A Nanaimo spoken word group is preparing a new online art and literature magazine and submissions are now open.

Poets, writers and visual artists from Vancouver Island and Gulf Island have until December 31 to submit work to the new WordStorm Society of the Arts Counter current magazine. The theme of the first issue, scheduled for release in March 2022, is “the beginnings”.

“We challenge people to think about their own work and what we hope to see is that people are really inventive about how they think about their work,” said WordStorm Artistic Director Carla Stein .

She said launching a post has always been a goal for WordStorm, but the group has never had the capacity to do so. This year, thanks to a grant from the City of Nanaimo and the addition of board member Amber Morrison Fox, who publishes her own art magazine, WordStorm finally has the resources and experience to create its own publication. The plan is for Counter current be an annual magazine, and after the release of a few issues, a print anthology will follow.

“We decided that because we are still not hosting in-person events due to COVID, this would be a good time to take a different approach and start evolving so that people can still communicate in writing but without having to do it. have the issues with in-person events, ”Stein said.

The guest editor of the first issue of Counter current is award-winning Bowen Island poet, Susan Alexander. She said it was appropriate that the theme of the book be “the beginnings” as this is the first time she’s serving as an adjudicator.

“I’ve submitted so many plays to so many anthologies over the years and publications and submitting entire books to publishers and buying things that I think will be fun to be on the other side. “she said.

Alexander said what she was looking for in the submissions, and what she said made it “old fashioned”, is not just that the work is well designed, “fresh” and with great images and pacing. , “I also want something that will touch my heart.”

“I think the other things are really important, the technical ability and the art of the poem, but I have a feeling that if it does not achieve ‘yes’, this moment of honesty, something is missing … “, Said Alexander. “And it doesn’t have to be a great eternal truth or anything. It may just be a shared moment, some kind of honesty or vulnerability that’s there on the page that changes me as a reader.

For submission guidelines and to submit to Counter current, Click here. WordStorm is also running a membership drive until the end of the year. For more information, Click here.

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