In this episode, Rachel Thompson talks with Robin Richardson, founder of the Minola Review. She discusses how she overcame early critiques of her writing by men—critiques she internalized. And they talk about getting men to listen. Minola Review is named after the protagonist in The Taming of the Shrew after all. One theme of their conversation is taking control of your narrative.

Episode Links

Minola Review
Robin Richardson’s website: Sit How You Want

Writing from Minola Review Discussed in the Episode

PALM TREES, POST­-RAPE by Cade Leebron
BLITZED OUT by Lauren Turner
ON TENDERNESS by Shannon Bramer
LULLABY by T. Kira Madden (author of Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls)
COLD HANDS by Paola Ferrante

Episode Credits

Host: Rachel Thompson
Sound Editor: Mica Lemiski
Transcript Editing: Rachel Thompson
Presented by Room magazine and the Lit Mag Love Course

Interview Transcript

Rachel Thompson: Welcome to Lit Mag Love, Robin.

Robin Richardson: Thank you so much.

Rachel Thompson: I’m thrilled to have you here. I’d like to start with you to find out authors origin stories. So can you tell me a bit about how you became a writer?

Robin Richardson: That starts pretty far back when I was just talking to someone about that today. I would say, Grade 2 was when I realized that writing is the only thing that was interesting and the only thing I wanted to do, which was ironic because I failed Grade 2. I wasn’t able to read. I repeated Grade 2 and I was put into a special school and diagnosed with a very severe dyslexia, so I actually couldn’t read or write until eighth grade. But the whole time I was voraciously writing things no one could read or understand, making up stories and poems. It was a passion of mine but it was also pretty fraught because I wasn’t sure if I would ever be able to do it, so I think, which lends a lot more value to what I was able to accomplish and what I’m doing now because I really really really worked for it. But, ya, there was never a second option. This was this was what I was working to from the beginning and I never really had a backup plan. I was, like, I’ll be a starving artist or I’ll be an okay artist, but it’s going to be an artist, a writer.

Rachel Thompson: Such strength in Grade 2, to be able to say OK this isn’t what working out, people are telling me this isn’t working well for me but I’m just going to do it.

Robin Richardson: That’s all I cared about, I had so much joy in stories and the idea of writing was the only thing that made me happy about the future.

Rachel Thompson: And did you know other writers at the time had you had any examples in your life?

Robin Richardson: No not at all. My father was a furniture salesman and my mother was a lawyer I guess she’d been appointed a judge at that point. She read a lot. I definitely had books in the house, and she read to me, but there are no there are no other writers in the family. I wasn’t exposed to it at all. I can’t say where it came from except every time someone opened a book for me. I was so excited.

Rachel Thompson: Early reading is so important. That’s a fascinating on a personal note for me because my father was also a judge who was a lawyer who became a judge of another conversation about being judge’s kids and what that meant. It’s a thing. Do you remember the first bit of feedback you had on your writing and what was that like? I guess maybe barring the years that it took to learn to read and write in eighth grade. But the feedback on your creative writing on the creative side of it.

Robin Richardson: After that. Yeah, well, so obviously in the beginning it was I don’t know what these words mean, you can’t spell. But I had a very inspiring teacher actually in high school and then it was 11th grade. I think ninth and tenth, I was like I’m going to be a writer, and I wrote things you know they were terrible and nobody cared. But something happened in the 11th grade. The teacher, she was a great creative writing teacher and she gave us great prompts and that’s kind of where I started to be acknowledged as the kind of writer I supposed I was. Some original content came out, and it was all really positive feedback. I think it was nominated for some high school awards and of course that sort of thing is really encouraging. Because up until that point it had all been discouraging me and my head going, well someday. And that was the beginning of the good feedback. And it really only did get better last night. Well

Rachel Thompson: So, I want to ask you about things getting better, although you’ve talked a lot in some of the interviews I read to prepare for this about the men in our field that mocked elements that they saw as feminine in writing sentimental and self-indulgent and that even gave up attempting to write a novel for almost a decade due to the pressing opinion of the men around you. I’m wondering do you still encounter these attitudes are or do you sometimes find that they’re still kind of rearing their head in an internal sense?

