Minerva Rising: The Creative Woman’s Sophisticated Girl’s Night Out

I recently had the unique joy and honor of speaking on the phone with Kim Brown, the Executive Editor of Minerva Rising, a new wonderful, women-centered literary magazine.

I discovered this new literary journal as I read the brief e-newsletter that my old advisor (and also program chair), Joanne Koch, at National-Louis University’s MS in Written Communications program puts out periodically.

Here’s the blurb straight from the e-newsletter:

“Minerva Rising, a brand new literary publication edited by a Written Communication alum Kim Brown, will be launching soon.  Women writers are invited to submit poetry, fiction, essays to kim@minervarising.com by May 5. Kim writes: “The journal celebrates the creativity and wisdom in every woman by featuring a variety of artistic works, such as fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and photography by female artists and writers. The inaugural issue is scheduled to come out this September. We are currently accepting submissions until May 5th and need to spread the word.”

Kim said that the deadline has been extended by a week (Monday, May 14)! So there’s no better time than now to submit. The journal will inaugurate its first print issue in September and each issue will have an encircling theme to help guide submissions.

The first issue is themed around beginnings and genesis. Kim recalls a favorite bumper sticker: well-behaved women seldom make history. So many women in history were firsts with their sheer gumption. Can you think back at the women who had an impact in your life? Those who made a real difference more than likely went against the grain.

When discussing the journal’s print format versus electronic, Kim mentioned that there’s a visceral connection to being able to hold a creative work in your hand, which provides a sense of connection and nourishment that’s unlike anything else available electronically. The journal is supported through the small reading fee ($15) that goes along with submissions, which is an industry standard. There are no advertisements. The reading fees help “take the edge off” of the website and blog hosting and maintenance, the domain registration, the print issue costs, and other costs of running a successful literary journal.

It’s often been said that the literary world’s dirty secret is a festering gender inequality, and yet there is a world out there full of rich and complex women. Women wear many hats and, more often than not, put themselves and their needs after their loved ones’ needs and demands. Oftentimes, women can feel ostracized, like they’re the only ones experiencing all the challenges and adventures, on their own, as if at the center of a huge whirlwind.

Providing a safe environment for creative writers (and photographers, and poets) to come together and share their real-life complexities and experiences, provides not only a sense of accomplishment, but a much-needed booster shot of “you’re not alone.”

Kim wants to make sure this literary journal is for “real women,” which essentially means the writing projects under consideration should not be academic or high literature. The journal hopes to broadcast and celebrate everyday women artists’ contributions and voices.

While I was speaking with Kim on the phone we discussed how the four members of the editorial board came together. Kim said that she has always had a great interest in helping people connect, and this project was just an example of her bringing people together. The editorial board is composed of Michelle Orr, Creative Director; Deborah Grace Staley, Associate Editor; and Dulcie Witman, Associate Editor.

All three women knew or were associated in some way to either Kim or her husband. They come from very different perspectives, and the melding of their unique perspectives and ideas creates an amazing source of energy and creativity that are channeled into this literary journal project.

The journal is relying on word of mouth from friends and family, as well as NLU’s MS in Written Communications students and alumni, connections at industry conferences, and social media channels (Twitter, Facebook) to help spread the word.

I hope you can take a few minutes to explore Minerva Rising’s website and blog, The Keeping Room, and consider submitting one of your pieces to what promises to be an excellent new beginning for this women-centered community and journal.

Did You Know? According to Wikipedia, Minerva was a Roman goddess and patron of poetry, medicine, wisdom, commerce, weaving, crafts, and magic.

Did you Know? The concept of a keeping room dates back to the late eighteenth century when families slept in the space just off the kitchen because the hearth kept them warm. Today this space has morphed into what we now call the family room. You can learn more about The Keeping Room blog theme on the blog’s About page.

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