bbJason Stuart seems cool. I have some kind of weird thing for Southern Men.  We here at the weekly check-in bring you an interview with Burnt Bridge.

If you want to look in the archive you can see over 60 interviews, most of which are with literary journals both online and in-print. The idea as far as I’m concerned is multi-pronged: A. We get to check-in with group members and say, ‘hey dude(ette) how’s it going?’ B. You get to hear about literary journals which you can read, subscribe to, submit to, love or decide to loathe, but the point is information. Now, if you’ll excuse me I have a tanning booth to get to. (No I don’t.)

Q (Nicolle Elizabeth): Yo Jason. What is Burnt Bridge? I always say that if I could ever be anything other than a writer my dream would be to be a firefighter. I am 100% serious about this. It’s the only thing I ever wanted to do other than be a writer. Did you always want to publish a likely not for profit literary journal?

A (Jason Stuart): Funny you say firefighter. I was once offered that job a few years ago, but turned it down in favor a much better salary as a teacher. I still feel to this day I made the wrong choice.

Burnt Bridge is actually the name of a small community close to where I grew up in South Mississippi, owing its name to an old Civil War legend regarding, you guessed it, a burnt bridge. I got ready to start my own lit journal, and liked the sound of it as a name.

Beyond that, however, Burnt Bridge is a platform with which we can showcase the type of work that interests and fascinates us, the core group of editors, and we hope that this work can find a larger audience beyond us. We are constantly expanding our publishing model, seeking to delve into as many markets and formats as possible. We post a short version of the mag monthly online, and we build a quarterly full issue that is released in perfect bound paperback, Amazon Kindle, as well as other ebook formats. Our ebooks sell for only $0.99.

What is BB’s vibe, man. Flavor. Who do you all consider THE voices? Why?

I wouldn’t even begin to know who THE voices are. We just like what we like. We’ve been accused of publishing “that Southern sh**” but I feel that characterization is too small-minded. We publish authors from around the world, and all across the U.S. I suppose I will admit that we have a tendency to lean toward the darker, seedier aspects of this wide world of ours. Ultimately, at least in regards to our prose, we look for work that captures a strong sense of risk within the narrative. Something of heft and girth must be at stake for the story to hold us. Well, that and the writing needs to be razor sharp.

Our biggest focus right now is bringing back the long story. We think that with our print issue, and the growing ebook market, that the market for the novella, the novelette, the long-form story is going to make a comeback. We’ve grown tired of the pretty, peppy little web-flash things, whatever you want to call them. We like stuff that reads like a meal.

Otherwise, we print what we like.

If Burnt Bridge were to suddenly gain a lot of funding thanks to this interview, what would Burnt Bridge continue to do exactly the same?

Ha. The first thing I’d do is pay my editors. Then, maybe, the writers. How much money are we talking here? I think we’d keep everything the same, the whole shebang. Maybe update and streamline the the site and probably our ebook distribution. Maybe buy some ad space somewhere. But, definitely pay my editors. We all labor out of our love for lit. But, money is good, too.

Please tell us more about you, your projects and anything else you’d like to confess here. Go ahead, I’ve heard it all.

Me? What’s to say? I hate writing bios. I hate reading bios. They just drone on and on about all the little writing things they’ve done, journals I’ve never heard of, awards I’m unfamiliar with, etc. Sometimes if a journal title is catchy enough, I look it up. The bios that interest me all make mention of the person’s occupational history. One I remember strongly involved someone writing stories after hours working at a factory. I don’t know why, but I suppose I got snowed by the half-romance of it.

As for me personally: I ride a motorcycle. I live on a beach. I root (strongly) for the Gators. And, that’s about it.

Nicolle Elizabeth checks in with Fictionaut Groups every Friday.

  1. Marcus Speh

    good one. yes to the novella! not just in the south, everywhere.

  2. susan tepper

    This was a good interview, and I’m with Marcus: yes to the novella!

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