Deciding on what to submit to any publication can be an arduous task and often you don’t want to spend money on buying an issue to have a look at style and content. Like the payment of a fee for reading, the requirement of buying an issue of a publication can add up over several markets. While The Blend has lofty ideals, it is also pragmatic when it comes to fiction. A well written story is a well written story and the journal still wants to see this, and still wants to buy a solidly delivered piece of literature for its pages.
There are some styles that might not work effectively or find it harder to find a place in the journal – the treatment of children, unless critical to the story’s drive needs to be handle with caution, and sexual exploration through literature also needs to be treated with care. The Blend is not prudish but also it may not be the market for explicit erotica. That said, some sexual content should not stop an author from submitting a work for consideration.
The Blend does expect English speaking western countries will dominate despite the principles of the journal to cast the net wider and quality will always be a key factor is what is purchased for the publication. Yes, ordering a copy of issue #1 will be encouraged but to get an idea of what is needed it is suggested getting a copy of Glimmer Train would be a wise move to know what The Blend is looking for.
What is not being considered are stories about gardens, romance breakups without a gritty drive, political posturing in current political circles, though future observations could be interesting, and the journal doesn’t yet accept children’s stories.
This should leave a broad spectrum open for all other submissions.
Entering an age of enlightenment has its pitfalls as well as teething problems. Some would say the freedoms of the old ways are now in danger of being dragged back into a world of total control and restriction. In the world of art, or creation this is being felt in ways unexpected. The change is needed, and the delivery of representations of life is important, but does the questioning of that representation need to be so harsh?
The viewer or reviewer of artistic endeavours has the power to distort and shut down an artist’s impression of reality and the future so completely lives end in ruin, and reputations are tarnished if not destroyed. Every detail of the artist’s personal life is now under the microscope and should anything be a degree away from perfect their voice is silenced with shouts of ‘look there’s one of the unclean’ and ‘how dare they be human’.
The expression in any art form is about making mistakes; it is about how one mind captures their vision of the world and the people. In literature, it is the exploration of the imperfect, the troublesome and the fallibility of human endeavours. To apply an arbitrary set of rules that curtail exploration and expression is the same as putting the writer in prison for expressing a thought. The artist who once could express with abandon now has to fit their expressions into a box designed to stifle freedom, not promote its strengths.
Over the years change in social observation has come about because it was needed, society grew up and saw some of the artistic representations as offensive, though being offended after the fact can be damaging as well as enlightening. Finding a balance between the new view and the expression of ideas is the desire of the modern artist, but there also needs to be some consideration made by the observer. Not everything created is to be judged by the eye seeking perfectionism, sameness and sterility. Art is a challenge, and it has always been a challenge. Removing that kind of interaction removes arts impact and reduces it to mass-produced plastic that one day washes up on a beach, long ignored but pollution just the same.
Art needn’t die. Expression, experimentation, question and challenge needn’t be stripped from the creator and replaced by a rule book filled with check-boxes and an approval rating of likes. Yes, question its validity, question and challenge its message, as that is why it exists but don’t question and then eliminate the artist because the answer is not perfect.
Modern sensitivities do bring change to expressions, and these are always welcomed, and change is important across the whole of society, to see the limitation of one set of beliefs and adjust those to a more contemporary observance is vital, but don’t stifle expression based on a personal understanding of offence. If art did not offend then it is not doing its job, if it does not challenge thought, enlighten the viewer then it is failing with its message. If art and artistic expression are shut down because there is fear of what it might reveal, then art will die, the world will lose its expression and people will lose their voice completely.