Leia  0:10  

Hello! We are Full House and welcome to our very first podcast. I’m Leia, I’m one of the co-editors at Full House Literary Magazine, and I am joined by Jack!

Jack  0:20  

 Hello.

Leia  0:20  

So, welcome to the podcast! We plan to do a series of these every two to three weeks, about an hour long each, discussing different issues in the lit world, looking at some different magazines that have come out with new issues, talking about our favorite tweets of the week and an element of writing. So we’re gonna kick off with introducing ourselves. So Jack, if you’d like to introduce yourself. 

Jack  0:44  

Hi, I’m Jack, one of the editors of Full House Literary Magazine. I’m a third-year English Literature and Creative Writing student at the University of East Anglia. I mostly write I’d say crime fiction. I’m not big on poetry like Leia is. My favorite book at the moment is probably ‘In a Lonely Place’  by Dorothy B.Hughes, which is an American crime novel. I also do some music journalism stuff for our student paper called Concrete. I’m the editor of the music section. I do like interviews, reviews, that sort of thing. And then sometimes I write for other publications as well. 

Leia  1:24  

Great stuff. So I’m Leia as I’ve already said, and I also study at UEA doing English and Creative Writing. I first found my love into, you know, the poetry world through Streetcake Mag, which I’m sure many of you would have heard of, which is run by Nikki and Trini, who are very lovely people. And they sort of inspired me on my poetry journey, really, when I won one of their experimental writing prizes for poetry. And then I sort of just fell into the lovely community from there. So Jack, and I set up Full House around June, July, around the first lockdown in the UK. I know we’ve recently got the news of the third lockdown, and Jack and I sending love to anyone who may be affected by this. And our DMS are always open, if you want to have a chat about anything at all. So yeah, we started this mag during the first lockdown, we were a bit like on edge, and we have let’s just do something new take a plunge. So Full House was born! Our concept is it’s about a deck of cards. So 52 cards, we aim have 52 pieces in a year, 13 per issue, by our writers. And then at the end of the year, we’re gonna collect them all together, and that will be our deck of cards. 

Jack  2:46  

Yeah, we’ve had 82 submissions for this current issue, which is a lot as you can imagine. We’ve already spent many hours going through them, we’re still not actually done yet.

Leia  2:55  

Yeah, it was super fun looking through the ones we have so far. We have a few left. And then we shall be done. We’ve just had our first issue out that was out in November of last year. And we hope to have our current issue out mid February. Yeah. So we’re gonna just chat a little bit, firstly, about our experience as editors so far, and what it’s been like. And then we’re gonna look at our first issue, which is exciting. So for me, it’s been an absolutely great experience. I love reading people’s work. I’m primarily like the poetry reader of me and Jack. So I was loving the submissions that are like experimental poetry, or poetry that tries to push boundaries in some way, whether that’s through form or through language. I just really love reading it. And I think Jack, you’re more into the sort of prose submissions. 

Jack  3:46  

Yeah, I’d say so. I don’t know. Because I feel like I’m appreciating poetry more by being an editor as part of Full House, I don’t, I don’t usually read poetry that much. I don’t write it either. I’ve already said, I’ve mostly write prose. But doing this for Full House has been a very, like, sort of what’s the word like broadening experience? I don’t know. 

Leia  4:11  

Yeah, that’s completely fair enough. Actually, I can really understand that point. I suppose I thought that in the same with some of the prose submissions. I don’t generally read them as much as I would poetry, but it’s definitely give me a new appreciation as you say.So yeah, that’s been a bit about out our experience so far. Hopefully, we’re not boring you too much. Go grab a cup of tea and coffee. Or just put this on in the background when you’re doing something because hopefully, we’ll be having some interesting chats and shouting out some really exciting people in the literary community. So we’re going to begin by looking at our first issue, the diamond issue. So Jack, how was that editing and producing that? 

Jack  4:49  

Well, the whole laying up process was stressful as hell. And to be honest, it wasn’t 100% perfect overall, but luckily, it’s the first issue so it doesn’t matter too much.Obviously, the quality of the submissions we got was ridiculously high, especially for our first issue like, insanity really.We ended up we ended up having to do a sort of wild card issue because we just had so much good stuff. 

Leia  5:14  

Yeah, we just we just could not turn too many people down, we knew that the quality was amazing. And we had to make room to share some really amazing voices, which is why as Jack said, we made the wild card issue. And we’re really happy with both as Jack says, We don’t want to sugarcoat it, the process was fairly difficult, it took us quite a few hours and was a bit of a learning curve.

Jack  5:35  

More than a few hours…

Leia  5:36  

More than a few hours, a couple of days two days, but we got there, and we’re really happy with the finished product. And we know we’re just going to get better from here. So that’s it went with our first issue, this is available online on our website, so you guys can view it as well for free. So Full House Literary Magazine, issue one, the diamond issue. So why is it the diamond issue Jack?

Jack  6:00  

Because the months that this was released in, rather the last month this was released in,November, is the last month of autumn, which apparently the suits in a deck of cards correspond to the seasons. I did not know this until we decided on a name Full House. But there you go. 

