The Turning of the Seasons

It is now the middle of October. We just passed the deadline for submissions to Issue 2 of The 3288 Review, which means we are now accepting submissions for Issue 3. Issue 2 is still on track to hit the shelves in about a month. Issue 3 will be published in February 2016.

This is an amazing thought! We started this publication less than six months ago, and already we are planning for a new calendar year. I have not been this busy since my time at Grand Valley State University in the late 1900s, studying Russian philosophy and working fifty hours a week.

Why are we so busy? I’m glad you asked! Now that we are on the down-side of the learning curve, we are looking back at what went right, what went wrong, and where we can improve. A sort of post-mortem for Issue 1 (which is still available for purchase, by the way). We are fiddling with the design for issue 2; exploring style and typography options which better fit our content. As beautiful as Issue 1 is, Issue 2 will be even better.

However, the physical artifacts of The 3288 Review are only part of the endeavor. We have several ancillary tasks and side projects happening right now which are intended to increase our visibility, support our contributors, and, frankly, bring in some money.

First, we have started an interview series with the contributors to Issue 1, which will be posted here as and when each is complete. For each of the dozen contributors we engaged in a brief conversation, starting with “How did you get started doing what you are doing”, or words to that effect. Each included total of 7 questions exploring creative processes, literary and artistic influences, current projects, and anything else that comes up. Photographer Tammy Ruggles will be the first, later this week.

Next, we have been hard at work connecting to the larger writing community. Social media has of course helped. We have had quite a bit of exposure on Facebook, posting regular updates and developing relationships with the myriad local and regional writing and literary groups. Twitter fills in the nooks and crannies where Facebook doesn’t reach.

As of ten days ago, we are listed at DuoTrope. This was a big win! In the first five days of our new listing, we received as many submissions as in the previous two months. At the beginning of 2016 we will become eligible for listing at Poets & Writers, which will provide another big boost. Suddenly we need to start planning, not just for success, but for being successful. It’s hard work!

As mentioned in the previous post, The 3288 Review is on the shelf at The Sparrows in Grand Rapids. We are also now available for purchase at The Bookman bookstore in Grand Haven. As we gain visibility we are introducing ourselves to other bookstores, from South Haven to Ludington. As other retailers pick us up we will post the necessary information here.

The most important part of what we are doing, though, is getting personally involved with, and supporting, the local literary community. There is a lot happening here in West Michigan. The Drunken Retort, Mondays at Stella’s Lounge. Poetry & Pints at Harmony Brewing. Open Mic night, Thursdays at The Mayan Buzz Cafe. Multiple events every week at the Great Lakes Commonwealth of Letters. Electric Poetry, Tuesday evenings on WYCE.

And let us not forget that Caffeinated Press has regular open writing hours in our offices in Grand Rapids. With NaNoWriMo just around the corner we are hosting a NaNo Prep/Hit the Ground Running evening on October 31 until the wee hours of November 1. You should come. Daylight Savings Time ends November 1, so you can sleep in an extra hour after busting out your first 1,667 words.

So, yes. All of that is enough to keep us busy, 30 or more hours a day.