New Santa Fe Literary Journal

Blood Tree Literature is accepting rolling submissions but encourages writers to submit before April 30. Photo courtesy of Brantlee Reid.

Submitting to literary journals can be an intimidating task. Big journals like Tin House, The New Yorker and The Paris Review seem too far out of reach, especially to young writers. Even smaller journals like Fairy Tale Review and Iron Horse Literary Review can seems like a fantasy. Local literary journals and magazines offer emerging writers a chance to have work published. SFUAD’s literary magazine Glyph is the first place many students think to send their work, but now there’s another opportunity: an emerging literary journal started by SFUAD’s Brantlee Reid called Blood Tree Literature. “I started thinking about it in Julia [Goldberg’s] Media and Storytelling class when we were looking at the multimedia articles and longform stories,” the senior Creative Writing and Literature major says on how she got the idea to start her own journal. “And then also working on Glyph — the process is really fun and I kind of started coming up with side-projects for me to do as we were going through the process. So I was like, ‘Why don’t I just start my own?’”

The name Blood Tree came from a hiking trip where Reid was taking pictures of tree sap. “My boyfriend said, ‘That’s tree blood.’ And I was like, ‘Whoa! I’ve never thought of it like that before.’ And that’s kind of where it came from. That term stuck with me.” Reid is hoping to create something new in the world of literary journals, something innovative and interactive. “Instead of just having a story be a link to plain words on a page that scrolls forever, which I hate reading…I was envisioning the story coming to life on the page and that’s where coding comes in.” Reid is learning how to code in order to bring to life her vision of a literary journal with interactive pieces that engage the reader. She hopes in the future to “take on some people who know more about that to help me out.” Reid is the founder and sole editor of Blood Tree, but she plans to incorporate other visual mediums such as graphic design and photography and wants to bring in collaborators to help with these aspects of the journal. “I have photos right now but I’m looking for artists to come in and to take certain pictures for certain particular pieces. I want attention paid to each piece rather than going to stock photos and putting any picture with an article like I’ve seen done in other literary journals.”

The process of starting the journal has gone smoothly for Reid so far, with only minor hiccups. “I posted on Craigslist in major cities the flyer that I’ve been posting around the school and the very first response I got was, ‘No pay? Flagged for being a douche.’” Reid laughs as she recounts this and then continues, “But after that I’ve been getting some pretty good submissions that are really solid, addressing me as Dear Editor. I’m like, ‘Wow, I feel so professional!’” Reid has been receiving steady responses and hopes that she gets more from fellow students.

Blood Tree Literature is accepting submissions of fiction, nonfiction and prose poetry as well as experimental pieces and hybrids that “push the boundaries of convention and genre.” Reid says her main draw to submitted pieces is the use of language. “I enjoy pieces that are more focused on linguistics and the particular harmony and melody of words placed together…I’m looking for the musicality of language to motivate a piece rather than necessarily the plot.” The deadline on the call for submissions of April 30 is not meant as a hard deadline but to encourage writers to submit early if they want to be part of the journal’s launch. Reid needs enough time and enough submissions to format and fill the website for the launch on June 1, but the call is rolling through May and beyond.

To submit to Blood Tree Literature, email submissions to bloodtreelit[at]yahoo[dot]com. Anyone who wants to be considered part of the journal launch on June 1 must submit before April 30.