Leia  6:18  

So yeah, that is why this is the diamond issue. So next up will be the spades issue, then hearts, then it will be the clubs. So it sort of goes in line with the seasons. And we are really proud of the pieces in here it was absolutely difficult to choose. But we’re going to highlight some of our like standout pieces. So for me, one of my standout pieces was Robin’s piece, which is called ‘Single Sadness’. This is a really, really awesome little poem piece. And it’s just got such interesting language in it. I definitely recommend you reading this. So my favorite line is ‘machine voices echoes out artificial Love.’ And I just think that’s such a relevant line at the moment where all we’re hearing is our loved ones voices through telephone, or you know, zoom call. And Robin actually mentioned zoom chats in his poetry. And I do think it is such a relevant piece. And I feel like I can just reach out and touch it and see it because it’s got such a tone and a realism to it that is really powerful, especially now. I just think Robin’s done such a good job at communicating that.  Another line is ‘time for one table for one cinema for one’. I just absolutely love the rhythm and the way that line is presented on the page. It’s just a really good piece I definitely recommend you checking Robin out because Robin actually does a lot of poetry. If you follow Robin on Twitter, Robin frequently shares poetry and definitely one to check out. 

Jack  7:55  

Yeah, it’s a really, really like, what’s the word like contemporary piece like? It’s incredibly relevant to our current situation, obviously, zoom chats, Skype chats, FaceTime, that sort of thing. Having to speak to your parents from across the country. Because you’re stranded in your room in Norwich or something, basically us. 

Leia  8:21  

Yes, definitely. And I’m sure a lot of you will be able to relate to this piece. So this is number four in our diamond suit. And it is really amazing and highly recommend you checking that piece out. 

Jack  8:37  

I’d also like to talk about a piece from the diamond issue that I really enjoyed. I really enjoyed all of them. Of course. One that I keep returning to I find is Gill Girl by Kristin Garth, this is a number two in the issue. This was kind of kind of an, I don’t I describe it as an odd poem, sort of an odd premise would be the would be the better way to describe it. So sort of background for why I enjoy this poem so much is I read a lot of horror manga, particularly Junji Ito. And one thing that sort of happens a lot in these things is that a person’s body changes. That sounds a bit strange in itself. So for example, can’t really think of a really good example. Oh in one of them, there’s this sort of weird curse thing where basically people turn to snails. And that’s sort of what happens in this poem, except it’s not, let’s say, this person becomes sort of part fish basically. What sort of stood out to me about this piece was there were phrases that I just hadn’t heard before. Like for example, ‘perforations of the neck’. Was there another one? ‘By blue lips, your betrayed matte lipstick cannot save the day.’ And the final line, ‘you grow gills amphibious instinct.’ Horror poetry isn’t really something we see all the time, I would say it’s more of a horror is more seen in prose. And it’s, it’s obviously it’s a huge thing in film and other mediums. But in poetry, it’s just like body horror isn’t really a thing. And that’s sort of what made this poem stand out to me. 

Leia  10:22  

Yeah, it’s definitely the use of language here. I think that sticks out to me and made me absolutely fall in love with a piece. And this piece was actually previously published with Unpublishable Zine, I can understand why this piece is, you know, so well loved. It’s just, you can tell the Kristin’s got real talent for writing. Just the way the confidence in this piece, I think is what sticks out to me. I mean, I wouldn’t necessarily say, I read a lot of pieces that you can tell how confident and assured the writer is, of you know, the language. And Kristin is definitely one of those rare occasions where you can just tell this what they were meant to be doing. So let’s switch up and speak about some prose. So we have some really interesting prose pieces in this issue. It wasn’t like intentional that we had this many prose pieces and this many poetry pieces, it was a consideration at the back of our minds, but it just sort of ended up being that way that we had sort of a really even amount of amazing prose and poetry pieces. One of my favorite prose pieces in this issue is Alyssa Jordan’s, ‘Sleeping Beasts’. And this was really popular when we shared it on Twitter. And people were absolutely loving the gorgeous language. And it’s, it’s no surprise why really. One of my favorite lines is ‘sometimes Anika rode her bike to the city limits just so she can breathe.’ I also really like the line, ‘she quickly learns that abandonment is written in her blood’. Again, this use of language is just so intelligent. And it just, it’s really something that stands out. I particularly like pieces where the phrases used are not familiar, they’re not things I’ve read every day, things that stick out to me, because I’ve never read them before. And Alyssa is definitely one of those writers that does that. I just absolutely loved it. It’s not a long piece but there’s so much in it, that just there’s so much to sort of like go back and reread and digest and these gorgeous little chunks of language that just they give it so much life even though it is such a relatively short piece. And another piece we really liked, which is our number seven of diamonds is ‘The Mundane Ghost by David Wasserman. And this is such a funky little piece. I loved it the very first time I read it. It’s just so interesting and original and unique. I’ve just never really read anything like it. I think a lot of the pieces in our first issue we’ve chosen because they’re just so unfamiliar to anything we’ve read before. And we really love you know that sense uniqueness about them. So this piece is sort of a conversation between, I think two children and a ghost. I just love that concept. My favorite line is ‘she pulsed a translucent blue at a pace that matched my relaxed heartbeat.’ I just love the use of color in that language. And I think it’s really interesting to have this ghost figure yet the other characters are so relaxed, and it’s just such a different way of presenting something that is traditionally like scary and would be in like a horror genre. I think it’s just really good. I definitely recommend checking David out. David also actually is the editor-in-chief of Second Chance Lit, and we will be actually looking at their first issue shortly. We just want to go for a couple more of our favorite writers from issue one. So next up would be Nikki’s piece. So this is the final piece in the issue, this is our king card. This is really interesting visually. it laid out in sort of a calendar format. And certain dates are marked x. And then the rest of the poem is sort of in between xs. And I mean, Nikki is like the queen of experimental poetry. Every piece is just full of such interesting language and the way that Nikki combines form and language is it’s something magical, that you know, I’ve rarely seen anywhere. And if you haven’t read Nikki’s work, you definitely need to. I absolutely fell in love with this piece. I actually am a good friend of Nikki. Well I’d like to think so. So I had to stay sort of impartial in this piece. And I had to remove myself from the process and I had to allow Jack and we brought in another editor to help us with this first issue. And I’m so happy that the piece still got through because it is incredible. Do you have anything you’d like to say about this piece Jack? 

