Decisions and Revisions

Posted by Keara Hagerty, GD Fiction Editor, 2.2

Hello, Readers!It’s the time of the year again when things start to get serious here in the Gandy Dancer family. Not that we aren’t always serious about amazing literature, but now we’re really getting down to business. Yes, readers, we’re buckling down and sending out our acceptance and rejection letters after weeks of reading, debating, re-reading, and re-debating all of the fabulous work submitted to us. Now, in my personal experience as an editor for the fiction section of the magazine, this difficult but rewarding process has taken me by surprise. While I once looked forward to sinking my teeth into other people’s writing, I now realize how difficult it can be to retract said teeth from a piece which no one else enjoys, or to compromise on a story you immediately rejected but everyone else loved. And while personal preference plays a role in the selection process, it is ultimately collaboration and balance that make up a literary journal. In the fiction section alone, we received submissions that ranged from fantasy to flash fiction and everything in-between. There was no doubt that reviewing them was to be a daunting task, but being the literary nerds that we are, we jumped in head-first. We became reading machines, chomping through piece after piece like starved lions released into a field of zebras. If there is one thing I’ve learned during this process, it is that leisure has no place during preliminary readings. We revert back to our most basic instincts in a first read-through, searching for the perfect piece, fuming at the sight of careless spelling errors. However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel when you find a piece that excites you, that you hope for, a piece that turns you into a fanatic as you convince your group that this is the masterpiece you were looking for. These are the moments that make this process so rewarding, and we had many of them. However, when it finally came down to it, we selected only six of the submitted works to be accepted into this issue of Gandy Dancer. As we started the final week before sending out our official acceptance and rejection emails, we delved into the more technical side of creating the magazine. Unfortunately, deciding which pieces were to be in Gandy Dancer was only the tip of the iceberg, and many more decisions await us on the horizon. I’m only beginning to appreciate the amount of hard work and sacrifice which goes into creating a literary journal. While the decisions we’ve made along the way have been challenging, they’ve led us to put forth a product we are proud to showcase. So start counting down the days until the release of Gandy Dancer Volume 2.2 — you won’t be disappointed.

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