I’m currently looking for a ‘guest editor’ for the next Showcase here at the zen space. The next Showcase is due out on 1st July, so there is still the best part of two and a half months until the deadline. Believe it or not, editorial work is normally still going on, and indeed is at its most intense, on the day before the Showcase is due to come out!
So, what would a ‘guest editor’ have to do?
Basically the first task would be to find contributors, preferably ones who have not appeared in the zen space before, and to select thirty to forty individual works. That does not necessarily involve finding thirty to forty individual contributors, as it is our usual practice to allocate up to six slots per contributor per Showcase. Of course the basic ‘form’ is haiku, but I like to see any short burst of poetry or writing that is ‘in the moment’, that displays the mono no aware of haiku, even if it is not in that recognisable form.
The second task would be to find some illustrations. These should either be in the public domain, or should have the artist’s permission to be used. These illustrations may be simply decorative, or may have something to do with any theme that emerges from the poetry, or indeed may be haiga in their own right.
The third task would be to write an editorial. This does not have to be long or high-flown. In fact the guest editor may feel free to use it to express his or her mood of the moment.
The fourth task is to send all the material to me, indicating his or her preferred running-order. The matter of type-setting is left to me.
My normal practice is to invite someone, in much the same way as I start looking for content for a normal Showcase by inviting contributions from specific poets and haijin. Unfortunately the person I had my eye on for the next Showcase is unable to accept my invitation, so I am now looking round for someone else, without making it seems as though they’re ‘second choice’. The fact of the matter is that there was no ‘second choice’ – it never occurred to me to make one. So whomever I may approach now may regard himself or herself as a ‘new first choice’. However, I’m going to put my feet up for a couple of days before looking for someone; meanwhile, if anyone has any recommendations, please feel free to email me – the address is under the ‘Submission’ tab.