"Is it Good?" a Conversation With Kristen Simental, Editor of Five South

Ask the Editor with Kristen Simental

Today I had an absolute blast chatting with Kristen Simental, Editor of Five South. Kristen is based in L.A. and was kind enough to join me bright and early west coast time.

Five South is a brand new online magazine, so Kristen provided a glimpse into all that goes on in building a journal from the ground up. Five South publishes flash fiction, fiction and poetry, has two contests running now, and will soon feature a podcast. Kristen talked about the many hats she wears as admin, entrepreneur and editor.

In terms of submissions, Kristen noted that a lot of pieces coming in do not deal with plagues and lockdowns, like I expected, but actually with nostalgia. People are looking back—to loved ones, to simpler times, to lost relatives, to childhood. She spoke of her reason for selecting a few of the pieces published in recent issues, and the impact these stories had on her.

It was a wonderful chat. But then! Once I stopped recording, we continued our conversation, and suddenly dove into new territory. It was so good I hit Record once more, so this Ask the Editor installment has bonus content. In the second video, Kristen and I talk about the literary world, class, access, gate-keeping, and how to build a literary life if you’re someone who hasn’t found yourself on the academic/conference/workshop/networking track.

Since the conversation explored issues of access, and since Kristen offered some seriously sage advice, I decided to make this session available not only to paying subscribers but to everyone.

So, I hope you enjoy our talk. To those of you that came out to participate and ask questions, thank you!

And now, here are my conversations with Kristen Simental, Editor and Founder of Five South.

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