Submission guidelines

Thanks to Bobby and Miranda for their hard work in getting these together!

Writing guidelines:

Fragment accepts short fiction, short-shorts (fiction less than 1,500 words), poetry, excerpts of unpublished novels, essays and creative non-fiction. Maximum length of submitted work other than short-short fiction should be no more than 5,000 words.

Authors may submit two ways: via e-mail at fragmag1@gmail.com or by dropping off a CD at Vineyard Community Church.

Manuscripts for fiction, essays and creative non-fiction should be neatly typed, error-free and double-spaced. If submitting by e-mail, please attach the manuscript in a Microsoft Word document.

Poetry manuscripts should be neatly typed, and stanzas may be single spaced with a paragraph break between.

Profanity or obscene language is not allowed. Manuscripts that hinge on "adult situations" will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Manuscripts may be edited for length, clarity and style.

Submit only your best work. We want our authors to shine, and that can't happen without your best effort.

The premise for fiction, creative non-fiction, essays or poetry does not have to be overtly religious. Fragment is a tool to showcase our literary gifts, but it is not necessarily an outreach tool. The door is open for any subject an author wishes to address.

Art guidelines:

Any type of art (photography, drawing, painting, sculpture, digital art, etc.) will be accepted, but nothing vulgar (no nudity)

For digital submissions (photographs and digital art), resolution must be 300 dpi

Digital submissions can be dropped off at Vineyard on a CD or e-mailed to fragmag1@gmail.com

Photograph submissions should be in JPG format; non-digital photographs may also be submitted

Other digital art submissions should be in JPG, PDF or EPS format

Non-digital submissions must be in a format that can be photographed for inclusion in Fragment

Non-digital submissions may be dropped off at Vineyard; please do not submit a photograph of your work

Non-digital submissions will be returned as soon as possible after review has been completed


Moving on up!

The excitement is building for Fragment, and not just in me. This makes me very happy. I had conversations about it with several people after church last Sunday, and I really feel good about what's happening. I think the quality of the content may be even better than what I expected, and I know we have a few solid contributors on board.

We also likely will be getting more editorial help from the lovely and talented Crystal McGough. I'm hoping she will be able to assist with proofreading stuff, as well as PR/marketing and working with the printer we eventually decide to go with.

Our interest meeting is Sunday, and that should give us an even better idea of what we'll be looking at as far as involvement. Then we'll start accepting submissions next week! I've been working with Miranda and Bobby on submission guidelines, and I think those are coming together nicely. The art guidelines are pretty much ready to go, and Bobby said he'd get the writing guidelines to me sometime today or tonight. I've got to go have those printed tomorrow.

As for the design, I mentioned to Ryan a few weeks ago about starting on the cover, but we haven't had a chance to talk about it since then. I'm planning to get in touch with him to see if he can put together a few different versions by mid-to-late October.



So, it's been over a month since I updated on here. Wow. My bad!

Seriously, a lot has been going on in the past month for Fragment, and a lot more will be happening in the next few weeks. First, and most exciting, the editorial staff has come together nicely! Here's a short bio on each of 'em:

Bobby Mathews is an experienced journalist and aspiring novelist. He has won various awards for his writing and reporting and recently moved to Tuscaloosa. He will serve as the writing editor for the first edition of Fragment. He's also my fiance!

Miranda Harbin, mom of Amarie and wife of Blake, is the art editor. She is a 2006 graduate of the University of Alabama and former art and photography teacher at Tuscaloosa County High School. She now works from home as a wedding and event florist.

Ryan Hollingsworth is a University of Alabama student majoring in telecommunication and film and digital media. He and his wife, Megan, also serve as assistant community directors at Lakeside dorm on campus. He is the art director.

I was unable to find anyone to handle marketing, so for now Jon (pastor) and I are sort of tackling those needs as they arise.

I've started looking at some printing options and talked it over with Jon, and we are, unfortunately, probably going to have to rethink the way we are doing the printing. I'm afraid the production cost is going to be higher than we anticipated. So I'm going to keep shopping around to see if I can find somewhere that can handle what we want for a reasonable price. I've got some options around town, but I've really got to get a move on with that!

We're planning to have our first editorial meeting Sunday. I'm looking forward to it. We are going to discuss submission guidelines and some ideas for funding and generating more of a buzz about Fragment. The interest meeting for submitters is in two weeks, so I am going to put something together for that for Sunday so people will know about it. Definitely going to start a Facebook group, too.

This all is very exciting and scary. I want Fragment to be successful and to achieve what we want it to achieve. I want it to look good and be a quality publication. And, honestly, I want to be able to expand and grow. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens.

Oooooh! And I almost forgot: We now have a "real" Web address. It's www.fragmentartsmagazine.com. That just redirects to this site for now, but eventually we will have our own Web site!


Supporting creativity

You may have noticed the new buttons on the left-hand side of the page, along with the encouragement to "support creativity." This idea came from Etsy.com, which is where the top button links to (my personal page ... shameless plug!).

I had a couple of other endeavors I wanted to advertise for, so I added those, as well. I'd like to encourage you to check these out and support the creativity and drive of the people involved. Fragment is just in its beginning stages, but I can already see that it is going to be a huge project that will require some time and effort. But on the grand scheme of things, there are a lot of people out there putting their time and effort into their own projects, and they all need a little support.