Jack  14:58  

Um, yeah, even though it can be described as what’s the word concrete poetry, where it’s where it has sort of like a unique form. I think the I think Nikki’s command of language is really interesting phrases like ‘the contaminated blood’ ‘worth when the shroud soaks, ‘arterial blood snatches you from me’ ‘the last page was torn from my book.’ These are things that are like,especially when presented on the on the page, or rather, the calendar format. It’s hard. It’s hard to fully express the way this looks on the page, just because it’s a very, it’s very much visual.But yeah, also there’s a, just above the sort of calendar, the calendaris sort of formatted as if it’s something from like, maybe like Outlook or something like that. And then just above it, there’s there’s the there’s the word ‘weeks, weeks, weeks’ in capitals, which I’m I’m not, I’m not 100% sure the exact meaning behind it. But I guess that’s the joy of poetry.

Unknown Speaker  15:56  

Yes, definitely. This is part of a collection, I think, and it’s just a really amazing piece. Nikki is also the co-editor of Streetcake, as we’ve previously mentioned, and they are the most amazing lit mag, they’re so lovely, and they also run a prize every year. At the moment, Nikki is actually offering some classes and workshops, which is a really good opportunity, if you’re interested. She’s charging £15 per session, or £70 for all five. And it’s a four part workshop about shaking up your writing. And you also get a feedback session. So this is really interesting. This is in February. And if you do want to, you know, learn some new techniques, and push your writing to beyond the boundaries, then definitely check out if you can. There are concessions available and Nikki’s always on hand to sort of discuss any like pricing and stuff with you. I also wanted to quickly chat about the editorial process, because I did mention that you know, some of these authors, we do know, we engage with them on Twitter. And we knew we needed a way to make the editorial process really fair. And so what we did is we actually took all names off the pieces, and then we read them. So it was sort of like a blind reading. So we didn’t know who any of the pieces were attached to. And that was the fairest way we could do it. Because literally, it was anonymous. We didn’t read any of our author bios, we didn’t have any clue about who the pieces were attached to you they were judged solely on the quality of the piece. 

Jack  17:30  

Yeah, we kind of we printed out every piece that was submitted. And then we sort of sorted them into piles basically, me and Leia we sort of, we read for each one we annotated and we sort of gave some comments, we spent a hell of a lot of hours going through every every submission from the first issue. Obviously, we’re still in the process of doing that for the second issue, and we’ve even more submissions this time, it’s even more difficult. 

Leia  17:56  

Yeah, it’s fun, though I really enjoy looking through the submissions. And it’s all part of the work and all you know, goes towards making a great mag at the end of it. So now we’re going to take a look at another magazine’s first issue. And in every podcast, we hope to look at a recent issue that someone’s produced in my community. So today we’re going to be looking at second chance lit and their first issue. So a second chance lit are a mag solely for rejected poetry and short prose that’s in their twitter bio. And so their work is for pieces that haven’t found their place yet, and they’ve been rejected previously, but this is a space for them to potentially be accepted this time around. So we’re gonna be looking at their first issue.

Jack  18:44  

Second Chance lit mags first issue is called Non Sum Qualis Eram, which means I am not what I used to be in Latin. The issue is the home of 59 previously rejected works, 41 poems and 18 prose stories. These 59 rejected works have been split into four sections, with with each section having a symbol which represents the second chance, lotus, crescent moon, feathers and tabula rasa. 

Leia  19:08  

Yeah, so their first issue really sort of exemplifies everything their mag is about. I think that’s a really cool, it’s an amazing concept. And their website is absolutely fantastic by the wa. Reading these pieces online, it’s such a beautifully laid out issue. It’s really like interactive, it’s really animated, its absolutely gorgeous. And they’re giving other mags a run for their money, including us when it comes to website design. Yeah, so let’s dive straight in oand look at their Lotus sort of section. So the first piece that really stood out to us was ‘To Georgia O’Keeffe’ by Natalie Marino. Hopefully I’m saying that correctly. And this is a gorgeous poem. And the language in this is just absolutely… the imagery is just so emotive and it’s just such a blast of color and nature. And my favorite line in particular is ‘the tulip dawn will break open an oil canvas inviting a hundred new painters, and I will let the light on petals fill me up’.  So that is absolutely I love the imagery that creates. And this piece is just full of life and vitality. And I honestly reading these pieces, it’s hard to believe they’ve actually been rejected once before, but they’re absolutely gorgeous.

