BOMBFIRE, Leann Denman (Interview)
Interviewed by Julia Cerrato
BOMBFIRE is an online literary magazine that features visual art, poetry, and flash fiction. Leann Denman is the Editor-in-Chief and founder of BOMBFIRE. The Founder of BOMBFIRE wanted to create a platform for both artists and writers to show off their work. Anyone can submit to BOMBFIRE. They look for the weird, surreal, funny, spooky, beautiful, and dreamy.
How did you generate the name for the magazine?
I wanted a name that was one word, in all capital letters. I wanted it to be easy to remember. My original plan was to name it BONFIRE but then my boyfriend/associate editor suggested BOMBFIRE, and I instantly agreed that it was perfect. The combination of bomb, fire, and lit makes for a fun play on words.
What was your introduction to editing & publishing?
BOMBFIRE is my first experience in both editing and publishing. Besides the occasional personal blog, I didn't have any experience prior to this. That being said, it's been quite the learning adventure.
How do you find financial support for BOMBFIRE?
At the moment, I pay for it myself. I've been brainstorming other potential ways to fund it, but for now I'm comfortable paying the fee to keep it running. If anything, my priority would be to have funds to pay people who are published.
What do you consider to be your greatest successes for the magazine? What is most challenging for you about this magazine?
The greatest success is being able to publish someone who hasn't been published before or is just starting out. Their excitement is contagious. It's a great feeling to be a part of that, and I hope it inspires them to keep going and keep submitting work to other literary magazines.
The most challenging part of running this magazine is having to send those emails that every editor dreads, when you're not accepting the submission. Most of the time, it's not even about whether the writing is good or bad. If it doesn't fit into the theme of BOMBFIRE, I can't accept it.
What advice do you have for people looking to work as editors?
If you decide to start your own literary magazine or journal, utilize Duotrope's guide for a listing and submit it immediately after it's viewable to the public. Keep in mind that while narrow genres are unique, you will have less submissions when you start. On that note, have your social media profiles ready to go, either before publishing it or on the same day as release. Send a submission for a listing to Poets & Writers at the three-month mark.
Time management is mandatory. Personally, I work in batches of submissions at a time. It helps to have someone on board with you, especially if you have multiple genres and your target audience is large. You'll be less overwhelmed if you form a team.
I never forget there is a person on the other end of every submission. Respect their time and work, be kind in declining a submission, and be encouraging.