How did you get involved with Tulpa Magazine?
Tulpa Magazine really started as this idea Liam McNally and I were tossing up back when we worked in student media. We both wanted to create a platform for writers that had a strong focus on ethical media and writer development- something that we felt was sorely lacking in student media. We didn’t want to go for anything corporate or marketing-focused but rather something really content based, something that lifted up both writer and publication.
So I’ve been a part of Tulpa since before Tulpa even existed. Liam and I got a lot of support from the arts community here in Adelaide and that really helped us to develop our magazine, get the website up and then really see what came next. We were extremely fortunate to have Kayla Gaskell join us as a third managing editor in March 2018.
We’ve been flying semi-blind, still figuring things out as we go but I feel like that’s what makes the whole experience so rewarding. The writers, the editors, the readers- everyone has really been a part of shaping Tulpa and I think that makes us a little different, a bit more down to earth than a lot of other arts and literary magazines in Australia.
What do you do?
I manage all fiction submissions at Tulpa Magazine. I allocate pieces to our editing team, talk to our contributors and put the final pieces together online. I also run most of our social media, design additional images and advertisements and make sure the website runs smoothly. I’ve conducted a few interviews and I do reviews from time to time, which has been a really rewarding experience. I love meeting authors and artists in Adelaide and I think that’s one of the biggest perks of the job.
What’s your life like outside of Tulpa Magazine?
I’m an honours student at Flinders University so a lot of my time outside of Tulpa is spent working on my thesis. I’m also a fantasy writer so, in true writer spirit, I have several unfinished and unedited manuscripts floating around. I’m something of a spoken-word fanatic and you can usually find me at local gigs in Adelaide like Speakeasy, Quart Short Literary Readings, The Hearth and anything else that pops up on the local radar. I’ve performed quite a bit and I’m the 2018 Vice President for Speakeasy. I also do a bit of work for Quart Short Literary Readings.
What has been the most rewarding part of working for Tulpa Magazine?
For me it has to be working with our contributors. A lot of our fiction comes from emerging writers who have never had their work published before. It’s rewarding to be able to work with them to edit and polish their work and then see it go up on the website. Being able to support writers as they start on their writing journey is incredibly rewarding. I love seeing them share their work and feel proud of themselves. I remember how isolating and emotionally draining it was to start out and struggling to find someone willing to read my work and actually tell me it had potential, that it was something worthwhile.
A lot of bigger publications simply don’t have the time or the resources to give new writers feedback and encouragement- and being able to do that at Tulpa is something that I really love. I hope that as we grow and expand that we don’t lose that writer-editor bond that we have right now. I’ve had a lot of ‘Dear-Submitter-First-Name’ style rejections in my life, the kind of faceless, unfeeling responses that really get you down. At least at Tulpa we can say with confidence that we have time for every contributor and are always happy to give feedback, even if we don’t publish a writer’s work this time round.
What do you see yourself doing in the future? Where are you headed after Tulpa?
That’s hard to say. I want to get my PhD and hopefully teach creative writing and English at a university but that’s still a few years away. I guess I would love to publish more, meet more writers and really engage with the writing community. To be honest, things look pretty grim for Arts workers in Australia right now but I’m hoping that we see some change soon. It would be a pity for us to lose such an incredible community of artists, writers and editors because of a government that devalues and defunds the Arts. Here’s to hoping all of us have a bright future ahead of us- one where we can push the boundaries of art and culture.
You can find Lisandra on Twitter and Instagram.
For more information about her publications and qualifications you can visit her website.