Robin Richardson: Yeah. Oh yeah, that’s an interesting question. That has a lot to do with those sorts of relationships I was choosing at that point as well. So I’ll say first that it’s not as prevalent now. But when I was in my early 20s I entered a relationship with a man who also fancied himself a writer and was very, very critical of my work. So there was that early feedback that was positive from this female teacher, and this man, there were things I showed him that he would just sort of throw across the room go, I don’t know why you would waste my time with this. And I always saw writing is a process and teach it as a process that if you come to it as something that’s sort of struggling it’s a matter of finding out how to breathe life into it how to bring it to its feet and where to move forward. It’s always a process. But he really shut it down is like, “You’re born with talent or you’re not.” Which I sort of associated with that nature, well you know young men who think like, I’m the next great thing and I don’t get that it’s not going to take me 30 years of work, it’s just what I am. So he had that mentality and that was damaging for me because it was if he decided that what I had written was bad. That was the end for me. So I sort of wrote poetry on the side and hid and every once in a while look for his approval with the odd poem. And just get kept working, but really not. And unfortunately, that relationship lasted about 7 years. That was rather damaging. But of course afterwards, that’s when I went to grad school and just everything opened up for me. I was I was away from that influence and I was around really supportive people and I was starting to see my own value. And my first book had been accepted for publication by Paul Vermeersh for Insomniac. I started to get back confidence back, but I will say the the voice lingered for a very, very long time. His voice in particular and a few others, but it was constantly critical. And there were so many moments where I thought, I should put myself on a limb I should do this, and then I would hear him in my head going, you look like an idiot. And that took I think another six years to sort of get rid of that influence.

Rachel Thompson: Yeah, it’s so damaging and and also just so wrong about writing, really. I guess I’m wondering in hindsight do you sometimes see how pathetic that point of view is that you’re born with talent…

Robin Richardson: It’s so awful, and unfortunately I think it’s something that does happen to men, more often because they believe that they should be sort of born, and throw things out into the world and they’ll be perfect. And if it’s not perfect, if everyone doesn’t bow down to the first thing they write, they think, oh well, I’ve failed. This isn’t my calling…

Rachel Thompson: Sometimes, it’s like, They don’t get me, but I’m a genius anyway, right?

Robin Richardson: And that’s worse, and then they keep going without trying to improve because, of course, they’re just already brilliant.

Rachel Thompson: I know you’re teaching writing now, too, and, so I’m wondering how you see mentoring happening within your reading communities now, as compared to when you started writing and maybe even aside from this toxic relationship.

Robin Richardson: Yes. It’s so different, I will say, I teach and mentor based on what I always wanted. I did. I never really got what I wanted. I never really found the kind of mentors who gave me feedback I was looking for and kind of could look at what I was doing and see the potential and give me recommendations as to how to move forward and how to get stronger and more honest. Everyone had their own little bit of feedback that they could offer. A lot of people, a lot of teachers and mentors, I think, felt that students wanted to be flattered in certain ways, maybe even peppered with a little bit of criticism. So I definitely like to give a lot more constructive criticism and encouragement than I received. And I think in general there’s a much more positive nurturing feeling out in the in the community. Like, certainly when I go out in Toronto, I feel like the young writers are just, you know, I’ll meet with a young writer, she’ll call me up for coffee, or something, and she’ll go, you know, you’re the eighth person I’ve met this month who has been willing to sort of help me out. That did not exist when I was starting out at all. Things are moving in a very good direction.

Rachel Thompson: You started the Minola review in 2015 and you named it after Katherine Minola, “The Shrew” in The Taming of the Shrew, who’s, as you put it, arguably broken by men, and you’re you’re attempting to resuscitate that stifled voice. Who is the Minola review for?