Jack  20:29  

 I think my favorite line has to be or rather phrase has to be ‘the wind watching falling water’, which is just great alliteration there. 

Leia  20:38  

Yeah, I mean, it’s what we were saying before about these really like, original, unfamiliar phrases. So Natalie, definitely uses those, I’ve never heard a phrase like that before. And it is these pieces, these little gems in these pieces that really stand out and make such magic. So this is an absolutely gorgeous piece, and I would definitely recommend checking it out. 

Jack  20:59  

The second poem we’d like to have a look at is from the crescent moon section of the issue, and it’s entitled ‘Last Prayer’ and is by Bareerah Y Ghani. Sorry, if I butchered the pronunciation there. There’s a content warning for violence and war. The main thing that struck me about this piece is how concerned it is with sound. So this is mainly in the second paragraph is the constant use of verbs referring to the way people speak, sounds happening around them, for example, ‘hurried footsteps slapping on the concrete’, ‘gravel bits breaking like I imagined my teeth would’. And then for another example, the repetition of the word muttering the the ‘I have to hold my breath to listen, almost expecting for the grrrr overhead, almost expecting Ma to rush us back into the cellar. 

Leia  21:47  

Yeah, this is a really raw piece, that’s what stuck out to me. And so it discusses the theme of like sickness. And but I think that is almost like quite a taboo subject really like, taboo in the sense that people don’t really like, want to talk about it, it can be really hard to talk about, and especially is, if it’s like a personal thing, it can be hard to make that relatable for readers on like a wider scale. But this piece does it really successfully, I think, and, obviously, sickness is a really hard and horrible subject. But this has got a very strong sort of emotional sensitivity when discussing the issue. And it’s just, you know, it’s a part of life. And I think the author here, like really does well to show, you know, the, the way its presented in life in a very real and honest way. 

Jack  22:41  

Yeah, particularly as the narrator of the piece seems to be very young. So you get a sort of childish sensitivity. 

Leia  22:47  

Yes, 100%. And, as you say, it does definitely seem like this is from more of like a child’s perspective. And which definitely even makes it more heartbreaking that this is coming from a child. There’s a line ‘zillion times Ma’s told me’ so that sounds like you know, more of a childish phrase there. And the narrator often speaks about colors, and that, and the last line is really powerful. It ends with the words ‘she’s not sick again, is she?’ And I think that is such a relatable like pieces in every day. And there’ll be someone you can think of that you can apply that to and, you know, immediately the sense of like, worry that, the narrator would be feeling from that. Like it’s just such a raw piece. 

Jack  23:30  

Yeah, I agree, for sure.

Leia  23:33  

So moving on, now, we’re going to be looking at the feathers section. So my standout piece from this section is ‘The Wanderer’ by Yunya Yung. Hopefully, I’m saying that right, we apologize so much if we are butchering these names. And please do feel free to correct us for future use. And so this is such a cool little prose piece. It’s from the perspective of a cat, which is really awesome if you’re a cat lover. And it’s just, it’s a really quirky original piece, it’s not the sort of thing you see every day. So it starts off of the line, ‘I haven’t seen my neighbor for three days in a row.’  So you don’t immediately know that it’s from the perspective of a cat, you just, you know, think it’s from a person. And then the twist at the end is ‘the next day, the human shows me a flyer with her picture titled lost cat.’ And it’s all about sort of like freedom and entrapment. And like the domesticated cat, versus like the free cat in the wild and all that between, you know, lost and freedom. And I just think it’s such an awesome piece. It ends with the line ‘she just lives a truer life now.’  And it’s this cat that’s, you know, longing for a more free future and jealous of being lost. And I think obviously, it’s about animals, but you can relate that so much to the human world. And you know what we experience here? 

Jack  24:53  

Yeah, for sure. I think it’s interesting that someone would try to sort of give like a human voice to a cat. I mean, a lot of people will say like, cats are horrible, basically. 

Leia  25:06  

Moody. 

Jack  25:07  

Youknow, there’s sort of that stereotype of cats being kind of moody. But I mean, I like cats, I don’t really agree with that stereotype. And I like the way that the cat is presented here, especially with the twist at the end. 

Leia  25:20  

Yes, definitely got a human quality despite the cat. So I think the author does really well to sort of like implement that and play around with these two different voices and merging them into a really convincing voice, I think. And, you know, when you go back and reread it, it just, it’s more powerful each time you read it, now that you know it from that perspective. So that is definitely a really amazing piece, and highly recommend you checking that out. So now we’re going to move on to the last section, tabula rasa, which relates to like a blank slate sort of space. So our favorite piece from that section is ‘Driving’ by DS Maolalai. It’s such, I absolutely love it, I mean, I’m just going to pick out a few phrases that just demonstrate how fantastic this piece of writing is. And I’m going to pull in straight to the last line, so spoilers or the last section. So ‘ ayoung woman blows a dog and carries a carton of milk. It’s three o’clock and the whole world smells of raspberries.’ It’s got that you know, nonsense quality to it. But the nonsense just makes so much sort of sense when it’s put together. And you know, exactly what this image is and what it’s being created. You can see it so vividly. And it’s just the phrases like ‘the whole world smells of raspberries’. It’s just so fabulous. You don’t see it every day. And it’s such a perfect way of describing this sort of sense. And I absolutely love it. 

