Humans of Spectrum: Shaylie Foley
Why did you decide to participate in the production of Spectrum?
As a fiction writer who has written a lot of short, lit mag-style pieces, I have always been interested in literary magazines. I joined Spectrum because I wanted to learn more about the genre of literary magazines and contribute to the amazing process of creating a real, distributable magazine from start to finish.
What do you look for in the submissions that you receive for the magazine?
I try not to look for anything too specific. Judging creative work is always hard because art is so subjective. I think that setting too many parameters on creative work before you even read it is restrictive and can lead you to reject pieces that have great potential. Obviously, every submission we review and eventually accept needs to fit in with the aesthetic of the magazine and it needs to be of a certain level of quality. Overall, though, I think that keeping an open mind when reading submissions helps you end up with a more unique, diverse magazine that captures the attention and appreciation of more readers.
What genre or form of Spectrum interests you most, and what about it speaks to you?
Fiction definitely interests me most. I am a fiction writer, so I don’t have much experience with any other genre. I certainly wouldn’t be an effective reader for any other genre. I love reading Spectrum submissions from any genre, though. Other people’s creative work fascinates me, especially if I know I would never be able to create anything like it myself.
Can you share a short story about your own writing?
I feel like my writing habits have changed a lot since I started college this year. I’d never taken formal creative writing classes for units or grades before college. I had never had to meet deadlines with my creative writing. When I started having to submit short stories and other creative assignments by a certain date in college classes, I was really stressed out. I was always worried I wouldn’t be able to write a piece I was really happy with before I had to turn it in. I still worry about that, but I’m also really grateful for the deadlines now. I think the pressure and structure has forced me to produce more creative pieces, which is always a good thing in my opinion.