One Year Catch-Up with Paper Lanterns!

Hi everyone! Today on the blog, we have something exciting for you. One year ago, we interviewed Paper Lanterns, a brand-new YA literary journal. Now, Paper Lanterns is back to chat with us again and share how their first year has been! 

The Book Bratz: First of all, welcome back! What's happened with Paper Lanterns since our interview last year?

Paper Lanterns: Thank you for having us back! We are delighted to have survived our first year - since we spoke to you last, we’ve launched issues 2, 3 and 4 with three online launches. We’ve published more reviews, features, writing and art. We have also decided to change our submission process slightly, with submissions for features, non-fiction essays and art now open all year around. We select our cover art from our art submissions and we’re hopeful that having submissions open all year means people can submit whenever inspiration strikes! Our creative writing submissions are open 4 times a year. 

The Book Bratz: What has been the most exciting part of the past year for the Paper Lanterns team? 

Paper Lanterns: Reading the work of our contributors, especially our teenage contributors, is always exciting, and so is the first time we get to hold the printed journal in our hand and see how beautiful the end product is! We are also incredibly excited to have received Arts Council funding, which we are very grateful for. The funding means we can increase our pages substantially, allowing us to publish more work. We’ve also been able to increase our fee for contributors.

The Book Bratz: Last year, you mentioned that a dream feature for the journal would be attending the Young Adult Literature Convention in London to cover it for the journal. Obviously, COVID threw a wrench in those plans, but is that still Paper Lanterns's dream feature? Or is there something else that you're hoping for?

Paper Lanterns: The London conference would make an amazing feature, but so would covering YALSA, ALAN and other YA events in America. Hopefully any or all of these will happen! Another dream feature involves highlighting teen book ambassadors involved with amazing projects. We are delighted Issue 5 will have a feature with Sarah Fitzgerald, one of Ireland’s best known teen book lovers ( Features give us a chance to amplify teen reading and teen voices through channels other than creative writing and art, showing the diverse ways teens are engaging with YA books.

The Book Bratz: What do you hope for Paper Lanterns to achieve in its next year?

Paper Lanterns: We really hope our new book club format takes off. We’ve created a Discord channel for teenagers where we can have both live and asynchronous chats about our selected books. We’ve also launched our internship program with great success so far. We hope that continues to grow.

The Book Bratz: What advice do you have for writers who are thinking of submitting to Paper Lanterns?

Paper Lanterns: Please read our submission guidelines. Every journal has different guidelines for various reasons, so it’s very important that you submit correctly. It shows that you’ve done a bit of research too. We’ve received cover letters that started with “Dear sirs”, when we’re an all female team. These things, although a little time consuming, matter. Also, remember that this is a YA journal. We want to promote the teen voice, so if your character is in their forties going through a divorce, it won’t be a fit for our journal. Once you’ve read the guidelines, and think your work would be a good fit, please submit to us! We’re committed to publishing a diverse range of stories and voices, and would be delighted to receive your writing and art.
All of our submissions info can be found on our website here: 

 Keep up with Paper Lanterns: Website / Twitter / Instagram / Facebook 

We'd like to thank the amazing team over at Paper Lanterns for stopping by for a one-year follow-up interview! It's been great to see how much they've grown and how they've been doing throughout all of this time, and we're looking forward to another great year of their success! :-) You can also check their Issue 4 launch video here.

No comments

Please note that if your comment doesn’t appear right away, it’s because we have to approve it. Make sure to click the Notify Me box so you can check back once your comment has been approved! ❤️