Submissions for Issue II are finally open (through April 16), so I wanted to offer some transparency into our selection process. We made a lot of mistakes on our first go-around. Our submissions window was too short, and our submissions process was too unstructured. We allowed countless entries per submission and no page limit. Thankfully, since we didn’t put ourselves in a position to get a bunch of submissions, we actually had space for the longer pieces (and honestly, for The Scream and The, I would have made the room).
To be honest, in our first go-round, we probably were as inefficient as possible. Because people could submit multiple pieces in the same form, we didn’t have a neat and easy way to take the information from the Google form and turn it into a voting sheet. We ended up voting by email in a boring, disorganized fashion that I won’t bother delving into, but in the end it was easy enough to select the winning pieces. Pieces with a majority vote got in automatically, and we all had an opportunity to advocate for pieces that didn’t make it through.
There’s some playing around of course; for example if one piece maybe isn’t strong enough on its own but pairs well with someone else’s piece, it will probably get in. And because we strive for balance, we sometimes end up commissioning pieces with an opposing point of view if we have a strong but unmatched submission. Accepted pieces get moved into a separate folder, and then it’s onto layout.
Jessica Chan is the founder of Sowing Ground, an online studio shop where you can buy gorgeous stickers, stationery sets, prints, and so much more. Jessica (or JChan to those who knew her back in the day) was my [Maya's] freshman year RA. I'm not sure she knows this, but JChan helped to get me through the hardest year of my entire life. Jessica is full of brightness and positivity, and she is the embodiment of goodness and talent. Jessica has been one of our most fervent supporters since day one, and it is an honor to have her as our first interviewee! Enjoy our interview with her (click "read more" below or on the blog title), and remember to check out her shop and socials!!