A few weeks after our first issue was released, our friends at The Unavoidable Drudge podcast asked me to come on and talk about what we’re doing at Empty Sink Publishing. I’ve been listening to The Unavoidable Drudge for a while now—it’s a great podcast, and when the guys have a guest on, you know it’s going to be interesting.
Which begged the question: what the hell was I going to talk to them about? Sure, there’s a lot I could say about the work we do putting this magazine together every month, but quite frankly, most of it’s a little boring. We spend hours reading through submissions, then working with authors to edit them. Adam toils away building our social media presence, and I work getting everything up and formatted for publication. Yes, we both enjoy the work, but when you sit down and describe it to someone, they tend to get this glazed-over look in their eyes that makes it clear they’re ready for a new topic.
Fortunately, The Drudge guys are pros—they know how to ask all the right questions to get at the guts of any topic. And what I found during the interview—and still find true when I listen to it again—is that my favorite part was when I got to talk about what our contributors were doing. Because that’s the most interesting—and rewarding—part of all we do.
During the podcast, we talked about some of the great works we’ve been able to publish so far. Kurt Newton and Walter Savage—both of whom return in this issue—got a mention, as well as James Hannah, whose story, “Call Me Pomeroy,” was our first Editor’s Choice, and who will be back next issue with some fantastic political satire.
Throughout the interview, we kept coming back to the contributors—what it’s like working with them, what we’re looking for, and how successful people have been in giving that to us. We’ve gotten some incredible works so far. For anyone interested in submitting to us, you now have three issues worth of material to comb through before deciding whether or not your piece will be a good fit. Whether it’s visual, poetry, fiction or non-fiction, our tastes are wide-ranging, but I think if you look back on what’s been published so far, you’ll see a discernible pattern in what we’ve chosen.
All that being said, Issue 3 is jam-packed with greatness. This month, our fiction section is dominated by flash—stories that are less than or right around one thousand words. Ron Morita (The Lawyer), Eric Nicholson (The Gift) and Alysa Chesler (Third Ear) all tell convincing stories, with beginnings, middles, and endings, in the space of just a few paragraphs. Same goes for Moneta Goldsmith, who returns from last month with new fiction (Separate Tables and To the Reader it May Concern). Finally, for those of you who prefer longer fiction, Suanne Schafer’s The Penis Problem explores the relationship between a middle-aged woman and her adoptive son, who is the only man in the history of the world who complained about his penis being too big.
Kurt Newton is back this month with more absurdly humorous poetry—if you liked Hot Tub Abortion Clinic from Issue 2, you’ll love Car Bomb Lovers and The Gun Show in this issue. Claire Scott tackles cooking for the dysfunctional family in A New Cookbook, and brings science into the bedroom with Red Shift. Finally, Moneta Goldsmith also has some poetry in this issue: more on that later.
In our reality section, Prosenjit Chaudhury takes us all to India in Journeys in a Small Town, a narrative non-fiction piece that will draw you in from the first sentence. And, in anticipation of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Eric Jensen explores the economic origins of and potential solutions to racism in Race, Class, and Society.
Our media section finally gets the dose of photography we’ve all been craving with photographs by Leigh Spong. If you like her work, she’ll be back for the next two issues. We also have some thrilling pieces by Walter Savage, who answered our plea for more of his work after we originally published him in Issue 2. Finally, Ariel Emerald presents us with the door to another world with Let Me In, a haunting piece that explores darkness among beauty.
N. Piatkoski’s graphic novel, Strange Fish, is back with Issue 3. In this month’s installment, the gang finds themselves rooming next to fascists in an Ohio motel. How do our protagonists deal with these unsavory characters? You’ll have to read to find out, but I guarantee—much like the fascists, you won’t see it coming.
Our Editor’s Choice for this month goes to the poem The Gates of Sleep, by Moneta Goldsmith. Mr. Goldsmith has two other poems published in this issue: Hyena vs. Wildebeest and To Asphyixiate . . . But The Gates of Sleep is an epic masterpiece that explores the world through the panoptic lens of the bystander. It is a brilliant poem, and we are honored to publish it in this issue.
As always, thanks for reading, thanks for contributing, and thanks for giving us something to talk about.
—E. Branden Hart, Executive Editor, 1/6/2013