Kaitlyn Andrews-Rice, Editor-in-Chief
Most of writing instruction is what not to do. Show don't tell. Active verbs not passive. Write what you know not what you don't.
Writers in workshops get comfortable with grand proclamations about what a story needs. Readers want to know more. Or they want to know less. More setting. Less description. More dialogue. Less exposition. Less dialgoue. More imagery.
When a literary magazine says “send us your best work,” what do they mean? Best by whose measure?
Lately we have been thinking about what kind of work we like to publish at Split Lip. Of course we want a writer’s best work, but we also want something else. This part is hard to quantify. Often a writer's best work breaks rules, mixing the What Not to Dos with the What To Dos. It’s writing only the author could have written, writing which is unmistakably theirs.
This month, with work from Megan Giddings, Martha Silano, Buffy Shutt, and Felicity Fenton, plus an interview with Tatiana Ryckman, and a review of Erin Dorney's I Am Not Famous Anymore, we’re telling and showing. We're active and we're passive. A husband is a cake and a mother survives in a list. A dress is more than a dress and hammer is more than a hammer.
What is it they say about rules? Learn them so you can break them?