Jack  26:45  

Yeah, I think my favorite line has to be the phrase, ‘easy as a boxfull of cherries’ like it had sort of has that similar sort of nostalgic feel that the ‘the world smells of raspberries’ like it’s that sort of strange, sweet positivity. I’m not sure if I’m getting the exact right meaning there. But that’s, that’s the impression I get anyway. 

Leia  27:05  

I mean, like, it’s quite simple language.  Throughout the piece, things like ‘girls walk home in the uniform of my old school’  and there’s lines like ‘I spin wheels, like throwing stones in the ocean.’ Like it’s simple imagery, but it’s so powerful in the way it’s conveyed. I mean, I don’t know about you, Jack. But I’ve never been one for poetry that is super, like flowery and detailedly fancy, like, just for the sake of being fancy in that way. This is exactly my sort of favorite type of poetry where the phrases are not like over the top. They’re simple phrases, but the image they convey so powerful.

Jack  27:39  

 Yeah, I don’t know. Because I have an appreciation for poetry that is just incredibly dense with, like, rhyme schemes, like motif, symbols, that sort of thing. But then like, just a fairly simple comparatives is like metaphor, simile, it’s just a lot of the time its  just more effective.

Leia  28:04  

 Yeah, for sure. Definitely.

Jack  28:06  

And it’s almost like a mark of like, I feel like a lot of the poetry that is almost described as being good, like the stereotypically good poetry is that sort of poetry that is incredibly densely written, sometimes even hard to read. 

Leia  28:22  

Yeah, definitely. This is definitely very easy on the eyes as well, when you look at it on the page. It’s in like, really short sort of sentences. Like there’s only like three words on the line. For some of the phrases, sometimes it’s only two, I think the maximum, there’s like five words on the line. So it’s really easy to read. It’s not, as you say, this dense piece of like material, and it’s separated like quite well into different stances. It’s just such a perfect piece. I think it’s almost like deceptively simple. But it’s it’s fantastic. 

Jack  28:54  

So we only looked at four different pieces from the issue, but there’s 59 different pieces for you to look at. You can check it out on second chance lit.com. 

Leia  29:02  

So yeah, definitely lots to sink your teeth into that for sure. Yeah. So the next segment is going to be in every podcast is sort of tweet of the week. So when we have guests on, we’ll get them to choose this week for the week. But my favorite tweet I’ve seen this week is from ‘variety pack’. So their twitter name is variety pack 2 and Jack, if you’d like to read it out. 

Jack  29:24  

Yeah, so the tweet is ‘rejections aren’t inherently a reflection of your work. Sometimes work just doesn’t fit. Sometimes a piece of news needs extra love. Sometimes you just gotta take rejection as a sign to keep luck and keep trying.’

Leia  29:37  

 I mean, yeah, rejections are everywhere. Like it can be so demoralizing to work so hard on a piece and then it’s rejected. And you’re like, well, is it because of the quality of the piece and from an editor perspective, half the time it is certainly not it might just be because the piece doesn’t specifically fit what the magazine is, is 100% trying to do as the tweets says, sometimes it can be such small things like Jack and I’s general rule is if there is a piece and we love it that we know, we can give it some really good feedback, we generally don’t accept it, so that they, that writer can go away, they can reflect on the feedback, see if feedback works for them, and then resubmit it if they want to.  I mean, feedback, I think it should definitely be like a two way thing. So as much as we can give the feedback, you don’t have to take it at all. I mean, you should have complete ownership and authority over your own piece. So that’s a general rule I’d say to anyone, if an editor,  is trying to change your piece like too drastically, then you’ve got to decide whether you want to do that. Because at the end of the day, you do need to have some sort of like ownership and voice over your piece. 

Jack  30:46  

Yeah. And it’s also important to remember that, even though an editor might be trying to change something about your work, you’ve got to remember that say, say we were to reject a piece, and we just give feedback on it, we would be giving feedback to make the piece something we might like more or might be more suitable for us. It might not that might be feedback that wouldn’t necessarily help youwith submitting to a different zine.

Leia  31:10  

I mean, yeah, it’s a really complicated process, isn’t it when you lay it out, because every you know, rejection is gonna look different. Sometimes you might not get feedback. And then you’re like, well, why was I rejected?  So it is sort of like a balance. And the most important thing that you have to remember is literally everybody is rejected, there is not anybody who you know, has 100% acceptance rate. I’ve been rejected a bunch, I’m sure Jack’s been rejected quite a lot. And your absolute favorite person on Twitter has probably been rejected a lot as well. It is 100% part of the process. And you have to keep, you know, if you don’t get any rejections, you’re never going to be as well rounded, and each rejection will shape you into, you know, that different writer and make you you. The one thing I would say about rejections, though, is, you always can ask why. So say if there’s a magazine, or anyone in your life that rejects you, for some reason, don’t just accept it. Like, if you don’t have any reason why, you know, if they haven’t given you like, things you can work on or things you can improve on, they haven’t given you a clear reason why you’ve been rejected, absolutely ask for it. Because then you have the chance to, you know, understand why you might have got a rejection. And it might be that generally they didn’t understand the piece, or that maybe you’re sort of values didn’t align or something, but then at least you know, and then you know, it’s not a reflection on you or your quality of your work. And, I mean, there are quite a few people that don’t actually give reasons why they reject. And 100%, I would say ask for it I don’t know how you feel about it Jack? 

