Skip to Content

Editor Interview: Poemify Magazine

Q: Describe what you publish in 25 characters or less.

A: We amplify African voices

Q: What other current publications (or publishers) do you admire most?

A: Lolwe, Praxis Magazine, Agbowo Magazine, Brittle Paper and The Kalahari Review

Q: If you publish writing, who are your favorite writers? If you publish art, who are your favorite artists?

A: We publish young African writers and nonAfrican afrocentric writers who tell of the unique African experience with a thrilling and enchanting style.

Q: What sets your publication apart from others that publish similar material?

A: Our main goal is to redefine and amplify African literatur, and we ensure this is reflected in every issue. We feature poets, storywriters and authors of African origin and also spotlight and interview two young authors in Africa who has published, at least, one book.

Q: What is the best advice you can give people who are considering submitting work to your publication?

A: Adherence to submission guidelines excites us. Also, feel free to break the rules of your genre. We love such deviant suprises. Read your piece out loud to see if you catch glitches a first-time reader will see. Be unique in your style. We would love to hear your unique voice.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: Our ideal submissions are exquisite and creative pieces of African literature from African writers in African or the Diaspora and afrocentric nonAfrican writers. Accepted pieces must meet our exquisite and creative taste.

Q: What do submitters most often get wrong about your submissions process?

A: Usually, our accepted genres. Many contributors assume we accept only poetry. This assumption is as a result of our name 'Poemify' which is a fusion of two words- poetry and amplify. We receive more poems than we do other genres.

Q: How much do you want to know about the person submitting to you?

A: As much as we love to know about our contributors, entries are judged objectively by the editors who receive them. After the deadline, all entries are sent to our editors anonymously. They read, select the best and forward them to the Editor-in-chief. Previous publications in magazines serve as an exciting prospect to us, but they do not affect our negotiation with the quality and creativity of the pieces.

Q: If you publish writing, how much of a piece do you read before making the decision to reject it?

A: Generally, I am able to tell what works and what does not from the first two verses of a poem or paragraphs of a fiction or nonfiction work. However, I do not base my judgement on that. I make it a point of duty to read till the end of pieces before making the decision to bin.

Q: What additional evaluations, if any, does a piece go through before it is accepted?

A: Most importantly, it is the topicality of the peice in accordance to the issue theme, and also poignancy of titles. If the title allures, we are tempted to give it a chance.

Q: What is a day in the life of an editor like for you?

A: Firstly, I skim through submissions to decide if it's an absolute "no." If it is, I'll just prepare a rejection letter, and if it isn't I'll pass it onto a team of two editors. I usually don't read more than 4 submissions in a row, especially if I am giving feedback. That way I come to each piece fresh. I also keep track of which pieces are worthy of consideration by making notes of the titles. Choosing the finalists is more complex.

Q: How important do you feel it is for publishers to embrace modern technologies?

A: The necessity can't be overemphasized. Of course, to get everything done, technology should have come with a 29-hour day. As an online-only publication, I think it's fairly important to publish in a medium that is accessible to all. Furthermore, social media platforms have helped the growth of our publication tremendously, so I make it an effort to constantly update and interact with the audience on such platforms. I think I should also add this; I've always been intrigued by traditional means of publishing (i.e. print magazines). I'm very keen on doing print issues sometime in the future too. Can't wait.

Q: How much do you edit an accepted piece prior to publication?

A: Very little. Sometimes, we don't have any edits to make at all! Other times, it's a few grammatical fixes, or formatting and diction suggestions. I correct grammatical errors with the author's permission. Generally, we try to stray away from altering the original piece too much, unless the submitter sends in a revised version which we usually welcome with open arms.

Q: Do you nominate work you've published for any national or international awards?

A: Yes, I do. I nominate our best entries for Best of the Net, the Pushcart Prize, and other awards.