Here's a rundown of some of the most frequently asked questions Team Iris receives. Have your own question? Send us a message via the contact form, send us an email, or tweet @creatingiris with #AskIris and we'll get right back to you.
Q. Do you moderate submissions with rubrics?
A. No. We don't have a checklist of 'must-haves,' and we edit every accepted piece individually, so a few comma splices certainly won't disqualify a submission. We ask all staff readers to choose work that speaks to them first and foremost.
Q. Are staff members allowed to submit to the magazine?
A. Staff members may submit to the magazine under a pseudonym, to preserve anonymity during the moderating process. So, their work is read blind just like everyone else's, and subject to the same discussions as others. Because we allow (encourage!) staff to absent themselves from moderating submissions that are triggering for them, we actually don't even notice when someone does not participate.* Fun fact: our former fiction editor Apolline Weibel holds the record for longest anonymous-staff-writer - we didn't know she was the author of her piece in the first issue of Iris until a week before the issue went live.
*This is very true. All a staff member needs to do is note 'cw' on the submission - no further explanation needed - and they are not required to read the work in question or participate in any discussions. We do not ask any questions because we take trigger/content warnings very seriously.
Q. Do you accept a piece including violence/rape/death/drugs/_____.?
A. In general, the answer is no. We cannot accept pieces that portray sex or drug use because Iris is used as a teaching tool in schools, libraries, and youth groups. There's an expectation in those multi-age spaces that the writing be appropriate for the youngest of the bunch, which means that in terms of graphic content, the magazine is produced for readers slightly younger than our target 14-17 age range.
Now, if the question is, 'can I talk about violence/rape/death/drugs/______?', the answer is a (hesitant) yes. We welcome pieces that talk about these important issues. We just can't print graphic violence or depictions of sex and drug use. If in doubt, send us an email. I don't bite and I generally reply within 24 hours!
Q. How do you feel about personal essays/creative-nonfiction-that-is-loosely-based-on-my-life?
A. Personally, I love creative nonfiction! Favorite genre. In the magazine, however, it gets a little tricky. If you are submitting a piece of creative nonfiction, please (a) let us know, and (b) tell us in writing that it's been fictionalized. In no way can we run a story in which the people who inspired the characters might recognize themselves. When in doubt, send me an email!
Q. Do you have different standards for submissions by young authors?
A. No. Because everything is read blind, we do not know if the writer is under eighteen. However, if I notice that I am declining a young author, I do try to recommend other publications that might be a better fit.
Q. I want to bring Iris to my church/school/library/YMCA/etc. How do I do that?
A. Let your adult leader know about Iris and ask them for their contact info. Let them know that you will pass it along to me (or, if they want, have them reach out to me - HI I'M AMANDA, IT'S NICE TO MEET YOU - directly). I'll send them an email to introduce Iris and take it from there. They can email me at amanda(at)creatingiris(dot)org.
Q. I have an idea for you! How do I share it?
A. Use the form on our Contact page, or send me an email. Send me all your ideas, guys. Providing they fit within Iris's goals, we promise we'll do our best - manpower and finances permitting - to make them happen.