Managing Editor Sean Bishop

Fiction Editor Sophie Rosenblum

Fiction Editor Edward Mullany

Poetry Editor Kent Shaw

Nonfiction Editor TaraShea Nesbit

Poetry Editor Carolina Ebeid

Arts Editor Mark Stafford

Social Media Editor Masha Balakireva

SEAN BISHOP
MANAGING EDITOR

SOPHIE ROSENBLUM
FICTION EDITOR

EDWARD MULLANY
FICTION EDITOR

KENT SHAW
POETRY EDITOR

TARASHEA NESBIT
NONFICTION EDITOR

CAROLINA EBEID
POETRY EDITOR

MARK N. STAFFORD
ARTS EDITOR

MASHA BALAKIREVA
SOCIAL MEDIA EDITOR

What’s Better

Better is a quarterly magazine of culture and literature featuring articles, interviews, essays, artwork, stories, poems, and reviews by (and about) some of the best creative-types in the world today. Our goal is not to be the most prestigious, the most experimental, or even necessarily the best—we just want to be better. We think it’s time to raise the bar on what an online magazine can be and do, by featuring audio and video of as many contributors as possible, and by privileging art, writing, and other media that couldn’t be presented as effectively in a traditional paper-magazine format.


What We Want

We are currently reading submissions for issues five through eight. Send us anything: articles, reviews, interviews, artwork, video, essays, stories, poems, songs, lists, manifestos, tirades, games, your new fashion statement, a detailed photo-catalog of your collection of vintage corkscrews, your pitches for post-apocalyptically marketed breakfast cereals—whatever you're proud of or excited about: We'll consider it. We have no length limits, but if that makes you uncomfortable, you can read suggestions on our submissions manager page. Simultaneous submissions are always acceptable, as long as you let us know if a submission has been taken elsewhere. We do ask, however, that you only submit one collection of work at a time, and that you wait until you receive a response before submitting again. If you have work to submit to our Wish List, however (see below), we'll allow you to submit up to two collections of work at any given time. You can submit to us here, and join our mailing list by filling out the form below. Full withdrawals can be made through Submittable, and partial withdrawals can be made via email to better.culture.lit@gmail.com. If we select your work for publication, we will request First North American Serial and Electronic rights, as well as the rights to republish the accepted work in a future print anthology. Better can sometimes (but not always) offer a limited honorarium (no more than $50) for fiction and creative nonfiction, but we cannot offer payment for poetry at this time.


The Wish Lists

Better maintains two “wish lists”—one for under-represented submissions, and one for donations of resources and production support. On the submissions side, note first that it is always always always in your interest to submit your best work, no matter what we say we want. Often even we don't know what we want, so just give us your absolute best work, whatever that is. That said, eligible Wish List submissions include cultural criticism and mixed-media work of any kind—particularly audio/video essays or interactive works that could not be published in anything other than an online format (e.g. nonlinear fiction or poetry, essays that require audio or video interludes, This-American-Life-style audio journalism, etc.) If you send work that fits our Wish List requests, you're permitted to submit to us in another genre at the same time.


Donate

As an impoverished startup venture with no intention of generating profit or paying its editors in the foreseeable future, Better welcomes donations of goods, services, or straight-up cash. Since we know it's often easier to volunteer materials than direct funding, we maintain a wish list of items and services that will help us to keep doing what we do, and more importantly, to do it better. If, like us, you're feeling a little too poor for charity, you can help us immensely just by entering our contests: we'll get fifteen bucks out of it, and you might get a thousand.

Who We Are

SEAN BISHOP, Better's Founding and Managing Editor, is the author of The Night We're Not Sleeping In, forthcoming from Sarabande Books in early 2015. A poet, designer, and web developer, Sean also teaches in the creative writing MFA program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he coordinates both the Graduate and Post-Graduate Fellowship programs. He is a former Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellow, the former Director of the Houston Indie Book Festival, and the former Managing Editor of Gulf Coast. Sean's poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Alaska Quarterly Review, Best New Poets 2012, Harvard Review, jubilat, Ploughshares, Poetry, and elsewhere.

