Last month, I learned about Textploit, a new literary journal that exclusively publishes work by young people (writers and artists under age 20, to be precise.) I was blown away by the talent, variety, and sheer bravery of the work in their debut issues. Earlier we had two of Textploit's Editors-in-Chief, Natasha Lasky and Ella Bartlett, on the blog -- you can read their interview here if you missed it. Today I am pleased to feature an interview with Textploit's third Editor-in-Chief, Siqi Liu!
How would you describe Textploit, and what gave you the idea to start it? Could you give us a peek inside your path to founding this journal?
Siqi: Textploit is an inclusive platform for young writers and artists to share their voices. After being an editor at other literary magazines, I became very passionate about the process of creating high quality literary arts productions. When Natasha and Ella told me about the initial idea of starting our own magazine, I became enamored, and I knew I wanted to be a part of that.
I'd love to hear more about your various writing projects. What inspires you?
Siqi: I’m always starting one short story or another, and I’ve recently been venturing into poetry. I’m also thinking about starting a novel this summer, so I’m excited about that. I’m usually inspired by personal experiences; I like taking bits and pieces of my own life and extract something beautiful and coherent out of the banal chaos.
What made you want to become a writer?
Siqi: I love people, and I think my desire to get to know people better was and still is why I write. I’ve always had an impulse for telling character-centric stories. By writing, I can try to understand human nature.
Could you give us a sample "day in the life"? In particular, when/how do you find time to write?
Siqi: I’m kind of a seasonal writer. I’m most productive during school breaks because I find it difficult to be creative under stress. However, when I do write, I tend to sit down for a large chunk of time (at least several hours) on the weekend and try to churn out X number of pages. But I don’t really set a goal for myself. Sometimes I can write five pages in two hours, sometimes only five paragraphs. And that’s okay.
What is your biggest advice for writers submitting their work, and facing the inevitable rejection that comes along with that? Any tips for submitting to Textploit in particular?
Siqi: As someone who has been rejected plenty of times, I would say that it’s more important to think about the journey than the result. Every piece we produce as writers came from somewhere within, and during the process of spilling out that chunk of our soul on paper, we have grown -- both as writers and as people. Don’t regret or dwell on rejections because the journey is always worth it. As for tips for submitting to Textploit, I would say to submit the piece that has your bravest voice. We love fresh styles, experimental forms, and daring tales.
Why is it important for young people to have a voice in the publishing landscape?
Siqi: Grownups are constantly trying to get into teenagers’ heads. Adults write about us, sing about us, make art about us. So why aren’t we hearing from young people themselves? I think it’s important for teens to have a voice so the world stops thinking of us as projections from the imagination of thirty, forty, fifty year olds and start seeing us as who we really are.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Siqi: We are currently looking for art, music, and film editors! Contact us at email@example.com if you are interested.