Some Aspect of Reprints
or: The Story Behind the BluePrintReview
"re /visit /cycle /turn"
by Dorothee Lang (editor Blueprintreview)
As usual, 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 applied / and was then included as one of the preliminary judges of 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 & What We Thought We Knew by Ben Tanzer.
there was the one or other previously published story before this, the first of them being "The Four O'Clock Café 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!
about the same time, 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 :-)