Come into the Booth
-by Amanda Long, The Fourth River Staff
Booth magazine was established in 2009 at Butler University, a private university in Indianapolis, Indiana. The journal’s staff is comprised of MFA fellows and students in Butler’s graduate writing program. Booth publishes one piece or author every friday on their website. Their homepage is simple with a sketch-like design of a hot air balloon, below that sits the most recent piece published the previous friday. I was especially impressed by the organized archives section that houses a compilation of Booth’s online pieces by month, day and year of their publication. It seems like Booth publishes one piece from each genre, plus an interview or conversation each month. However, I did see some overlap of genres a few times.
I especially liked the “How I Write” pieces, in which I recognized two writers, Pam Houston and Kim Addonizio, and their “how I write” meditations. Addonizio writes, “I write by osmosis. I write by divine decree. I write by heart, the heart shaking itself off like a dog that has nearly drowned in light.” I also saw that Sherrie Flick, who teaches in the MFA program at Chatham, is published twice in Booth. In addition to their weekly publishing, Booth publishes two print issues a year, in the winter and summer. Booth invites submissions of art, poetry, prose, lists, and literary comics. In the “shop” section of the website, interested readers can purchase a one year subscription for $15 and print issues for a small cost.
The FAQs page was also unique; there the viewer will find everything they need to know about submitting to Booth. Just from what I’ve seen on the website, I really like how straightforward and laid back their staff seems to be, for example:
Q:Do you take submissions during the summer?
A: We accept work from September through March. Once May hits, we put our brains in the chest freezer so we can pursue other interests.
The asterisk leads the viewer to the bottom of the site that lists the editor’s other interests which are funny and light-hearted, “editors’ other interests include, but are not limited to: SuperMario Bros., Sun King beer, wiffle ball, The Wire, and fat paperbacks semi-waterlogged from reading at the pool.” The staff seems down-to-earth and approachable, which made the experience of submitting less daunting. I think this is echoed in what they are looking for in submissions at Booth: “We want to read sharp work that is also funny, and/or poignant, and always carried by a rich sense of story and heart.”