Robin Richardson: It’s for me, frankly. I just wanted this space and there are spaces for women, but I wanted one that I could specifically curate and start to cultivate my own relationship to the women writing in Canada. I mean, this is the best way if you want know what’s good out there, start your own journal and get those submissions and read them. I’ve discovered so many great new writers. But, you know more broadly speaking, the focus is really on just having the freedom to say things that you felt maybe afraid to say and to experiment a little bit and to just know that you have your own space that’s safe. And, for readers, there are a lot of men who read it and I really appreciate that and it’s just a matter of them feeling like they can sort of look in and see what’s going on with the women right now. And I’ve also heard from them that they enjoy reading something that they know they can submit to and it takes away that feeling, of “I hope they accept or you know or like my work or how can I fit in.” And they’ve stopped thinking about themselves and just started listening, which was a great sort of side effect that I didn’t expect. The name Katherine Minola—I had seen a production of Taming Of The Shrew in Stratford that gave me a panic attack. It was put on to be a comedy, and I couldn’t divorce myself from that kind of tragedy and total trauma of what I was witnessing. And I just felt like, I wish I could get to know Katherine more. And unfortunately given her time and situation, I couldn’t. And so you know human Minola Review is meant to be breathing life into her sort of in this day and age. Now, what would it be like if she hadn’t been in those circumstances she was in.

Rachel Thompson: Also what you said about the readers the male readers who just started listening. It’s reminding me of something you said about feminism and literature that it’s being free right without pandering to patriarchy, maybe even contributing to its downfall. It seems to me that getting more men listening is actually going to contribute to that downfall.

Robin Richardson: Yeah I think so. I mean, you can’t you can’t keep a structure like that in place when you recognize that the people you are suppressing are fully human. But we don’t. I mean, so much of what we read and watch is produced by men about men and women. Men say, I don’t understand women. It’s like, well, of course, you don’t, we haven’t been telling you anything about ourselves at all until recently. But I think once you once you’ve humanized by listening, you can no longer sort of suppress. Not if you have a soul.

Rachel Thompson: And you talked also about people having the freedom to say things that maybe they felt afraid to say, the women who contribute to the Minola Review, and I’m wondering if you want to describe the unsympathetic voice. Because I was reading something you wrote about that and the one that is uncomfortably moving, and how do you know when you’ve hit on it when you are going through your submissions inbox?

Robin Richardson: That’s a tricky one, because I think a lot of a lot of people approach that thinking, well if I just write something shocking and terrible, it’ll be considered the unsympathetic voice. But that’s not really it. And I think that gets misinterpreted by a lot of submitters to Minola Review. It’s it’s really it’s not about being unsympathetic towards the other. I mean I think it’s very easy to be critical of men or people who you feel have crossed you. But I think when it when it really gets interesting is when these writers turn the lens on themselves and look very, very closely at the wrong patterns and their own participation. And not at all in a victim blaming way, but the only person who motives you have total access to is your own. So, I really, really appreciate when I get submissions from people who have truthfully and authentically done some soul searching and understood their place in the construct, and their way out, as opposed to sort of just pointing the finger and making a judgment or assessment of someone else or something else. I think we really do have to to take control of our own our own narratives. And this is why when you sort of ask me about that negative feedback from that male influence, and is it still there. I really wouldn’t say that it’s not there anymore because society has shifted so much it has, but I changed a lot. Voices like that aren’t allowed in my life anymore and they were before and it has something to do with me. And I’m interested in women who can see those things about themselves and talk about them as well.

Rachel Thompson: Yeah. You’re saying that it’s a personal shift that you experience but I think it’s one that a lot of us can relate to too. It’s that golden nugget that we’re looking for in writing, too, the specific story that feels very universal.

