Wednesday, February 5, 2014

I am featured in Zest!

Wow! What a way to start 2014! My poem: The Condemned Stone is featured in the third issue of Zest Literary Journal. Before I start blabbering about my excitement, here the link to the issue. It's such a "WOW!" feeling to see my poem placed first in the Poetry section. I am jumping up and down like an animal gone frenzy with happiness. Its beautifully published in PDF format; it looks authentic and fabulous! You will see my short bio along with a mugshot. Oh, sorry! Not a mugshot, haha, but a nice picture of mine in the Contributors section. I hope you like my poem and other pieces of art by writers across the world. Please be patient while you are downloading the PDF as it is a big file. Its rich with priceless pieces!


I had submitted the poem early November 2013 and I received a response from the editor, Kate Alexander, on December 31, 2103 at 23:17 hours! I am so used to responses from the editors that the lines resonate inside my mind when I see a mail from them. They say:
Thank for submitting your work. We enjoyed reading your pieces. But, we can't select your piece at this time. Please submit your piece somewhere else.
It's like one tight slap on my face when I see a straight acceptance or rejection one-liners in their responses. They don't not tell me why they didn't select my piece. I have to figure it out by reading their previous issues. At least I am always thankful for their replies. Some magazines don't even respond to my submissions. Having said that, I never expected a positive reply even this time. It came as a mind-blowing surprise! This is my New Year gift and it came in grand style.

In response to my submission, Kate gave me a detailed feedback. No editor has given me a feedback on my work so far. She not only read it, but studied it extensively! So, it was worth waiting. Here is what she said:
I thoroughly enjoyed reading your poem, 'The Condemned Stone' and it would be my pleasure to publish this work in the third issue of Zest. Your descriptions are strong and written with thoughtful eloquence. I particularly appreciated the depiction of the stone as 'insignificant, repulsive and brittle with razor sharp edges'. This, in conjunction with the relatively simple rhyme scheme, enhances the overall meaning of the poem, further empowering the importance of its allegorical message.
I replied expressing my happiness & gratitude to her for the kindness and humility she showed in selecting my piece for Zest. This is my second foot print in a British magazine!

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Kate, for her fine qualities she exhibited as a remarkable editor. I liked the way she thoroughly examined the pieces and engaged the contributors along with her in the editing process. She is soft and considerate in giving out her suggestions. She constantly kept me posted on the updates on where and how the publication is heading. Every thing she said, was said with a human touch. I never felt like it was writer-to-editor conversation, but more of a writer-to-friend talk. The talks went back and forth few times; it was required and done only to bring out the best! I admire her patience, perseverance and passion in carrying out such an exhaustive process in a disciplined way. She is a prime example of a true editor. It was a wonderful experience working with her. I look forward to work with Zest again.

Cheers,
Amit