Interview With Moledro Magazine

Richa Gupta's PhotographAuthor: Richa Gupta

Why did you start Moledro Magazine?

I remember the excitement and elation I had experienced when I had my first poem accepted into a literary magazine (which was New Plains Review); the thought of seeing my poem in print for the first time made me feel incredibly proud. That was almost a year ago; but ever since then, I’ve always dreamed of giving other young, talented poets and writers the chance to be published, as well. I guess that’s my way of showing gratitude to the literary magazines that have accepted my poetry—by giving other deserving youngsters the opportunity to publish their work, and have their thoughts reach a wider audience.

Starting a literary magazine had always been an idle thought; however, the experience I gained through working with other diverse and vibrant literary magazines gave me the confidence and push that I needed. Furthermore, I was intrigued by the interest those at my new school expressed in the literary arts—since this was a relatively neglected field of interest at my old school. All of these little factors, combined with the encouragement I received from friends and family members, stimulated me to start something of my own.

Could you tell us a little bit about your literary backgrounds?

Well… when it comes to family members who write, I have none. That said, it was my dad who started a blog for me, and really encouraged me to take up writing—since even when I was young, I was at my strongest when I was writing. And this love for writing pretty much overshadowed any other interests I developed; this was good in some ways, since it meant that I could concentrate most of my free time into writing… but it was also bad. At my old school, there weren’t many people interested in poetry—it was all about basketball, dancing, drama, debate, etc., etc. This made me feel really left out when it came to activities. But at my new school, TISB, there is much more regard given to poetry and writing—since there are many writing competitions organized; I’m also a founding member of my school’s poetry club, and a junior editor for my school newspaper, The Inquisitor.

Writing has been a crucial part of my life; most of my poems can be found on my poetry blog— “A Star in the Galaxy” (purplericha.blogspot.com). I’ve also been published in several literary magazines, such as Poetry Quarterly, New Plains Review, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, Balloons Literary Journal, Apeiron Review, On the Rusk, The Tower Journal, Sincerely Magazine, Off the Coast, Nature Writing, and Canvas Literary Journal. My poetry is forthcoming in Yellow Chair Review and Eye on Life.

In addition to writing, I’m widely involved in editing; I was the student editor of the July-August 2015 issue of an Indian magazine called ParentEdge. Furthermore, I’m currently a poetry editor for Phosphene Literary Journal, a junior editor for Siblini Arts and Literary Journal, and a poetry reader for Glass Kite Anthology and Polyphony H.S. Furthermore, my essays and stories have been recognized by the Ayn Rand Essay Contests, the Fictuary Short Story Contests, and the We Said Go Travel Writing Contests.

What kind of work are you looking to publish?

Being a very new literary magazine, Moledro has no set aesthetic. That said, we do look for poems and stories that are narrated by a natural, strong voice, and that tell their audience something new—something that only they can write about. We look for vibrant words and stories of intrigue, thrilling adventures and poignant tales—it can be anything, really. However, since we aim to have an audience of all ages, our strict no is the inclusion of gratuitous violence.

What advice would you give to submitters?

The most powerful and compelling pieces are those that are crisp; it’s easy to get lost in rambling sentences and “impressive” vocabulary. This is something I learnt when working as an editor for the previously mentioned literary magazines, and when I began to submit to magazines—since I fell into the same trap. You don’t need SAT vocabulary to paint with words; honestly, simple words with originality woven through is all you’ll need to write a successful story or poem. In fact, to quote Carol Ann Duffy, whose poems I greatly admire—“I’m not interested, as a poet, in words like ‘plash’—Seamus Heaney words, interesting words. I like to use simple words, but in a complicated way”.

Moreover, aim for originality. Tell us your personal story; it may seem dull to you, but won’t to someone who’s never met you before. Writing about general topics is interesting; but, well… any writer could do it. Try to add a personal twist or a unique edge. If you’re writing about the stars, then tell us why the stars mean something to you. A glittering description of the night sky is pleasant to read, but won’t be that intriguing to an audience. So, as long as you delve deeper and add a personal connection to your piece, you will be able to put down a powerful piece of prose or poetry.

How do you hope Moledro Magazine will impact the overall writing community? How do you hope Moledro will impact other high school students with a passion for writing?

Having worked with numerous talented poets and writers across the world, I understand the importance of being part of a literary community when starting something like a magazine. And it was this community that really set Moledro Magazine into motion; working with literary journals like Phosphene and Siblini Arts and Literature Journal has provided me with a social base that helped the masthead and number of submissions grow.

And now, I hope that Moledro will put together a close-knit community of high school writers across the world. It’s a great way for young Indian poets to gain exposure to the literary works of teens from the US and other countries, and vice versa. I’ve noticed perceptible differences in the pieces written by poets from different communities, and hope to conflate them into a single issue.

What are you working on in your own work right now?

Well, I’m currently trying to expand the reach of my poetry; I’ve recently become a featured poet with MUTT Online. In addition, I regularly post poems on my blog, which is a website I’ve had for almost five years; I always aim to post 3-4 poems every month, despite the endless IB assignments that keep popping up. I’m also trying to experiment more with different poetic styles—particularly ekphrastic poetry. I enjoy reading it, but never really considered writing it.

What is the next exciting thing happening at Moledro Magazine?

Right now, it’s definitely the release of the very first issue! And apart from showcasing the prose and poetry of high school writers across the world, the first issue will also have a “featured poet” section, which will present the poetry of a few, highly experienced and accomplished poets. Moreover, I’ve decided to include a last section that features the poetry and prose of the Moledro masthead; while some of my editors have been published numerous times, others haven’t—and this can be their opportunity to have their works reach a wider audience.

Moledro aims to be a magazine that publishes every three months. Moreover, I’m planning on taking off the age restriction after publishing the first issue, to make it “high school and above”. This way, we can incorporate a more diverse, eclectic range of styles and voices. But right now, we’re all incredibly excited about the first issue being made public, and hope that the magazine is a success!