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  • Writer's pictureKayleigh Willis

'Meet the Editors: Part 1'

Updated: Nov 24, 2021

Kayleigh Cutforth

What do you look for in a submission?

I’m always looking for something quirky, dark and intriguing. If I’m still thinking about it the next day then it’s probably going in the journal or up on the blog. I’m not interested in work fitting into boxes, even those of my own making. I’m not going to reject a great piece just because it’s not exactly on brief. Don’t be surprised if you suddenly see a beautiful love poem pop up! I like the pieces where I haven’t got a clue what’s going on, but it makes me feel something. I think that’s where the reader starts to fill in the blanks, and that’s pretty special.

What makes a great story?

The first line for me is crucial. If I can’t get past the first few lines then I’m not going to get invested in the story. I think of it in terms of fishing, the first line is like bait to catch the reader's attention! I also think a great story doesn’t give too much away too quickly. I want to immerse myself in the plot in such a way, that my own experiences become part of the narrative.

Who is your favourite author and why?

My favourite author is Kurt Vonnegut. His writing takes me to weird and wonderful places and I can’t help but feel I’ve visited another place and time when I read him. His writing breaks boundaries and feels rebellious.

What do you do when you’re not MONO-ing?

I’m a thirty-something, single mother from a very pretty town in the middle of England, so when I’m not MONO-ing I can be found enjoying time at the local meadows, soft-play, library, or swimming pool with my daughter. I obviously love to read and am currently jumping between the new Stephen King novel, ‘If it Bleeds’, and Murakami's short story collection, 'First Person Singular'. My background is in the legal field, so I take on paralegal work to fit around my other responsibilities. I also write short stories and flash fiction in my spare time, with my most recent publication on The Bridport Prize blog.

What can readers expect from the first issue of MONO?

The first edition of MONO is going to be larger in volume than some other journals, so more like a small book than a magazine. The aesthetic is minimal, monochrome and stark rather than flowers and fairies (nothing wrong with that…). We want MONO to fit in your bag and be something you can comfortably pull out on the train or on a park bench, to enjoy in bitesize chunks, not just a one-off read. We can’t wait until October to share it with you!

Part 2: Tina Parsons (Assistant Editor)

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