SOPHIE ROSENBLUM is a Fiction Editor at Better. She is a former Rice University Parks Fellow, and her novel-in-progress was recently a finalist for the James Jones Novel Fellowship. She is a doctoral student in Literature and Creative Writing at Florida State University, where she is the Berger Fellow. Her writing has appeared in American Short Fiction, New Letters, The Iowa Review, and elsewhere. She is also the web editor at NANO Fiction.

EDWARD MULLANY is a Fiction Editor at Better. He is the author of If I Falter at the Gallows (Publishing Genius, 2011) and Figures for an Apocalypse (forthcoming). His writing has appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Tampa Review, Green Mountains Review, Gesture, and other journals. He keeps a blog called Notes From a Resuscitated Man. He grew up in Australia and in the Midwest.

KENT SHAW is a Poetry Editor at Better, an Assistant Professor at West Virginia State University, and a regular book reviewer at The Rumpus. He was a Poetry Editor at Gulf Coast. His book, Calenture, was published in 2008. His poems have since appeared in The Believer, Ploughshares, Boston Review, Colorado Review, Witness, and other magazines.

TARASHEA NESBIT is Better's Nonfiction Editor. Her first novel The Wives of Los Alamos is due out from Bloomsbury in 2014, appearing in the US, UK, and Germany simultaneously. Her prose, poetry, and criticism have been featured in Quarterly West, The Iowa Review (Online), Hayden's Ferry Review, The Laurel Review, and other literary journals. She teaches creative writing and literature courses at the University of Denver and the University of Washington in Tacoma, facilitates writing groups at The Gathering Place, a day shelter for individuals experiencing poverty and homelessness, and serves as an editor for Kore Press. A graduate of the MFA program at Washington University in St. Louis, TaraShea is currently pursuing a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Denver, where she is a Presidential Fellow.

CAROLINA EBEID is a poetry editor at Better. She was selected as the 2012–2014 Stadler Fellow at Bucknell University, where she helps edit West Branch. Her work appears widely in journals such as Poetry; Agni; 32 Poems; Forklift, Ohio; Crazyhorse; Memorious; Gulf Coast; The Kenyon Review; and others. She holds an MFA from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas, and has also been awarded prizes and fellowships from the McNair Scholars Program, Canto Mundo, and the Academy of American Poets. She grew up in West New York, NJ and currently lives in central Pennsylvania with the poet Jeffrey Pethybridge and their son Patrick.

MARK NATHAN STAFFORD is a sculptor and digital artist whose work has appeared in numerous national and international exhibitions, most recently, the 2013 NCECA Biennial Exhibition at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft. His critical writing has appeared in Art Papers and Ceramics: Art and Perception. He currently teaches at Valdosta State University in Valdosta, GA.

MASHA BALAKIREVA manages Better’s social media. She studied literature at UC Santa Cruz and is a recent transplant to Los Angeles. You can find her at chewby.tumblr.com and @mashainsane on Twitter.

LAURA EVE ENGEL (Emerita) was a Poetry Editor at Better for issues one through three. She is the former Reviews and Interviews Editor for Gulf Coast, the 2011-2012 Jay C. and Ruth Halls Poetry Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, and the Residential Program Director of the University of Virginia's Young Writers' Workshop. Laura Eve is the co-author of [Spoiler Alert], a collaborative volume of flash fiction available from Dzanc Books, and her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Black Warrior Review, Colorado Review, Crazyhorse, Indiana Review, Pleiades, The Southern Review, VOLT, and elsewhere.

