Featured Magazines #16: Words Dance

Retro Vintage Colorful Purple Shoes on Green Grass

Words Dance
Editor: Amanda Oaks
Established: 2003
Based in: USA
Website: http://www.wordsdance.com
Submit via: wdsubmissions(at)gmail(dot)com

I first heard about Words Dance via the sadly-no-longer-functional Verve Bath Press, which published Heather Bell (one of my all-time favourite poets) with her first pamphlet collection, “Nothing Unrequited Here“. Back then the magazine was a beautiful, handmade quarterly print zine that I yearned to place work in, but by the time I discovered it, submissions were closed. Amanda is a super-busy lady — now a mama of two gorgeous boys, she also runs Kind Over Matter, a site full of free, happy-making craft ideas, writing prompts and general positivity. Recently, she decided that she wanted to re-open submissions for Words Dance, but that she could no longer devote the time and energy to hand-making an entire run of zines every quarter.

Therefore, in keeping with the ethos of Kind Over Matter, Words Dance has now become a totally free, all-access e-zine, widening its reach and spreading its good work across the globe. The magazine has recently featured work by poets I’m already a fan of — Audrey Dimola, Rebecca Schumejda — as well as introducing me to some great new voices. Amanda was also kind enough to take one of my own pieces a few days ago, with another to go up soon.

Words Dance is a seriously friendly, welcoming, laid-back e-zine. Amanda doesn’t care where else you’ve been published or what credits you have to your name. She edits 100% from the heart — if she likes your work and she thinks it fits with the publication, she’ll take it, and that’s it. That’s very refreshing, and makes Words Dance an eclectic and surprising online journal. Submit, and you’ll get an auto-response immediately, which also acts as a potential form-rejection. This may seem lazy, but Amanda’s time is precious — and she goes to the trouble of telling you exactly what will happen with your submission, and what to expect: “If you don’t hear from me within 3 weeks, it’s safe to say that your submission was not accepted. That doesn’t mean that your work was not good enough, & it certainly is nothing personal, it just means that I felt, in my heart, that it wasn’t the right fit at this time. Don’t be discouraged to submit at a later date.” Can you really argue with that?

The submission guidelines are pretty straightforward, too:

Submissions will be accepted based on the quality of the work.

I welcome a broad range of work, any style or form, formal or informal, experimental & conventional. [...]

Does it move me? Is it well-written?

If the answer is yes to both of those questions then the possibility of your work appearing will be greater.

Amanda’s approach to running an e-zine is just totally sane. Being an editor is hard, time consuming work — submitting poetry to publications can be a nerve-wracking and disappointing endeavour. Somehow, Amanda has managed to remove the hassle from both ends of the equation. What’s left is Words Dance — a simple, clean, brilliant e-zine that deserves as many readers as it can get.


Know a publication that deserves a feature? Email me! –> One Night Stanzas loves mail. Say hello via claire@onenightstanzas.com. NB: I am physically unable to reply to non-urgent stuff unless I have a free afternoon and a cup of tea in my hand. Please be patient!

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One Response to “Featured Magazines #16: Words Dance”

  1. One Night Stanzas » Blog Archive » Procrastination Station #103 Says:

    [...] really liked Michael D Conley’s poem up at Words Dance this [...]