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Readers' F.A.Q.s

Why doesn't Frigate read unsolicited manuscripts?

Actually, one department of Frigate — Su Polo's interactive page — is open to unsolicited poetry. Otherwise, we are not in a position to consider the flood of unsolicited poems and stories our previous experience in publishing leads us to believe we would receive if we were more open. We have no corresponding concern about a deluge of unsolicited reviews; people seem to understand that reviews are written on assignment. Anyway, reviewing is an act of literary citizenship as much as it is an act of writing. Almost by definition, people who want to review are people who are willing to conceive of themselves as writers in relation to a literary culture. We regret that the same cannot be said of the somewhat larger category of clamoring narcissistic poets.

Frigate seems to publish poetry only along thematic lines? Why?

An on-line magazine is a diffuse proposition. We look for themes to emerge as a particular issue shapes up. We heighten those themes in selecting poetry in order to provide our readers with a more coherent reading experience.

Although we do not consider unsolicited manuscripts, we need to reach ever beyond the circle of people whose work we already know. By publishing poetry — and soon, we hope, fiction — along clear thematic lines, we push ourselves to think a little harder about who in the larger world of writing is working in what areas. In this way, we hope to foster a more generous editorial presence than would necessarily be created by a small, coterie-driven journal.

The editor-in-chief writes fiction. Why doesn't Frigate publish fiction?

Fiction is hard on editors. Savvy acquisition means a lot of reading, and line-editing is complex. Publishing book reviews has its own set of complexities, as does web-site start-up. Actually, we would like very much to be publishing original fiction, and when the time comes, we will read widely, consider carefully, and take pains with the texts we select.

Eakins said in the initial editorial statement that Frigate's writers have no agendas. Yet the writing seems to be more and more political. Why didn't you say so in the first place?

It turns out we are a bunch of fire-eating radicals. So? Did we think our friends were a bunch of neurasthenic pantywaists? Venceremos! Nothing is published in the magazine that the editor does not stand fully behind.

What can I do to help?

• Tell people about Frigate. Do your own e-flyers for our new issues. All of our business plans depend on good demographics for success. We must be able to demonstrate readership through our usage statistics.

• Buy your books through our shop and get your friends to — it won't cost a penny more.

• Encourage other sites to link to us and to review us.

• Come to our events and bring your friends.

• Think of Frigate when asked to make recommendations for readings, panel discussions, forums, conference presentations, and the like.

• Volunteer for editing work, promotional work, technical work.


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