Contributor's Guidelines

Note: As of 2002-10-01, I have suspended maintenance of this website because of a lack of time on my part. I hope to resurrect the Monadnock Review at some point in the future, but have no firm plans to do so at this time.

Thank you for your interest in contributing to the Monadnock Review. This page contains information that will help you decide if your work is in line with our goals here, and if so how to submit it for consideration. Read on for details...


While the Monadnock Review is dedicated to joy and reason and meaning, that dedication is highly general; when it comes to specifics, this site is very much a record of the personal experiences and insights and creations of the individuals who contribute their work (much in the way that Ayn Rand once said her description of Monadnock Valley presented something "personal, almost subjective"). There is an irremediably individual stamp on everything that appears here. I see my role as building the infrastructure that will enable creative individuals to present vitally original perspectives on what each one finds important and significant in life and the world — perspectives in which sensitivity to the subtleties and particularities of existence is manifest.

So while I look for work that does justice to joy and reason and meaning and everything that is wrapped up in the phrase a philosophy for living on earth, I apply no litmus tests of ideological purity. Please send no works of Objectivist Realism. I am inspired by the novels and philosophy of Ayn Rand, but I value "joy and reason and meaning" (and reality) above the words of any thinker. Show me your independence of mind, not your willingness to act as a vessel for someone else's ideas; show me that you are reflective, not combative. For I seek not propaganda, but philosophy and art (which Nietzsche believed were, along with religion, the highest and defining pursuits of man).

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Whereas joy and reason and meaning implies that one needs to have something to say, the importance of craft implies that one needs to say it with as much mastery as one can muster; I insist on quality.

However, while I have an abiding appreciation for aesthetic and intellectual ambition, I hold that ambition does not require one to remake the world or one's discipline from the ground up. Indeed, that goal — so evident in the vain pursuits of experimental art and the avant-garde — shows a lack of respect for the sustained efforts of thinkers and artists over the millennia, who have struggled to build the techniques of thought and creation that enable the greatest personal expression.

Yet I am no traditionalist. The cry of traditional values rings false for me, as much in aesthetics and philosophy as in morality. If there is one thing history teaches us, it is that we cannot go back. Art and thought must look forward — and the Monadnock Review looks forward as well.

My emphasis on craft might be construed to indicate an exclusive focus on high art and the most abstract ideas. However, that is definitely not the case, for I am fairly "libertarian" in my appraisals, and I regard the dichotomies between art and entertainment, and between philosophy and popular expression, as a legacy of the dichotomies between mind and body and the sacred and secular that have so long plagued Western civilization. Therefore I see value in popular and folk art as well as in fine or high art — in practical philosophy as well as in theoretical philosophy (and I define philosophy broadly as "the search for wisdom", not as the narrow discipline taught in today's university departments).

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The Types of Works I Publish

I am happy to publish:

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My Philosophy of Editing

Writers considering contributing to the Monadnock Review may fear the fate that their creations will experience at the hands of a rapacious editor. Fear not. Because I am active as a writer, I understand what the writing process involves. And because I have my own creative outlets, I feel no need to impose my views on your work.

My philosophy of editing is to function as a "literary midwife":

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Legalities and Other Particulars

Here are some legalities and other particulars regarding submission to the Monadnock Review:

  1. You retain full copyright to your creations. You are free to republish your work anytime and anywhere that you please. However, I do ask that you allow me to include your contribution in one of the print anthologies that I may publish in the future.
  2. I request that you approve a short bio written by me (or write one yourself) and allow me to link to your website (if you have one).
  3. For written works, submission via email message or plain-text/HTML attachment is preferred (however, I can read MS Word docs if necessary). Snail-mail submissions will also be accepted.

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Future Plans

In the past I have thought that I might want to expand the Monadnock Review to be a general site for all the arts. However, I now feel that specializing in the publication of literature and essays is the most productive avenue for my efforts here. Indeed, I am thinking seriously about starting a small press that would publish (on paper!) certain of the authors you can find at this webzine, as well as perhaps some print anthologies (for details, see my journal entry for 2001-07-21).

The only exception I can envision to this policy is the possibility of recording music. Partly this is because I am a songwriter and composer myself, with the result that music is the one art-form other than literature that I know first-hand. The first step will be to record my own music; after I have completed that task, I will have a better sense of what is involved in recording and will be able to gauge if starting a record company would be feasible for me.

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A Statement of Policy

I am the sole arbiter of what is included in the Monadnock Review. I have no board of advisors, I ask no one's permission, I seek no one's sanction, and I work independently of all other individuals and organizations. I publish what I think has merit. If you disagree with my judgments, you are free to read and publish elsewhere. If you feel that my judgments are valuable, you are free to visit this site as often as you like and to contribute your work. Either way, I welcome your thoughts and thank you for your interest.

— Peter Saint-André