Jack  32:52  

Generally, I would hope that an editor would give at least some kind of feedback, even if it’s only just a couple of sentences. Because when a writer has taken the time to submit to your, to your journal or magazine, they’ve a lot of the time they might have edited pieces to fit your formatting guidelines, say they might have edited something down from 600 words to 500 or 40, lines down to 35 lines or something. So there’s kind of I guess, etiquette would be it would be the right thing. I mean, maybe maybe it’s etiquette that doesn’t exist. But I would think that there’s there’s sort of a level of respect. 

Leia  33:32  

Yeah, I mean, along these lines, also, you’ve got to remember that if you don’t have like a really, really extensive, like, detailed feedback, that’s not because your piece was rubbish. That’s because obviously, the editors are so busy, that some of these magazines are reading up to like 500 pieces like a week, which is absolutely insane. So they can’t, like you know, justify giving detailed feedback to everyone. But, you know, it’s always worth just asking a really polite, look, if you’ve got any feedback for me at all, I’d be really grateful. If not, and you’re so busy, I completely understand. But I mean, if you don’t ask, you’ll never know. So sort of play it and judge it on the situation. If you know, you’re applying to a really, really popular magazine, and you know that the editors are completely overwhelmed with submissions, maybe maybe don’t ask or maybe be very polite about it. In that way, but yeah, as Jack says there is definitely sort of etiquette about her. 

Jack  34:24  

Yeah, I mean, on one hand, its like, yeah, sure, they they might be overwhelmed with submissions. But I mean, you’re not gonna lose anything by by asking for feedback. Like, I mean, what’s the worst that can happen? They they ignore you? Like? Yeah. 

Leia  34:43  

 Yeah. And even if we received like 1000 submissions, if anyone asked politely, we would never be angry. Would you say we are really sorry, we can’t actually give you any more detailed feedback at this time. We’ll be really excited to work again in the future. So you know, it’s just about being polite and rejection is, at the end of the day a part of life and everyone experiences it. So I honestly am happy when I get a rejection. Or I know that sounds a bit weird, but I’m like, yeah, somebody still took the time to read my work. And it doesn’t fit in with these people, which means it just has more of a chance of fitting in and finding a different home. And there is that sense of like challenge about it. And that journey of, you know, you’ve worked so hard on this piece, and now you’ve got to carry on working hard and find its home, because it definitely has one. 

Jack  35:27  

So every podcast, we’re going to speak about an element of writing that we really enjoy. For me, I think my favorite thing that sort of attracts me to a novel is the narration style. So like, first person, third person I mean, second person’s a thing, but who does that? But yeah, so obviously, first person sort of leaves you open to the whole idea of the unreliable narrator is a pretty common thing in literary criticism to be like, Oh, yeah, every first person narrator is an unreliable narrator, which I think is true to an extent, just because a first person narrator is biased in some way. I mean, a good example would be, let’s say, for example, a one character says that a, in their first person narrative, if they say this character is attractive, like, someone being someone being attractive or not, isn’t necessarily like it’s an opinion, right? But we are being given it as fact. They are saying  this person is attractive rather than James thought this person was attractive. But similarly, in third person narratives, this sort of thing happens as well. There’s this thing called free indirect discourse, which is basically when the when a main characters sort of narrative voice like thoughts, or however you want to describe, it sort of bleeds into the third person narrative. So my favorite book at the moment is ‘In a Lonely Place’  by Dorothy B.Hughes. I think I said that at the start of the podcast. But yeah, I can’t really go into too much detail without just spoiling but completely. But there’s definitely some free indirect discourse going on. The main character, if they were a first person narrator, they’d be very unreliable. They’re not first person narrator. But if they were they’d be extremely unreliable, that’s for sure.

Leia  37:14  

Yeah, when I think of narration, I think of voice as being you know, a big part of that. And there’s a really interesting phrase, so this is from the portable poetry workshop, book. And the phrase is, ‘without a convincing voice, a poem is just an idea, or an image in short lines.’ I mean, the same thing can be sort of applied to prose as well, there, but that just shows how important the voice and the narration side of things really is to the story. Like it’s an essential part.

Jack  37:44  

 Yeah. Because I think if you can sort of, say you go on, like Wikipedia or something, you can sort of see the objective things that happen in a story like that, you know, well, that’s the whole story versus plot thing that I’ve always found that a little bit confusing, but yeah, so if you if you go on, if you go on Wikipedia that you can you can find the story for film like, say a film like Get Out, for example.The plot is laid out there, but you don’t get anything, you don’t get any of the any of the voice of the I say, maybe a film wasn’t the best example. But the voice of the director.