Robin Richardson: Yeah, and I think being honest about yourself is when things get really scary and really unsympathetic. And that’s when the poetry gets strong, inevitably.

Rachel Thompson: I think you’ve touched on this a bit but I always like to ask what kind of submissions that you do not want to see in your inbox anymore.

Robin Richardson: Yeah, yeah, I would just reemphasize what I mentioned. I think just straight on critique of the other, is not really valuable. So I do see that a lot. I think people think, well this is a feminist journalism if I do sort of complain about the patriarchy in a certain way or talk about the terrible things someone once did to me… That’s very easy to do, and you can accomplish that in conversation as well. I really encourage people to push further and get something more out of it and look more inward. You know there’s sort of a line and things are falling on either side of that when I get submissions. I really would want to push people to the other side of the line. And then outside of that, push the craft to really pay attention to what’s out there. Try to make your… Would you enjoy reading this poem as much as you enjoy reading Mary Ruefle or Robert Frost. Is this a quality poem? Sometimes I think people can jump the gun a bit. I don’t think you’re ready to start submitting until you’ve done a lot of workshopping, a lot of sharing, a lot of reading and your poems just feel inevitable.

Rachel Thompson: You said before that work with pretence stands out that you can tell immediately when a piece of writing is trying to be something it’s not.

Robin Richardson: Yeah. Big time, big time. I think I touch on that and the unsympathetic/sympathetic essay. There is a big tendency for new writers, and even some more established writers, to just sort of go with the flow and write what they think poems are.

Rachel Thompson: So, you’ve said before, too, if you want to catch my attention write something from the gut not from the intellect. And I’m curious in two ways—one is how do you do that in your own writing? What are some of the tools that you have in your writer’s toolbox? And then also how do you see that happening in the submissions that you receive?

Robin Richardson: That one’s a trick, because I don’t think you can really get to that point where you’re writing valuable poetry from the gut that works until you’ve really mastered the craft. So, I think that’s one of those things that you sort of, after five, six years, of really, really practicing you’re ready to submit a poem that is from the gut, but is also valuable. It’s like learning how to play the piano before you can sort of wing something beautiful. I think it has to get to a point that you’re not overthinking it and you’re not trying to sort of form the perfect poem. You have such an innate sense of meter and rhyme and metaphor that when you have something to say you’re going to be saying fluidly. So that is it. That is a difficult thing to do when there’s a bit of magic involved almost. The kind of magic that comes many many thousands of hours of practice. In my own work. How do I catch that sort of thing? I would say if it doesn’t feel inevitable if I feel like I’m trying to write a certain kind of poem, I can already feel it failing. Also, if I sort of go, Oh that was so clever. Look what I did with those two words, then it’s probably not very good. I think there was a time when that kind of clever verbal gymnastics was considered very valuable and I just I am losing interest in it personally. I can’t speak to its value outside of that. But I really do appreciate, sort of almost, more modernist American approach of, you know, really telling a story with meter. And having something worth saying. And every once in a while that will need to break into some serious abstraction and something that sounds quite poetic in order to tell that story because it’s a complicated story. But if it doesn’t need to break down, don’t break it down on purpose. And I see that a lot. I see a lot of people overcomplicating their word use or breaking up syntax, when it’s really not necessary. And it’s just, I think they’re thinking, well this is what makes it a poem and not a piece of prose. So they’re kind of coming at it backwards. I think it needs to be mastered before it can be manipulated. It will be like a painter starting off with an abstract Picasso instead of learning to paint classically first. In terms of my own work, right now I’m writing a whole new manuscript that is all basically prose poems with no punctuation and no line breaks. They’re full justified. And there’s a greater theme of a kind of an unconscious processing. And we’re looking at dreams and archetypes and then within each poem, I sort of take a theme and just beat it to death. So, it becomes kind of repetitious, and it moves through this whole journey of looking back through archetypes that were planted in my own psyche or in the collective unconscious at a certain point and moving through this journey with them. At this point, I think I’m pretty good at catching myself and anything that seems forced. I just, I’m not trying to write good poems anymore. I think that’s the heart of that. I think it just doesn’t happen. I don’t I don’t fall into that trap anymore. I would also say you know, for when I was still learning that—and I say this to my students all the time—if you if you are wondering if something is cliche it’s definitely cliche. So, take it out and try another ten times before you get something that’s probably original. And that’s what’s so thrilling about poetry is you have this really. Ok I need, three beats, and I need it to sort of reflect a kind of bluish hue, and I also needed to say something violent but not overtly violent. And I also need it to have a lot of T-sounds. And you can spend the next three hours coming up with that work. But, if you fall short and you throw something in that you think might work in the meantime. You’re failing. It’s hard.

