Our first Premium Print Edition is finally here, and we’re thrilled! So far I’ve been the only one to hold it, so that’s why the picture below is just of me. (Eagerly awaiting the chance to give Justin, our Designer, and Kristin, our Managing Editor, their copies!) Subscriber and single-order copies should be arriving through this week and into next. Please let us know what you think and what can be improved, as we want to make this magazine shine!
It’s especially exciting for me to finally hold this issue because it’s the culmination of six months of hard work and the result of a major life change. Six months ago I left my full-time job to devote more time to Carve, a decision that was risky, terrifying, and elating all at once. I was happy in my job, had been there for five years, but I was always wanting to spend more time on Carve. After attending AWP in March, I made the decision to leave and start the Print Edition as a way to build the magazine up and out from its exclusively online presence.
Now with a growing subscriber base and a physical magazine in my hand, it’s very satisfying to say that it was a decision well worth the anxiety it induced. I love being able to work on Carve full time, and more importantly, continue to give more opportunities for the voices we publish to be heard.
The stories in this edition are exceptional. Particularly, Jia Tolentino’s “The Odyssey” is one of those rare, life-altering stories that you’ll never forget. The sense of longing, the alienation, the desire for something you can’t or don’t know how to define is something universal within all of us, and Jia captures the feeling with her flowing language and arresting descriptions of the mountainous Kyrgyzstan.
To me, the most exciting part of the Print Edition is the interviews with each author. Rather than try to better “understand” or “interpret” the story they wrote, we try to better understand them and how they came to write the story. We approach them writer to writer - what’s their technique, their vision, their goals and hopes for the future? Their responses are inspiring, surprising, and create such a sense of community.
I also love Susanne Rubenstein’s essay, “Crossing Into Carver Country” which she updated and extended exclusively for our Print Edition. In it she discuss Raymond Carver’s history and legacy, how his works blend the lines of autobiography and fiction in a distinct and necessary way. She discusses how her students react to Carver and his work, and how in today’s changed economic climate, the “blue collar voice of despair” is more resonant than ever.
There’s also the Reject! feature - which is something different than anything you’ll find in any lit mag. We published an excerpt from an actual submission that we rejected, complete with our notes and comments to the author. The story later went on to become published, without any of our revisions, and we hear from the author on how he responded to our critique.
And lastly, the Something More feature with the Tess Gallagher interview is really a great read, letting us delve even more into Carver and his history.
I want to take a moment and thank all of our subscribers who are supporting the magazine with their generosity. We’re just getting started, and we have more plans for expanding and improving the magazine. We hope this is the year that we finally land in either the PEN/O. Henry Prize or Best American Short Stories Anthologies. Not because we want to be glamorous and famous, but because we want these stories to be read by so many more. They’re just that good.
Get your copy of the first Print Edition of Carve today and help support honest fiction.