Questions from our IG Followers for Viva Padilla, EIC of Dryland

Thank you to all our Instagram followers for sharing your questions with Editor-in-Chief Viva Padilla of Dryland literary journal.

Viva shares a few tips to help you in your writing journey, overcoming some of the challenges in the publishing world, and how else you can collaborate with us. Remember, submissions to Issue 11 are open until April 20th, 2021. Los editors are hoping to read your best work!

Also, we invite you to join us on Thursday, April 1st, for FUTURE NOW, a virtual Los Angeles Black & Brown reading and open mic series happening every first Thursday of the month. We will be hosting this event via zoom from 7-9 PM PST. For more info & how to sign up, click here. ¡Nos vemos!

What makes a piece stand out the most?

There are at least three things that make a poem stand out that I am conscious about. A poem might have all these things going on that makes it fly or it might just have one: a sincere voice, a succinct use of language, a boldness in it the way it conveys its message without preaching. The thing is to try to hit as many as you can (and more in the spiritual, psychic, and other planes) when you write. Sometimes, though, a poem might hit me in such a way that I can’t describe what happened. That’s usually when I know something must be published. It’s a gut feeling mostly.

Is it bad taste to submit poems written and performed years back?

If a poem has wings, even though a good amount of time has passed, it will still fly.

Will you be publishing other authors’ books in the future?

My plan is to publish poetry collections under Ponte Las Pilas Press and another press I am looking to get together. When is another question. I need to find some poets to publish first. I hope that through the FUTURE NOW reading and open mic series we find our future authors.

When is the last day to submit?

The last day to submit this year is April 20. Last day to submit to our journal we hope never comes. <3

What are the guidelines to submit?

Our submission guidelines are pretty straightforward and easy to follow. You can send us an email or go through Submittable. If you go through Submittable you’re going to have to upload files. Not everyone has subscriptions or access to Microsoft Word so it’s ok if you just type it up in an email and send it like that. You could even take a picture of something handwritten and send it like that if you are in a circumstance where you don’t have 24/7 access to the internet. Send at least one poem; three is better.

Hey love, are you interested in visuals by any chance?

I am always looking for artists to feature on the cover and inside the journal. Right now, there’s no official process, so there’s nowhere to submit for consideration. If you’re an artist, the best thing to do is to just email me with links to your work or DM me.

Editing approaches tips? ¿Consejos?

I think the thing is not to fall in love with your own words. Once you get emotionally attached to the way you wrote something you won’t want to make any changes to it. If you can take an “unemotional” step back and care about how you wrote something, you’ll start to see how great the piece could become.

Aside from submitting, how else can we collaborate?

There is a lot I still want to do, so I’m always itching to collaborate. If you have an idea for a photo essay, short film, podcast, reading, book, play– anything really– that you think I might be down for, just get in contact with me.

What is/was the hardest part of starting a publishing press?

With how cheap the cost of printing a book is nowadays (thanks to print-on-demand), I can’t even say that the funding is the hardest. I think the hardest thing for me is just all the work that is involved beyond creating a book. For a long time I was doing all the social media, PR, maintaining the website, booking authors, organizing readings, all that. Now there’s 4-5 of us working on the whole thing so it’s not just me alone anymore. I think that’s been the hardest but I think it’s also what makes the whole thing work. If we don’t stay connected to the community, the journal doesn’t happen. And if the journal doesn’t happen, no one gets read. 

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