Rachel Thompson: I like how you brought this back to students too and that what you said earlier, about writing being a process, and that it is something we develop over time. And, I also think about that in terms of lit mags, too, because people aren’t going to be writing poetry for five or six years in a vacuum and then all of a sudden have that epiphany of OK “now I’m not trying to write good poems, and it’s not cliche, it’s working, and I can finally send it out.” There’s that that back and forth that happens with an editor. And I think that’s an important part of the process. And I’m wondering what writers should expect when their work is accepted by you and if you make developmental suggestions how closely do you work with the writers?

Robin Richardson: A lot of the work I accept for Minola is already is already pretty close to publication-ready. If there is editorial. It’s often trimming. A lot of poets don’t realize they’re being redundant when they’re being redundant. And it has to do as well if you’re if you’re describing a wedding dress you don’t need the word white anywhere in that poem, so taking out anything unnecessary is often kind of on of the last stages of editing and also. And just catching those moments of, are you trying to impress me or are you writing something inevitable? Before that, when I’m doing workshopping or editing someone’s full manuscript or editing their submission to go out to other people. That’s a lot earlier in the process and involves a lot more editorial work. And what you would expect from that or what you should expect from any any mentor or editor would be that they take the time to really understand your language and your work and where the value in it is. You know, there shouldn’t be a kind of blanket, well this is how I edit, this is how I’ll tell you it needs to be done. I think everyone’s different and everyone needs slightly different guidance so identifying the strengths and identifying weaknesses and trying to understand what’s the best next step, so it’ll be different for every student, but a lot of the time it’s sort of like look you get really strong when you’re not talking directly about the thing that bothers you, but you’re sort of talking about a movie whose theme might be somewhat similar. And you’re getting very narrative and you’re getting very redundant. There’s strength in that. And so let’s explore that a little bit more and then once we explore that let’s talk about refining it along the craft lines, and so on. It changes from poet to poet. I think you should feel like your editor knows what your potential is. I think that’s the key.

Rachel Thompson: For sure, and how has editing the Minola Review informed her own writing?

Robin Richardson: It’s an interesting question. I don’t know how much it has. I think it’s informed my appreciation of women writing in North America, primarily, but I do I don’t know how much it’s actually influenced what I’m doing myself, interestingly enough. Except to say I certainly don’t take for granted how much quality that has out there. There’s so much good work and so versatile but it’s also. So varied. So, I don’t see a lot of specific trends, and I don’t see a lot of ways that it sort of made me think OK there needs to be more or less of this. I think what I’m doing is rooted in itself right now at least. I don’t think I can answer that question. In any in any honest way saying, OK well the things I’ve edited have sort of pushed me in a specific direction. They’ve certainly changed me as an editor and as a mentor. Just in terms of seeing what’s out there and helping helping people understand what sort of conversation is happening.

Rachel Thompson: What I’m loving about that answer, is seeing that arc to where you went from—your personal arc is pretty inspiring—like you’re saying you’re really grounded and rooted in the work that you’re doing right now whereas before there was more of that insecurity and you were concerned about what others thought about your work. Now it’s like, yeah I’m doing my own thing, and I’m helping other people do their own thing, too.

