Magazine publishing is more than a full-time job. I’m interviewing Nadia Giordana, who edits and publishes Mississippi Crow magazine.
Several of my articles, poems, and photographs have appeared in the magazine. I’m well pleased that she has chosen so much of my work.
Nadia’s publication is a beautiful new glossy that’s earning quite a reputation in the writing arena. All thanks to Nadia’s expertise and her wish to see unknown but great writers find a wider audience.
In my opinion, Mississippi Crow magazine is the type of publication that could launch a career.
Nadia has quite a sense of humor, is a writer and poet, and has published her own humor. But I suppose I’d best let you meet her through her own words in this interview, also focused on magazine publishing.
A list of Nadia's own books and publications can be found at the end of this interview.
Wait no longer! Nadia's non-diet weight-loss book Thinking Skinny is an extreme hit. You can do this too.
“Read voraciously, write passionately!”
(MD) Welcome Nadia, and Aloha from Hawaii.
(NG) Hi Mary, It’s great to be talking to you today.
(MD) Nadia, we met when you found my essay-story, Any Way You Distort It, on a Web site for writers. You asked if you could publish it in Mississippi Crow magazine. I want to talk about the magazine and magazine publishing, but I’d like to know more about you first. Where are you from? Tell us a little about your family.
(NG) I was born in post WWII Gorizia, Italy. My mother was Slovenian and my father, an American soldier stationed there. I grew up in central Minnesota on a farm with my parents and three siblings.
After retiring from a career as a stockbroker in Minneapolis, I turned my interests to writing and magazine publishing. Poetry in Motion magazine (published from 1994 through 1998) was one of my original projects along with some anthologies. After that, I published 2001—A Taste Odyssey, a food specialty newspaper.
When I moved to the Mississippi river valley, I couldn’t resist the temptation to do it all over again and Mississippi Crow magazine was born.
(MD) What are the influences that affect what you accept for magazine publishing?
(NG) With regard to poetry, I publish what I like, period. When it comes to stories, if I get something that makes me say to myself, “I wish I’d written that.” Or “I wish I could write like that”, then I’m certain to publish it.
(MD) Tell me how you came to start magazine publishing, especially this splendid magazine you’ve named Mississippi Crow. I understand it’s a lot of work. Why do you do it?
(NG) My first magazine was a business venture, supported by advertising dollars. Because of that, we had to keep advertiser sensitivities in mind when making content choices. This time around it’s not for the money.
The financial outlay required to produce a magazine like this outweighs any income. For me, it’s a passion, an artistic outlet, and a creative expression. I’m in this for the pure pleasure of it.
(MD) What do you publish in Mississippi Crow magazine?
(NG) Poetry, short stories, flash fiction, prose poems, artwork, photography and articles (especially about writing).
(MD) What makes your magazine different from others? What I mean is, is Mississippi Crow totally literary and serious. Or is it more lighthearted and fun? How would you describe your preferences with magazine publishing?
(NG) It’s tone is light, the content varied and often fun, but I am searching for edgier material to give it spice and to shake the readers out of their comfort zone. Once in a while, I want them to say, “Where in the world did THAT come from?”
(MD) Please provide the URLs for any of your Web sites. If more than one, state what happens on that site.
(NG) My magazine is Mississippi Crow, which is presently on hold while I finish some other major projects. My personal blog is Nadia Giordana - Embody Your Vision , and my publishing company is Cloud 9 Publishing. I've recently published a book about my weight loss journey and for anyone who has an interest. That book is Thinking Skinny. Find links to all of these at the bottom,please.
(MD) What types of submissions do you wish to receive? Explain the types of material you like to see in submissions. What about format in submissions?
(NG) I’m very open—I love it when a writer surprises me with something I never thought of. I prefer submissions as attachments (preferably a WORD document) rather than pasted in the body of an email. Things can get skewed in the body of an email even when it looks perfect to the sender.
(MD) How do you deal with yourself receiving rejection letters? What advice do you have for writers whose submissions you must reject?
(NG) Knowing that sinking feeling all too well, helps me remember to be as kind as possible when I have to say no. I’m keenly aware that there is a real live human being at the other end of my correspondence.
When I can, I will suggest another publication that might be more open to material I’m rejecting. My advice: Read the guidelines thoroughly before sending a submission.
(MD) What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?
(NG) For me, it’s not about the mechanics of writing. They are important, and without them, a piece won’t stand up to scrutiny, but the “bones” of the written work should be virtually unnoticeable, allowing the content to shine.
If you want someone to read your work, have an engaging title and weave a story that keeps the reader intrigued. Try not to let your story trail quietly off with a non-ending. A finish that surprises the reader will live on in memory.
(MD) Are you working on any books or projects other than magazine publishing that you would like to share with us? We'd love to hear about them.
(NG) As I mentioned a moment ago, my new book, Thinking Skinny. Of even greater importance is the book series 10,000 Days in Alaska. At about age 50, after the kids were grown and after farming for nearly 30 years, my parents, Norman and Sylvia Wilkins pulled up stakes and struck out for the last remaining American frontier, and spent 27+ years living in a log cabin on the Alaskan tundra.
