Eckleburg‘s Editorial Assistant, Peter Goodman, discuses his experience in the M.A. in Writing at Johns Hopkins University, what type of writing draws him in, and some of the pieces Eckleburg has published that his life would be incomplete without.
Q: How did you learn about/become involved with Eckleburg?
Peter Goodman: As I was nearing the end of my M.A. in Writing at Hopkins, I took Rae Bryant’s (Editor-in-Chief of Eckleburg) course on literary publications, aesthetic and writing. What a great class! The course met predominantly online and was my first exposure to such a learning format. Through Rae and this class, I was introduced to The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review.
Q: What role at Eckleburg do you have?
PG: I recently joined Eckleburg – my area of interest and focus is on website design and fiction, with a strong interest in the journal’s art submissions.
Q: What are you looking for in submissions?
PG: Something that grabs my attention right away. A piece’s first sentence and paragraph are critical. After my interest is piqued, I look for stories with momentum, a strong voice, and an emotional grip.
Q: What have been one or two of your favorite pieces you have seen in Eckleburg so far?
PG: Rick Moody’s “Nonsense Singers,” and a piece, “Boys” he read at the Rue de Fleurus Salon event in Washington, D.C., and “Smoke” by Chad Simpson. Both stories evoked emotion and were gripping pieces.
Q: What are some of your publications?
PG: My first book, Win –Win Career Negotiations, was published by Penguin Books, and my new children’s book series, We’re All Different But We’re All Kitty Cats, was published in 2012. Both polar opposites from my adult prose – quite paradoxical.
Q: How do you approach writing?
PG: I must be passionate about whatever the subject matter is. Rather than being overly analytical about structure, I just begin writing. A powerful and evocative opening that tugs the reader right into the story poses the biggest and most important challenge with any work. One of my rules is that I don’t mind breaking the rules of writing.
Q: In 5 words or less, describe what kind of a journal you think Eckleburg is.
PG: Visceral. Edgy. Artistic. Honest. Engrossing.
Q: Anything else you want to share?
PG: My favorite stories/novels/poems are those that are dark, soul searching and real – reading about characters that live on the fringe of life and plots that take me into an unfamiliar world. One of my favorite books, which I recently read, is Requiem For A Dream by Hubert Selby Jr.
Peter J. Goodman’s first book, Win-Win Career Negotiations, was published by Penguin Books in 2002. He has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and Publishers Weekly, among other national publications. He is currently earning a Masters of Arts in Writing at The Johns Hopkins University and resides in Washington, DC.