News: Anatomy of A Collective Meeting

2012-10-21 11:01:AM ago by nicole.boyce

Literary magazines can seem mysterious to writers – as the makers or breakers of a story’s fate, these tanks of appraisal can be the difference between licking more stamps and toasting publication. But what goes on between submission and response? What gears turn prospective stories into published ones? Maybe you imagine cloaks and candles, divining rods sniffing their way through manuscripts. Perhaps you hear a chant ring out: cultish writing for idolatrous readers.
Really, filling Station meetings are less secret society and more book nerd. We gather once a month in our editor’s living room. Some of us sit on the floor. There are no robes, but there’s sometimes banana bread. As they say: baking is the heart of democracy.
We start each meeting with an update from our Managing Editor. Caitlynn briefs us on the month’s happenings, including the progress of current and upcoming issues, funding news, event updates, and general goings on in the Calgary literary community.  The terminology is specific but not too esoteric; a slammer, here, is not a Pog, but a member of the slam poetry community. Issues are referred to by their number: “54 is in the works,” “We need a copy of 14 for the archives.”
Following updates from the Managing and section editors, we open the floor to collective members for ideas, updates and input. How was the latest Hot Date with Blank Pages? Is there a grant we should know about? A theme issue we should consider? What’s the deal with that Twilight lip reading video?
Finally, we split into our collectives and get down to discussing your work – what worked, what didn’t, what stuck out, and what jives or jars with fS’s mandate. We puzzle over oblique endings. We celebrate great metaphors. We vote on each piece, and with a sophisticated and secretive process called ‘raising our hands,’ render the verdict. All in all, it’s a fun process of discovery and discussion. To learn more or get involved, check out our volunteer page – we’re 100% volunteer run and always looking for new recruits!

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