By: Kori Marshall
Where Are They Now? Featuring Contributor: Jordan Carter
I recently reached out to a few of the past Mochila Review contributors with a few questions about where they are and what they’re doing now. If you weren’t sent an email but are interested in answering a few questions for our blog, don’t hesitate to reach out to us! J
Thank you to Jordan Carter, author of “We Do Shit to Get High to Forget the Shit We Did to Get High” and “Whales,” which is featured in the 2017 issue of The Mochila Review.
Question 1: Where are you now compared to where you were when you first submitted to The Mochila Review?
I first submitted to the Mochila Review in 2015 as I was wrapping up my undergraduate years at West Virginia University. I submitted widely that year, to five journals. (I have the spreadsheets to prove it.) My work landed in three of the five journals including the Mochila Review. My short story “We Do Shit to Get High to Forget the Shit We Did to Get High,” was selected by guest-judge Ellen Hopkins as an honorable mention in the 2016 MoRE Prize competition and featured in the 2016 Edition of the Mochila Review. The next year, I went on to submit to less journals and less than a handful of contests because of the time constraints imposed by impending graduation, but again submitted to the Mochila Review, but this time, a poem titled “Whales”. “Whales” will be featured in the 2017 Edition of the Mochila Review. I have since graduated summa cum laude and with University Honors from West Virginia University with a Bachelor of Arts degree. I will be an MFA candidate in the fall. I still keep spreadsheets.
- Do you have any advice for someone looking to be published for the first time as an undergraduate?
Find a journal you love that publishes work that you admire and publishes it well. (This means reading widely.) Consider the layout and medium of the journal. If it’s a print journal, does it feel good in your hands? Does it look put together thoughtfully? If it’s an online publication, is the journal user-friendly? Find somewhere you know you will want your piece to live because the journal is its home now.
Look for calls for submissions. Don’t pay (much) for entry fees. Make a spreadsheet—where you are submitting, when the submission deadline is, where to send your submission, what you need to include along with your submission, which submission you are going to send, and what (if any) prize comes along with a publication (prize enough.)
But most importantly, write. You can’t submit if you don’t have anything written.
Pro Tip: Volunteer as a reader for a literary journal. This way, you’ll get an inside look at what is being submitted and what sticks with readers.