Started as a “pandemic passion project,” The Muleskinner Journal is an online publication of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry that publishes “journal entries” (individual pieces) throughout their submission period as well as a quarterly journal.
While The Muleskinner Journal name comes from the nickname of Editor in Chief, Gary Campanella, the mission of the journal is in keeping with the muleskinner – or mule-driver – a profession that requires its animal companion to get the job done. “We look for writing of all kinds that uses skill, wit, and determination to deliver the goods,” which speaks to the clear partnership between writers, readers, and the publisher. “We accept and publish poetry, short fiction, flash fiction, short scripts, excerpts from longer works, memoir, criticism, craft essays, artwork, journalism, and shopping lists.” And for both new and established writers, the guidelines are clearly inviting: “We don’t care who you are, as long as you are the author of what you submit.”
In addition to Campanella, the rest of The Muleskinner Journal team is made up of a group of multi-talented writers and editors who have been meeting regularly for several years: Campanella, who is a writer, editor, and financial services professional; Peter Andrews a writer, editor, and teacher; Thomas Phalen, a writer and attorney; Jeremy Proehl, a Poet; John Romagna, a Poet and financial services professional.
Having worked well together already for years, the editorial team has a clearly laid out process, with all submissions being read by each editor. “We then discuss and decide at a weekly editorial meeting,” Campanella explains. “All submissions are acknowledged and replied to individually and personally, and we occasionally ask for edits.”
For readers venturing to The Muleskinner Journal, Campanella promises “really good and interesting poems and stories” from two issues already available – Issue 1: Long Journeys and Issue 2: Legacy. In highlighting a few contributors, Campanella says, “We have been particularly proud to feature work from accomplished poets like SM Stubbs and Bob King. We are also proud to feature work from younger writers, like Ruth Niemiec and Amalia Herron-Lage. Really, though, we love everything we’ve published.”
And overwhelmingly, that is Campanella’s attitude about the whole venture when speaking to its ups and downs. “The greatest joy has been when readers contact us and share how much they’ve enjoyed a particular poem or story, and then we share that with the writer. In our short existence, we know we have helped writers from around the world connect with each other.”
Eventually, Campanella shares, The Muleskinner Journal looks to publish a print version and offer workshops and contests as well. For now, submissions are open for their third issue through June 30, 2022, with the theme Loss and Gratitude. Don’t delay – deliver the goods today!