In 2006, Brigid Hughes, a Brooklyn-based literary editor founded A Public Space. A Public Space is an independent nonprofit literary magazine that publishes fiction, poetry, essays, and art, and has published the work of some incredible authors, including Haruki Murakami, Daniel Alarcón, Anna Deavere Smith, and Jesmyn Ward, among others. A Public Space declares its mission to be “to seek out overlooked and unclassifiable work, and to publish writing from beyond established confines.” Last year, they launched their own book publishing imprint, APS Books. APS Books’ mission reflects that of the magazine, and continues A Public Space‘s tradition of publishing purely original, innovative writing.
We had the fantastic opportunity to speak with Hughes about her work and A Public Space, ahead of the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses ‘Night of a Thousand Small Preses’ Gala this evening, at which Hughes is being honored with the Golden Colophon Award for Paradigm Independent Literary Publishing.
Image Via The Villager Newspaper
Tonight, you’re receiving the Golden Colophon Award for Paradigm Independent Literary Publishing tonight (congratulations!) for your work founding and editing acclaimed literary journal ‘A Public Space’, which has launched the careers of authors such as National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward. What has been the highlight of your career with A Public Space so far?
One of the joys of editing a magazine is the chain of interconnections that form among pieces and writers—that exchange, between generations, languages, art forms is the ongoing highlight. Between Jesmyn Ward’s Mississippi and Motoyuki Shibata’s Tokyo; Bette Howland’s Chicago and Lucian’s Roman Empire.
Throughout your career, you have worked according to the values of promoting the work of lesser-known authors; what keeps you motivated to do this work?
The thrill of encountering a voice, a perspective, an insight I hadn’t known before. And what if Cervantes was never discovered?
What is your top tip for aspiring writers hoping to have their work published?
Take a risk. Embrace your own vision. Have a spirit of play. Also read the magazine before you submit, at least a random sampling; see if you can hear a music in what they publish.
For more information on A Public Space and their work, find them here!
Featured Image Via A Public Space and Longreads