Minerva Books is an independent bookstore in Petersburg, Va., owned by my sister, Kristy Bell. It's a ground-up sort of venture that's really dedicated to the furthering of the arts, free thought and good writing. She has all sorts of cool stuff going on there, so if you're ever up that way, check them out. Also, you can order books from the Web site (you can get there by clicking the button), so if you're into the whole independent thing, take a look!

The Nick and Josh Podcast is actually something I just discovered today. Nick is actually the husband of a friend of mine (Leslie). Nick and Leslie are currently in New Zealand and have been traveling the world quite a bit. I must admit I'm a little jealous. But the podcast has been going on since even before that, I believe, and features a lot of cool folks. Past guests have included Shane Claiborne (author of Jesus for President and The Irresistible Revolution) and Zach Lind, drummer for Jimmy Eat World. So give them a listen if you get a chance!

So if you know of any other places on the Web you'd like to see featured in the "Support Creativity" section, please let me know!


I guess you could call it progress

Well, I've officially gotten my first no from someone about an editorial position. I'm not terribly surprised, because I know it's going to require time and effort, and I know people have jobs and lives and spouses and children and all that stuff. So I'm definitely looking at it as a positive thing - God is culling down the list of people that are supposed to be in charge of the thing.

Really, I have someone in mind for every position except for the marketing director. I wish I could say I had multiple people that I could ask for each position, but I think, sadly, I just don't know a lot about the giftings of people outside of my immediate circle of friends. And I don't want to limit who gets involved, so I guess that's a tough situation.

On a happy note, I do know one person for sure who is on board to help in whatever role I need him, and I also have a maybe from someone (I think I mentioned that before).


Slower progress

There really haven't been many developments this week, but I wanted to update. I've been slacking a little bit as far as getting an editorial calendar together and talking to people about helping out in editor-type roles. I did talk with a guy at church (Robbie) about printing possibilities, and he said he would make some calls.

Really, other than that, it's slowed down a lot. Hopefully more of a real update later this week!


Descriptions for editorial positions

If anyone has any thoughts on these, please let me know! I've also created a new Fragment e-mail address, fragmag1@gmail.com. The next thing I'll be working on is a tentative editorial calendar, then I'll be heavy duty into recruiting volunteers for these positions! I already have a couple of maybes for positions, so I feel like I'm off to an OK start!

Fiction editor
Set guidelines for fiction submissions
Review fiction submissions
Pick which fiction submissions will be accepted for publication
Provide feedback to submitters about fiction submissions, whether positive or negative
Edit fiction submissions
Maintain a list of submitted fiction stories, their status (accepted/rejected, published/non-published), all fiction submitters and their contact info
Pass along fiction submissions to editor for final approval
Create an e-mail folder for first versions of fiction submissions and final versions of fiction submissions
Procure biographical info and headshot of each approved fiction submitter
Assist with proofing of all fiction pages (all pages will go through proofing process at least 2x)

Non-fiction editor
Set guidelines for non-fiction submissions
Review non-fiction submissions
Pick which non-fiction submissions will be accepted for publication
Provide feedback to submitters about non-fiction submissions, whether positive or negative
Edit non-fiction submissions
Maintain a list of submitted non-fiction stories, their status (accepted/rejected, published/non-published), all non-fiction submitters and their contact info
Pass along non-fiction submissions to editor for final approval
Create an e-mail folder for first versions of non-fiction submissions and final versions of non-fiction submissions
Procure biographical info and headshot of each approved non-fiction submitter
Assist with proofing of all non-fiction pages (all pages will go through proofing process at least 2x)

Art editor
Set guidelines for art submissions
Review art submissions
Pick which art submissions will be accepted for publication
Provide feedback to submitters about art submissions, whether positive or negative
Take photos of non-digital art submissions
Edit digital art submissions
Maintain a list of submitted art, its status (accepted/rejected, published/non-published), all art submitters and their contact info
Pass along art submissions to editor for final approval
Create an e-mail folder for first versions of art submissions and final versions of art submissions
Procure biographical info and headshot of each approved art submitter
Assist with proofing of all art pages (all pages will go through proofing process at least 2x)

Art director
Work with editor to create cohesive vision for each Fragment publication
Pick colors and fonts that will work well for magazine’s purpose and audience
Work with marketing director to ensure all design matches up with this
Create template for cover and inside pages
Design cover and inside pages, including placing copy
Recruit graphic designer(s) as needed to assist with creative processes
Oversee all visual aspects of Fragment
Provide proofs of pages to editor (each page will be proofed at least 2x)
Make corrections to proofed pages as needed
Create PDFs of pages to be sent to printer
Deliver pages to printer and communicate with printer on any problems

Marketing director
Create campaign for recruiting contributors for Fragment (particularly the first edition!)
Work with art director to ensure all marketing pieces fit with the magazine design
Work to create buzz about Fragment through whatever means available (word of mouth is great!)
Work with Jon to have information included on bulletin boards, in slideshows, in the 411 and during announcements
Create bulletin board and slide design, write blurbs for 411, create inserts for 411
Maintain a steady stream of information about Fragment to keep interest high