Leia  38:19  

 I mean, the voice is everything really. I mean, it’s, it’s, you know, the bones will be there without that voice. And as you say, if there’s just like a plot outline, yeah, you can see what’s there. But without that voice, there’s a lack of, you know, personality. And I mean, something we were talking about was unreliable narrators , which is definitely a very interesting strand to the narration topic. And when I think of unreliable narrators, I always think of, you know, Nick from Great Gatsby, the narrator who forgets it’s his own birthday he’s so wrapped up in the story. And I mean, there’s countless examples of, you know, that sense of unreliable narrator, and it sort of questions you as a reader, because then what you’re reading how much truth is there in that, and it adds a really interesting sort of, like, a dynamic to the whole sense of being a reader. 

Jack  39:09  

Yeah, it’s like, I mean, I was gonna say, it’s hard to separate fact from fiction, but I guess if you’re, if you’re reading prose fiction is it’s all fiction, I guess, fact within fiction, but it’s still fiction. 

Leia  39:22  

Yes, sure. And we were also talking about how when we think of, you know, unreliable narrator, I immediately think and attribute that more towards prose thanI do of poetry and I don’t know if it’s because every time I read a piece of poetry, I I just, I never think to question oh you know, is this a reliable eraser? I don’t know about you, Jack. How do you feel about that?

Jack  39:54  

I guess it depends on the work. 

Leia  39:57  

I mean if you guys listening have any examples of this, please do tweet at us, message us, comment. It will be really interesting to hear what other poeple think about it. 

Jack  39:48  

Yeah, I can kind of see that because you see it and sort of off the top of my head, there’s a it’s the poem ‘She Walks in Beauty’ by Lord Byron. There’s a line one he says, I think it’s something along the lines of, it’s basically it’s something about the the, the girl that the poem is about is pure of mind. And we don’t know the girl. And he doesn’t really know he doesn’t know her, but like, he doesn’t know what’s necessarily in her mind. So we can only deal with what we are presented with. Theres an unlimited amount  of theoreticals. 

Leia 40:29

Yeh I think that is definitely true to an extent, I mean I know I place more trust in poetry than I do in prose. When I read prose I think this is fiction, nothing I read could be true I suppose but in poetry there is more of that personal feel and with poetry maybe it is because it is so much from the person and there has to be this sense of author that comes out and it has to be strong that it sounds more believable than a character narrating perhaps? 

Jack 41:08

Um well I guess it depends on the work. 

Leia 41:13 

I mean if you guys listening have any examples of this that you wanna share with us please do tweet at us, message us, comment, because I think it would be really interesting so see what other thoughts you guys have on the subject. 

Jack 41:27 

Yeh for sure. 

Leia 41:28 

Another piece of fiction I found has really interesting narration is Zadie Smith’s NW. It is really cool. If you haven’t read it. It is a really contemporary piece. I’m sure you’ve heard of Zadie Smith. It is really cool and set out into four different sections and has different narration styles. It is really interesting to see how perspectives differ depending on the characters and I think its a really good way of engaging with the characters in that story. 

Jack 42:00

Yeh the four narrators, although they all grew up in the same area of london, NW, referring to the north west of london, they grew up in the same place but ended up taking very different paths in their adult lives. 

Leia 42:22

Yeh I think that is the cool thing about narration. There could be people that grew up in the same place with the same sort of circumstances, but they all have completely different voices in that way. And I know for one that narration is something that  I don’t necessarily think about 100% when I’m reading, but I know it has such an impact on whether I like the piece. 

Jack 42:44

For sure. Like if I hated a narrator, it would be pretty much impossible for me to like a book.  Like for example the hunger games. A lot of people hate Katniss Everdeen as a narrator, they just find her grating. When I first read the books when I was 14, I didn’t really find her to be that annoying, but then I tried to read it again now and I think only teenage me could have liked her. 

Leia 43:18

I mean on a similar thread to that, we do have narrators I suppose that aren’t necessarily the good guys, like as a reader you aren’t really meant to relate so I don’t know if it is always necessarily about if you like the narrator.

Jack 43:31

Ok not so much about liking, more about finding them interesting I suppose. There is a certain level of I can find something annoying but interesting and there is a sort of balance. So if Katniss Everdeen was extremely interesting, I don’t know what it would take for her to become suddenly interesting, she’d be just a completely different character. 

Leia 44:05 

Well I suppose hunger games is a good indication of how age plays into narration, like Suzanne Collins does this really effectively and well and you can tell that this is the voice of a young person. And that is why perhaps adults and people looking back now can’t relate as much because it is a very much in the age, in the moment narration in that way. 

Jack 44:30 

Yeh, yeh, for sure. 

Leia 44:32 

Okay so that was our little chat about narration and unreliable narrators and that, and next podcast we’ll be looking at a different element of writing that will be our guests choice. Lastly we are going to speak about the state of the lit community and any problems that have cropped up recently and if theres anything we could do to like tackle any of those issues. And we’d invite you guys to reply to that and comment if you are listening and help. Everyone wants the lit community to be as good as it can, and there are issues and there are always going to be issues and its about how can we work together to make the community a better and safer place to be. So the issue that has sort of cropped up a lot this week, is the issue of plagiarism. 

Jack 45:23

Yeh it is quite difficult to have a sort of system in place to stop plagiarism. Especially between zines. For example if someone submits someone else’s work. A lot of the zines might not necessarily be cataloged on something like the classic one that you’d use on essays, turnitin, which is sort of the plagiarism checker, like grammarly can do it as well. But you can’t really put a poem through it. 

