Ep33 – Interview with Jason Ray Carney of Whetstone Magazine

Oliver speaks with the editor of “Whetstone: Amateur Magazine of Sword & Sorcery”, covering a wide variety of subjects germane to running a semi-pro literary magazine, online community, and good old sword & sorcery.

Oliver and Jason get to some INTERESTING places in their far-reaching discussion, including subjects like: writing workshops, working class literature, modernist literature, R.A. Salvatore as a literary gateway drug, starting a literary magazine & the origin of Whetstone, why he feels you shouldn’t send your best work to Whetstone, “mid-list exposure”, submitting for ultra low acceptance rate magazines, elevated language, Clark Ashton Smith, grading English papers by engineers, Jason’s role as academic coordinator for the Robert E. Howard foundation, Walter Benjamin, how a genre rooted in our past like sword & sorcery can give people an inspiring vision of something new, Elie Wiesel’s The Trial of God, defending fiction, defining your identity by speaking back to power, how sword & sorcery can help you get through a rough patch (or at least how it helped Oliver), how a World of Warcraft guild inadvertently birthed a vibrant Sword & Sorcery online community, what people generally mean when they say “no politics!”, what make a Discord server function well as a community, the digital humanities, Gather, advice on starting a writing community online or IRL, best principles for same, self-promo human spambots, the difference between useless negativity and letting someone know when they’re stepping into a tar pit, writing conventions, formative experiences with teachers good and bad, tools over dogma, the possibility that the American style of creative fiction workshops homogenizes fiction, when compliments are worse than criticism, Jay’s recent opera project, and….MORE.

Jason on Twitter (@jrcarney52)
Spiral Tower Press
Whetstone: Amateur Magazine of Sword & Sorcery
The Whetstone Discord Server
Witch House: Amateur Magazine of Cosmic Horror
How Sword & Sorcery Brings Us to Life by Jason
1932, The Year of Conan: Sword and Sorcery and Historical Pessimism (mentioned in the interview) also by Jason
Bride of Cyclops Con – Best of Sword and Sorcery panel (Feat. Jason as a panel member)
The Black Gate interview with Jason that I cite in one question – it covers lots of neat stuff that we didn’t get to.
An essay Jason wrote about the opera he was involved in, The Trial of God

That creative writing book, all about rethinking how we teach writing craft, that Oliver mentioned – Craft in the Real World by Mathew Salesses
The MUSE Writers Center
The Program Era by Mark McGurl

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