Front Porch #35 is the third and final issue of the Michaela & Phil Show, and it got us thinking about the mercurial and ever-changing flow of management here. There has been some (not a lot, but some) ink spilled about the nature of the writing that has emerged from MFA programs, or homogenized styles like “The New Yorker Story,” and how this may not be fruitful for creative writing in general, as an art form.
Front Porch, however, like many other literary journals that are associated with MFA programs, is run by graduate students and turns over staff every year. Most editors remain in their position only one year, and often move around (last year, Phil was the Public Relations Manager and Michaela was Book Reviews editor); only rarely do we have an editor stay in a position for two years. The benefit of this is that our aesthetic keeps changing and evolving. One year we may have someone who values experimentation over formalism; another year we may have someone who is more interested in political pieces. We think this keeps the journal fresh, and relevant – though it may make it more difficult for writers to figure out what to submit.
That, too, might be a good thing. We would hate if someone felt they could submit a specific style of writing that would definitely be “what the editors like.” You should never be writing for someone; only write for yourself. Then, the work will be most alive, and most true, and will resonate with whoever has the job at the time.
It’s been a great year working with everyone here, and with all of our writers. We’ll see you on the flip side.
Michael & Phil