is a new literary journal in Columbus. Here is an mp3 of my interview with the editor, Shannon Byers, and below is a news story I wrote about it for The Lantern.

The Lantern version.

There is a new sweet-sounding literary journal on the Columbus art scene and the submission deadline for its first issue is Oct. 25th.  The journal, called “Candygram,” accepts any type of creative writing as well as artwork in black and white.

Started by Shannon Byers, a 4th year student in English literature, Candygram was made to fill a void Byers saw in local literature after interning at the poetry publisher, Pudding Press.

“Working for them was inspiring but it really represented an age divide within writing in Columbus,” Byers said. “They were all post-graduate, late thirties to early fifties, and I just realized that outside of academia, workshop classes, and things like Mosaic – there really wasn’t any forum for discussion and this dialogue of literature and creative writing in Columbus.”

Working independently of academic institutions, which she feels act like a filter, is important for Byers. “I’m interested in what our generation has to say in a visceral sense, outside of academia, instinctually.”

Byers has been involved with small press operations and creative writing for years. Previously she wrote and published a zine called “Machine Zine.” But with Candygram she wanted to create something more community based that would bring in a variety of viewpoints.

“I had this idea to start this thing called Cenaclehouse Publications. Cenacle means a dining room where people gather to talk about literature and philosophy,” Byers said.

To be as welcoming as possible to other writers in the city, Byers gave her journal an unpretentious name. “Candygram means language that tries to sweeten what is bitter. It’s catchy but light-hearted, something I thought would be really approachable.”

Choosing to publish on paper while the print industry is in shambles is something Byers decided consciously and sees as an upside. “I could publish online for free but there is something about breaking the spine and throwing it in your bag and jostling it around a little bit. And the relationship you form to the piece of literature in that way,” Byers said.
“I’m interested in how to keep this literary tradition going in a paper form and not just a blog.”

The finished product will be published quarterly and available for free at do-it-yourself houses, coffeehouses, and art spaces like Skylab where Byers will be screen printing the covers of her journal.

Byers stresses that these are the initial plans and that in the future Candygram may take a different form. “I just want to get it out there and see what happens.”

A wide variety of material is acceptable for submission including poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, plays, black and white photography, illustration, and painting. To submit, send a file of your work to candygramjournal@gmail.com by Oct. 25th.

However, Candygram, unlike some literary journals, won’t publish everything submitted. “I want to publish something that is strong. Something that is provocative and interesting that makes you think for a moment.”

1 comment:

evaball said...