Leia 45:53

Yeh good point actually. It can be so difficult I mean people re submitting work to so many different magazines and there are so many people and how can you ever check that the work isn’t plagiarised without reading every piece ever published? So that is the sort of dilemma going around at the moment. And we just want to chat through maybe solutions to this or some general thinking points of ways we could tackle some of these things. We were having this discussion and I was like Jack how do we stop this? We could be publishing something and we would have no idea whether it has been plagurised or not because we haven’t read every piece, we don’t know. But so we were thinking of implementing something along the lines of alongside every submission, we would ask the writer to submit maybe 100 words of why they have submitted the piece, what it means to them, so we can tell that it is from them in that way? 

Jack 46:54

Yeh I think that is a pretty good solution to be fair. I mean plagiarism for literature magazines, it doesn’t happen like a lot, when it does happen it is pretty bad. For the person whose work has been taken they’ve basically been stolen from, well they have been stolen from, and then for the issue its bad publicity and pr for them, it makes them look bad. 

Leia 47:31

It can be really tricky. I think that it mainly relies on other mags clubbing together and if you know there has been a writer plagiarism work, its about sharing that with the community? I mean maybe it is worth lit mags setting up a sort of specific group? A space where it can be dedicated to sharing like shady people in that way? I don’t know if that would be something that people would be considering but I think it is definitely an issue that needs to be tackled because it is one that can so easily be swept under the rug and you wouldn’t necessarily see it as something as clear as you would other issue in a writer. So it is a difficult one but I know for a fact Full House is going to be asking for writers to give us a little more about themselves just so we can add another layer of protection and making sure that these pieces do come from the heart and for the vast majority of writers, it 100% does, and thats why we don’t really think it is going to be a problem to ask this, because if you do have that passion for your piece, then that will come through and we would definitely like to read that. 

Jack 48:48 

Yeh, yeh, for sure, 

Leia 48:49 

So that sort of wraps up most of the podcast. We would like to end by giving you a writing prompt. We’ve been releasing different writing prompts on our twitter. We do it occasionally in sort of like fits and bursts, we usually do it when people might be feeling loneliest, like we did a few on christmas and on new years. And we’ll probably put a few in at the end of every podcast just so there is something for you to go away with and work on. I find prompts are such a good way of getting into work. I find it really difficult just to sit at a screen or you know get my notepad ready and just write. My mind is just like omg there is so many things, where do I even begin? So a prompt can be a really useful way in. Even if you end up with your piece being nothing to do with the prompt it can just be such a useful tool to get you in and get you started writing in that way. I don’t know how you feel about prompts Jack? 

Jack 49:49 

Yeh I use them more as a warm up, I have definitely used prompts before that have contributed to pieces I’ve submitted for coursework. 

Leia 50:03

Yeh, so I think I’ll say a prompt and then Jack will share a prompt and then you can sort of decide which one you like best, or go away and do both of them, so my prompt would be to find a piece of critical material. It could be an essay about anything, find two of them, and highlight some key opinionated phrases and then make a poem or story about the two opinions. Are they completely different opinions? Do they cross the same lines of thought? Would these people get along in real life? I think that could a cool little exercise. 

Jack 50:49

Yeh for sure. The prompt I would like to go with, is so take two books, preferably ones you have read or you could technically do ones you’ve not read but you’ll see why you might not want to in a second. So take the first page of one of the books and then the last page of the other book, so you’ve got the ending of one text and the start of another, and try and create a plot outline that connects the books. 

Leia 51:26

That sounds really interesting, I’m definitely going to have a go at these prompts. So that wraps up everything, we just have a few short announcements, like a little news blast of the lit world, so we’ll just give that to you now. As we have mentioned Nikki Dudley is doing writing and prompt classes at the moment,  £15 per class and you can contact her or look on her twitter and find more about that. The Aurora Journal has just recruited some fantastic poetry, prose editors and staff contributors, so you should definitely check out them. The Babel Tower Notice Board has just posted a few pieces as their first publications of 2021 and they are absolutely gorgeous. Submissions for Mixed Mag are now officially open so get those submissions in. This magazine is dedicated to promoting creators of colour and celebrating multi ethnic and multicultural voices. The Shore are officially open for submissions for their ninth issue. MumWrite have an anthology out which has some amazing amazing experimental pieces in there and that is available for you to purchase. And lastly wrongdoing magazine are also open for submissions! So that is just a small news blast and some of the amazing magazines you can check out in the world at the moment but keep your eyes peeled because there will be so many more and we try and retweet them whenever we can. There are some amazing opportunities that you guys should definitely take a chance and a hold of! 

Jack 53:05 

So that is the end of this weeks episode of the Full House Literary Magazine podcast. 

Leia 53: 13

Thank you so much for joining us. Hopefully we didn’t bore you too much! And hopefully we are just going to get better from here. We’ve got some fantastic guests joining us soon, the line up is looking amazing! We will be releasing details of our amazing quests as soon as we can, we are still amending some of those things. But yeh this has been really great and we hope to be coming at you with more exciting stuff soon! So have an absolutely lovely rest of your day and we hope to see you next time!