like the link page to further re/visited reads, and the list of lost+found magazines).
i also added the re/vel link in the "about" page, which receives a surprising number of visits, that's what also made me feel that readers and contributors will be interested in some additional notes, and all the cross-references feel so perfectly fitting for the re/-issue anway.
i'm taking a break from updating while working on the next issue of blueprintreview, and on some other projects
Respect for Reprints
28. December 2009
there's an interesting discussion about reprints developing in the Big Other blog, started by John Dermot Woods, writer+artist, and editor of Action, Yes . he also mentions the blueprintreview issue in the starting text. here's a bit:
"Our work often finds such tiny audiences. Yet, it's incredible that almost all journals and publishers state a policy of accepting only new and unpublished work. Unless anthologized, most work is printed, freezes, and dies.
I just found the Blue Print Review and was impressed by their new all reprint issue (the “re visit/cyle/turn” issue). I'd like to see more of that.
So why is this anti-reprint attitude so ubiquitous? Is it a holdover from the days when everybody read every issue of Collier's, so they'd get pissed if The Saturday Evening Post were to run the same crap two months later? Or is there something else here?"
here the link to the discussion: Respect for Reprints