ROAR Magazine is now closed for submissions for our 2014 issue. Thanks to everyone who submitted and keep an eye out for the print issue, which will include an interview with National Book Award Nominee and Boise, Idaho’s Poet Laureate for 2013, Diane Raptosh.
ROAR Magazine is a print literary journal dedicated to providing a space to showcase women’s fiction, creative nonfiction, visual art, and poetry. We accept work that represents a wide spectrum of form, language, and meaning. In other words, don’t worry if your work isn’t specific to feminist issues. If you’re a gal, we just want your point of view…
We are offering our Spring 2012 issue at a discounted price ($4.00). Order your copy to read ROAR’s interview with acclaimed author, Jill McCorkle and find out how she balances work, life, and writing.
Jill McCorkle is a professor in the MFA in Creative Writing program at NC State. She has taught at UNC-Chapel Hill, Tufts University and Brandeis, where she was the Fannie Hurst Visiting Writer. She was a Briggs-Copeland Lecturer in Creative Writing at Harvard for five years where she also served as chair of the creative writing program. She was one of the original core faculty members of the Bennington College MFA program and is a frequent instructor at the Sewanee Summer Writers Program.
A member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers, McCorkle has the distinction of having published her first two novels on the same day in 1984. Since then, she has published three other novels and four collections of short stories. Five of her eight books have been named New York Times notable books. Her stories have appeared in The Atlantic, Ploughshares, Oxford American, Southern Review and Bomb Magazine, among others. Four of her stories have appeared in Best American Short Stories and several have been collected in New Stories from the South. Her story, “Intervention,” is in the most recent edition of the Norton Anthology of Short Fiction.
ROAR: As you know, ROAR is a journal focused on supporting creativity in women, specifically new and emerging artists. As an established female writer, can you talk about how you balance your writing life with all of your other responsibilities: mother, wife, professor, writing colleague?
McCorkle: The balancing act has been a constant and ever changing thing. Juggling this and that. The rule I have always had in my mind though is that kids trump all. If things aren’t right at that end, I have trouble writing so it’s best for me to get busy and straighten my nest first and then work. Obviously, sometimes are easier than others but I have not regretted the system of priorities. I spend a lot of time getting ready to write: taking notes, thinking, all things I could do while also driving carpools and sitting at Little League games or ballet classes. I find the time I spend “getting ready” is maybe what is most valuable to my process. A lot happens and grows before I ever actually sit down and put pen to paper. Now, my kids are in their 20s so I find myself with whole days to write. Because I never really had this before, I find that I am able to get a lot done and do not take such time for granted. But, I am still somewhat chore driven and so it helps that I keep myself on a schedule of schoolwork here/ housework there, etc.
ROAR: Do you believe each writer needs a “room of one’s own”?
McCorkle: Every writer needs a room of one’s own, even if it is the “room” of your own mind where you can’t be interrupted. I have always been very portable as a writer but also have the need for what is consistent and solitary. I have had work space the size of a closet and I have had a whole room which I have now and love. But, I also have felt this sense of space with the journal of the month when on vacation or sitting on a plane. For me the key word is solitude and out of that comes the sense of space. Of course, the physical space is most appreciated when you want to create piles of scraps of paper and then leave them that way undisturbed.
ROAR: In the story “Crash Diet,” Sandra’s husband leaves her for a woman who is thinner and younger, yet the story ends with Sandra single for the first time in five years and happier than ever. Many of your stories are told from the female point of view. Do you think the theme of this story, and others from your collections over the years, represent a feminist perspective?
Purchas this issue for only $4.00 to read the rest of the interview to find out how Jill balances writing, work and life.
Visit our subscribe page to order your copy here
Poetry by 2012 Contributor, Michele Reale
She decided to explain the pluot thus: not a peach, not a plum. Not your mother’s jam. Like your favorite uncle wearing your aunt’s polka dot dress. Because he said he grown used to it, she would clarify the taste of brine, but none would be found in the vicinity. Instead she’d go on and on about the velvety consistency it had when spread on a fresh loaf. Convince him that the reddish sweetness was something he could not live without, this man who she just slept with on crimson sheets, in a room she’d fashioned after what she envisioned Versailles to be. The imagination can only take one so far. Now she would have to rip it all apart and start from scratch. He lay curled onto himself in the bed and she felt a great shame in waking someone from such a deep sleep. She’d phone a discreet friend instead and collect on a favor that had been gathering moss. So much depends on the ability to begin again. She’d lay the breakfast table with precision and toast the bread. Lick the sweetness from her fingers. Leave the back door open. Gallup into the yard and set those fruit bearing trees on fire.
Welcome to ROAR Magazine, a print literary journal dedicated to supporting female artists! The genesis of ROAR stemmed from a personal desire to contribute to the literary world in a way that might meld my background in women’s studies with my work as an MFA fiction candidate.
In the early twentieth century, Virginia Woolf wrote, “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” She wrote this in the tumultuous years of women’s suffrage, educational barriers, social, cultural, and political inequalities. She wrote this at a time when women’s voices were strong, but often silenced. She wrote this at a time when women were rarely afforded the luxury of financial independence or the freedom to create.
Eighty-two years have passed since Ms. Woolf’s dictum and the world has witnessed enormous changes for women. But in the spirit of nurturing creativity in women, ROAR listens to the echo of voices of pioneering women such as Virginia Woolf, and hopes to promote a place for the female voices of today and the future. ROAR cannot provide a room for our women, and it may take several years for us to provide adequate monetary compensation to these talented gals, but we can provide a space, just for them.
We hope you support us in this endeavor.