Robin Richardson: Yeah, I definitely reached a point in my in my writing that you know there’s work that still influences me to some degree but I just at this point and there is a lot coming out. A lot has been uncovered. And, right now at least until the next sort of transformative experience or big breakthrough, I think I have a lot to work with in a very specific way. So that’s kind of not shifting very much right now for me. Which, like you said, it’s good I know what I’m doing.

Rachel Thompson: Can you describe any works that stand out as ones that felt really important that you published in Minola Review?

Robin Richardson: Our first year was really really powerful. I mean it helped set it the first year was the one where I could sort of go to everyone I knew and I liked, and say, okay, give me work. I love Shannon Bramer’s work I think it’s an issue two or three and she came out with her book with Book*hug about motherhood. And I’m seeing more and more and I have some students who are writing that, too. The ability to really honestly talk about motherhood I think is a new development and it’s very powerful and heartbreaking. So she was one that really stood out. T. Kira Madden, she recently released a book in the U.S. I forget who the publisher was she gave me a short piece about being a youth in Florida and watching these adverts by this man, I think he’s on a yacht with the bunch bikini women, it is just a very subtle way of showing that seed be planted in a kind of young female mind, and her ability to now go back and understand how her perception of herself as a woman developed at that time. Her book is called The Tribe of Fatherless Daughters, I believe. I haven’t read it yet, but I’m sure it will be well worth reading.

Rachel Thompson: I’ll note that I’m going to link to all of these, and any other works that we talk about in the show notes.

Robin Richardson: Yeah well now I just want to sort of list off everyone here.

Rachel Thompson: Tell us more. It’s exciting to hear.

Robin Richardson: Aja Moore, I believe she, it was just this brutal great poem. And it’s in I think the third issue, and when I asked for her bio she was like, This is my first published poem. It was fantastic. I think I’ve mentioned that before. It was just a great moment. That’s another thing I’m really not stuck on bios. You know, you really don’t need to be an established poet to submit to Minoal Review. There are so many good up and coming poets, or students who had some of the best work to offer, so don’t be afraid. And I love when I can sort of pet I’ll have her next to Catharine Graham. So that’s always really exciting. Also great to mix, I’ve had a lot of people from New York, probably because that’s where I did my MFA, submitting. So, combining them with the Canadian poets, and allowing those sort of similarities and differences. There is a very vulnerable poem by Cade Leebron in issue 5. I love Lauren Turner’s piece in the same issue.

Rachel Thompson: What is your current acceptance rate? Do you know of the people that send an unsolicited work, how many do you accept?

Robin Richardson: I would say one in fifty. About that. But, I’m really not sure.

Rachel Thompson: Yes, so around 2 percent.

Robin Richardson: Yeah. About that.

Rachel Thompson: That seems like the standard. Most journals spoken to is between 3 to 5 or 2 to 5.

Robin Richardson: Yeah. And there’s you know unless there’s and then there’s another 10 percent that I invite to resubmit. I’ll also mention Paola Ferrente. I published her fiction and her her poetry. She’s got a chapbook that just came out with Palimpsest, Jim Johnstone’s press, which is which is great. Yeah and there’s a lot of I invite to resubmit. A surprising number, this is one thing I’ll say to people who are submitting: Don’t submit one poem. There’s something about that that’s off putting. And you know even if I like that poem, I kind of think, Respect me enough to give me a couple to choose from. Three or four. So, often when people send one poem that I like, I’ll say, OK, this is interesting, but do send me more when you have them. I also want to know that you have a body of work. You don’t just have one poem that you’ve been sitting on for a while.

Rachel Thompson: When you’re looking at submissions and I know you’re focused on poetry now though do. Are you looking for more experimental work, or is it kind of anything goes?

