Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Six Questions for Masfi Khan, Editor-in-Chief, For the Sonorous

For the Sonorous publishes prose of 300 to 3,000 words, poetry to 150 lines, and visual arts. The journal is "dedicated to empowering and publishing women of color and non-binary people of color.” Read the complete guidelines here.

SQF: Why did you start this magazine?

Masfi Khan: I started For the Sonorous to empower women of color and non-binary people of color. I noticed that marginalized groups were underrepresented in literature, and I felt that there should be a place to celebrate diverse writers and artists that expand the boundaries of language and art. For the Sonorous aims to give women and non-binary people of color the power to dictate their own narratives and amplify their voices. We seek to foster a supportive community for marginalized writers and artists.


SQF: What are the top three things you look for in a submission and why?

MK: The top three things we look for in a submission are originality, an overarching theme, and a captivating voice. We like to see works that are experimental and use imagery, structure, and characters in refreshing ways. Submissions stand out to us when they shape their own directions. We feel that having a central theme offers pieces a framework for what they are trying to achieve and keeps them grounded and focused. We enjoy reading works in which the writer has a good grip on the speaker's voice since that controls the piece’s perspective and makes us remember the piece.


SQF: What most often turns you off to a submission?

MK: We’re most turned off by submissions that have spelling or grammar errors, since it shows that the submitters did not proofread their work carefully. We also strongly advise interested submitters to read our guidelines before sending us their work. With that being said, we go into every submission with a clear mind and give it a few re-reads before making our final decision.


SQF: Do you provide comments when you reject a submission?

MK: Yes! In fact, we provide detailed feedback to all of the submissions that we receive. Even if the editors and I feel that a piece may not be a good fit for For the Sonorous, we still want the submitter to know how an audience may respond to it and give any suggestions we might have to strengthen it. On certain occasions, we may also wish to read a revised version of the work based on the feedback that we’ve given, which lets us work closely with the submitters to edit any structural or stylistic issues. We don’t believe that a piece is finished once it’s been accepted or rejected for publication, so we hope to encourage our submitters to continue honing their craft.


SQF: If For the Sonorous had a theme song, what would it be and why?

MK: It would definitely be “Girl on Fire” by Alicia Keys! I love that the song is like an anthem for women, celebrating how courageous, resilient, and unstoppable we are. And of course, Alicia Keys’ vocals are so strong and gripping!


SQF: What one question on this topic do you wish I'd asked that I didn't? And how would you answer it?

MK: What are our upcoming projects?

We are holding the 2017 Sonorous Summer Writing Workshop, an online mentorship program geared towards women of color and non-binary people of color in grades 6-12. This workshop will foster an informal and collaborative community for young writers to explore their craft and work closely with a prose/poetry mentor and fellow mentees. Workshop participants will receive feedback on their writing, engage in craft discussions, receive support and resources from the mentors, and have their work published in a special anthology. We’re open for mentee applications until August 1, and more information on the program can be found here.

We are hoping to expand our blog by publishing more articles and essays by women and non-binary people of color on their experiences and opinions. We also want to highlight the works of inspirational women and non-binary people of color in our interviews, book reviews, and columns.

Thank you, Masfi. We all appreciate you taking time from your busy schedule to participate in this project.






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