What sort of qualities do you look for in a manuscript or piece of work that you are considering for publication?
Surprise, delight, tone, voice—you know, excellence. What we seek is place-based work that sings (sometimes literally). That’s broad, I realize, but if you look at Terrain.org, you’ll find we like a variety of work in a variety of styles. In nearly every case, however, the work is eloquent, concise, and questioning. It has a sense of place, or a yearning to find that sense. What we don’t want is the stuff everyone has read before, or that feels like that—the nature walk, the suburbs are bad, the end of the world. Unless it knocks are socks off, which sometimes it does. And we don’t like typos.
Do you have a specific aesthetic preference? How would you describe that aesthetic?
Because we publish such a broad range of work, including hybrid forms, photo essays, online slideshows, audio, and videos, it’s hard to identify a single aesthetic preference. In general, you’ll find more narrative work (whether poetry or prose) and fewer experimental contributions—though that doesn’t mean less lyrical. Our aesthetic is place, which when you think about it is a human construct.
Thanks to LitBridge for the opportunity, and for adding us to its list of Top Journals, too!