Robin Richardson: Yeah I would like to see more experimental work. I’m surprised that there’s not that much of it. For a while, I was looking for artists, but I was having a hard time. I think that’s something I need to put more effort into soliciting. A lot of the work we were getting just wasn’t the right fit at all. I have a very finnicky aesthetic. Yeah, I wouldn’t mind a bit of more especially hybrid between poetry and prose. Or flash fiction, things like that I open to. While I’m not officially taking fiction submissions, I have been approached by a few people who have some ideas. And I sort of said, yes, send them my way. I’m not afraid to take on a few, but I really don’t have time for myself to do longform submissions. I will say also, when I founded Minola Review, I was hoping for more critical writing, I was hoping for a nonfiction, sort of critical essays. And that just wasn’t coming at all. And, so I don’t know if you have thoughts on or if you have experienced that it’s much more difficult to get essays out to people. Although at the beginning we didn’t have much of a budget, so, I can respect, too, that you’d rather send an essay to someone who can pay a hundred bucks for it. But we are paying now an honorarium of 20 dollars a poem, we have a patreon that supports that. And if it falls short, I am not afraid to pay out of pocket. I want to make sure that at least there’s sort of, something. But this is entirely self-started and we don’t have funding at this point.

Rachel Thompson: Those are all great things to note. About the long term critical writing, at Room we used to publish essays like that, a while ago, we haven’t for years. I think there’s been talk about bringing it back. But, I just know, like a trend that I see in the journals I’m speaking to, and that’s like through my lens of who I select, but it is usually nonfiction, is the smallest pile in the submissions pile. It’s harder to get more nonfiction in general, and then, therefore it’s harder to get quality of nonfiction, because you just have fewer that you’re selecting from.

Robin Richardson: Which is unfortunate, but I respect it, too. It’s harder to write, it takes more time, and once you finish it, especially if it’s somewhat investigative, you want to try and get as much as you can for it, so that’s completely understandable.

Rachel Thompson: Can you tell me about how writers can follow and connect with you?

Robin Richardson: Yes. My contact is listed at MinolaReview.com. Anything pertaining to mental or you should go to Minola Review should go to the Minoal Review e-mail—it’s under the contacts. I also have my own website, sithowyouwant.org. I have a mailing list, so I send out updates on workshops, seminars, and mentorship, a couple of times a month to that mailing list, and update regularly the courses and seminars that are available on that website. I’ve also started a project, I titled it Sit How You Want, but it’s prose, mostly that are coming out every week, as I’m just finding that I have tons of content, but I don’t want to be shaping it into these formal submissions. I’ve got already formal essays coming out, but it’s nice to just have these weekly, sort of check-ins, things that are too long for Twitter, and a little too formal for Twitter, but I want to create a place where I can engage with people, so it’s a membership based site. It’s a German site, it’s called Steady HQ, so people can become members for $2.50 a month, to read everything, or five an up to sort of engage on various levels. And it’s everything from a journal entry to craft advice, poetry advice. Like, I’ll answer any question you have, depending on the level of subscription. It’s a strange new format, but I’m testing it out and I sort of like the idea of it so we’ll see how it goes.

Rachel Thompson: I love hearing about projects like that and also about creating that intentional community around writing, so that’s really cool.

Robin Richardson: Yeah it’s very, I like that it feels very open and informal to me right now, I’m not sure what’s going to come of it, but I just felt this need to do it.

Rachel Thompson: Nice. Well, thank you so much for sharing your Lit Mag Love with us today, Robin.

Robin Richardson: Thank you for having me.

Rachel Thompson: I really appreciate you being here. And people can submit to Minola Review, on MinolaReview.com. We should clarify it’s the people who can submit are people who do not identify as male. And you’re paying about 20 dollars per submission.

Robin Richardson: We’re looking to raise it. I would love to pay more but right now I was just a sort of a token, a thank you, and we appreciate you. And we try to promote the hell out of your work.

Rachel Thompson: Wonderful, well thank you so much.