During that time, my father kept a daily journal of their activities. It’s a fascinating series of books and I’m proud to be a small part of it. I'm certain these books are destined to become an iconic history of Alaskan life along the Glenn Highway during the latter part of the Twentieth century.
(MD) How do you promote your magazine?
(NG) Primarily through the website (which is listed on a good many search engines) and I have listings in the new issue of Dustbooks International Directory of Little Magazines & Small Presses, www.dustbooks.com. Most recently, www.duotrope.com picked up our listing and I was pleasantly surprised with the influx of submissions coming from there. It’s a great writer’s resource.
Beyond these things, I haven’t done a lot. The writers are finding me. It would be great to find a way to reach more readers.
(MD) You have a new way of magazine publishing and selling your product, in line with our electronic age. Can you tell me about that?
(NG) I found that outsourcing the time consuming and costly parts of the magazine publishing process frees me up for what I do best—the design work and selection of material. It also eliminates the need for formal subscriptions and all the bookkeeping that goes with it.
Interested readers can buy copies individually at their convenience. Past and present issues are available simultaneously.
(MD) How can the reading public know when the books are released?
(NG) The website will still be the most reliable source for that information. www.mississippicrow.com. We don’t work with a strict deadline or publishing schedule but as each publication becomes ready, we will announce it on the website.
(MD) How can readers purchase your books?
(NG) All issues of the Mississippi Crow, are available at http://stores.lulu.com/RiverMuse.
(MD) What would you say is the greatest obstacle, or disappointment you struggle with, in magazine publishing?
(NG) With my first magazine, it took about two years to reach what I call submission saturation—the point where I was forced to turn away excellent material for no reason other than a lack of resources. I can see that beginning to happen with Mississippi Crow. I am adding additional pages to the next issue and will continue to do that until we reach the saturation point.
(MD) What do you do to unwind and relax?
(NG) Simple pleasures, gardening, photography, cooking—anything artistic.
(MD) If you could leave your readers a legacy, what would you like it to be?
(NG) I would love to have produced a magazine of such beauty and quality that contributors will be so proud to have been part of it that they show it to their friends and say, “Mississippi Crow magazine, look, I’m in it!” I want it to be a keeper…to be picked up and savored—read again and again. I want to see it on your coffee table, not tucked away in your magazine rack.
(MD) What advice can you give to writers just starting out?
(NG) Read voraciously and write passionately.
(MD) Thank you Nadia, for speaking with us about yourself and magazine publishing. It’s been a pleasure.
(NG) Thank you Mary. I don’t often sit on this end of an interview. It’s been fun.
...is a unique personality in magazine publishing. With periodic calls for submissions, you’ll want to check out the Mississippi Crow magazine Web site and get on the mailing list in order to be notified when there is a new call for submissions. Calls for submissions include:
When the magazine is open to submissions once again, Guidelines will be posted here and on the site.
NOTE: Nadia's work is available at...
No Thank You, I'd Rather Be Myself!
A collection of humor, essays, wit, wisdom, poetry and other pieces of my mind.
10,000 Days in Alaska
From their log cabin overlooking Scoter Lake at Nelchina, to Glennallen, Anchorage, Copper River, Tok, Palmer, Fairbanks, Denali, Matanuska, Susitna, Valdez, Cordova and other arctic communities, Norman Wilkins recorded daily journal entries throughout the 25+ years he and his wife Sylvia spent carving out a life on the Alaskan tundra. Book one, "10,000 Days In Alaska" is available now.
Mississippi Crow magazine
Copies of all present and back issues are available in full color, standard version, or ebook.
No stomach surgery, no pills, and NO kooky dieting. THINKING SKINNY™ (the book) by Nadia Giordana outlines in detail, an easy, and effective methodology for boosting your weight loss results regardless of how much you plan to lose.
Nadia says: "Seventy eight pounds in ten months (from August 2007 to June 2008)--and I was still losing! My original plan was to lose around 40 pounds. I doubled that figure in less than a year by using this technique. To date (early 2009): I've lost 88 pounds and the finish line and maintenance program is at hand.
"This is NOT a diet. I did it and I can't stop smiling! You can do it as easily as I did."
Available at the website...
Magazine publishing is no easy task. With a new magazine on the scene, calls for submissions means the editor(s) will read and consider anything that fits well with the theme of the magazine.
But, as usual in the writing arena, magazine publishing means selecting fresh and better writing as more and more writers discover a publication and begin flooding the editors with submissions.
When submission calls are posted, submit your best work to Mississippi Crow. If you’re a new writer who gets accepted, it could be your introduction to magazine publishing of your shorter creative pieces.
If you’re a seasoned writer that means your work is polished and could be more easily accepted.
Content topic of submissions related to the overall magazine theme is vital too.
Magazine publishing is a dwindling art. Magazines struggle for support. Mississippi Crow is new to magazine publishing. Through this interview, I hope to do my small part in keeping it alive. It is a great opportunity for us all.