RACHAEL MORRISON (Emerita) was Better's Arts Editor for issues one and two. She is an interdisciplinary artist who works at the Museum of Modern Art's Library in New York, where she has curated an exhibition of poet-physicist Bern Porter's work, and most recently an exhibition of contemporary artists' magazines. Rachael has also programmed events at the Printed Matter NY Art Book Fair, Microscope Gallery, and The Public School NY. Her artwork has been featured on the BBC1 television program Imagine, in New York Magazine, and in Art das Kunstmagazin. She lives in Brooklyn, NY and is currently working on a documentary film about a blind telephone hacker named Joybubbles.

OUR DONATION WISH LIST:

We're on the lookout for individuals or organizations willing to provide any of the following goods and services, free of charge or on the cheap. We are currently in the process of applying for 501(c)(3) non-profit status, and until we are granted that status, in-kind donations may not be tax-deductible. All donations will be acknowledged in this Wish List unless otherwise requested by the donor.

Material items may be sent to the attention of Sean Bishop, Editor / Better: Culture & Lit / 946 E. Johnson St. #1 / Madison, WI 53703. Electronic deliveries may be sent to better.culture.lit@gmail.com. Thank you!

SERVICES:

 (1) High-bandwidth web-hosting with unlimited server space and, ideally, SSL encryption. This will allow us to deliver multi-media content efficiently to our readers, and to maintain an extensive archive of audio and video.

 (2) A subscription to Airdropper, which will allow contributors without DropBox memberships to upload large-format audio and video efficiently and easily.

 (3) A subscription to DropBox's 100G "Pro" membership level, so that we can provide contributors with the means to upload large-format video and audio of their works.

 (4) A Skype Premium membership, which will not only allow us to direct our writers in the production of their videos, but also help Better continue to be a journal whose editors, contributors, and correspondents are selected not for their geographic proximity to one another, but for their skill and expertise.

 (5) A Facebook and/or Google Ads subscription.

 (6) Other gratis advertising space of any kind.

MATERIALS & SOFTWARE:

 (1) One or more 64G iPod Touches, for us to mail back and forth with contributors who do not own adequate audio and video recording equipment themselves.

 (2) A TASCAM iM2 Stereo Microphone to use in conjunction with the iPods (since the internal microphones are insufficient for podcast-quality recording).

 (3) Wirecast streaming software, so that we can deliver large-format or live audio/video efficiently.

OUR DONATION WISH LIST:

We're on the lookout for individuals or organizations willing to provide any of the following goods and services, free of charge or on the cheap. We are currently in the process of applying for 501(c)(3) non-profit status, and until we are granted that status, in-kind donations may not be tax-deductible. All donations will be acknowledged in this Wish List unless otherwise requested by the donor.

Material items may be sent to the attention of Sean Bishop, Editor / Better: Culture & Lit / 946 E. Johnson St. #1 / Madison, WI 53703. Electronic deliveries may be sent to better.culture.lit@gmail.com. Thank you!

SERVICES:

 (1) High-bandwidth web-hosting with unlimited server space and, ideally, SSL encryption. This will allow us to deliver multi-media content efficiently to our readers, and to maintain an extensive archive of audio and video.

 (2) A subscription to Airdropper, which will allow contributors without DropBox memberships to upload large-format audio and video efficiently and easily.

 (3) A subscription to DropBox's 100G "Pro" membership level, so that we can provide contributors with the means to upload large-format video and audio of their works.

 (4) A Skype Premium membership, which will not only allow us to direct our writers in the production of their videos, but also help Better continue to be a journal whose editors, contributors, and correspondents are selected not for their geographic proximity to one another, but for their skill and expertise.

 (5) A Facebook and/or Google Ads subscription.

 (6) Other gratis advertising space of any kind.

MATERIALS & SOFTWARE:

 (1) One or more 64G iPod Touches, for us to mail back and forth with contributors who do not own adequate audio and video recording equipment themselves.

 (2) A TASCAM iM2 Stereo Microphone to use in conjunction with the iPods (since the internal microphones are insufficient for podcast-quality recording).

 (3) Wirecast streaming software, so that we can deliver large-format or live audio/video efficiently.