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Last Monday writer Beth Kephart, author of six memoirs and eight young adult novel, including the recent, much-acclaimed Going Over, invited the Cleaver Editor’s Blog to take part in her Blog Train. Here’s what Beth wrote about Cleaver and about novelist A.S. King.

The rules of the blog train are simple: on Monday, last week’s introductees introduce three new bloggers and also answer a series of questions.

The Cleaver editors chose bloggers who are also writers published in recent issues of Cleaver Magazine:

Samuel Thompson’s poemSonata for Clavier and Violin, K. 526 (September 2008)” appeared in Cleaver’s Preview Issue in February 2013. He has been blogging about his musical experiences, chronicling the activities of his colleagues who work in many creative arena, and sharing his thoughts on both concerts and music journalism since September 2007. He has also contributed to Strings Magazine, Nigel Kennedy Online and Violinist.com. His blog is www.samuelathompson.blogspot.com

Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser‘s essay “The Oldest Mom in the Room” appeared in Cleaver Magazine Issue No. 1 in March 2013. Recently, her work has appeared in the New York Times, Salon, and Brain Child Magazine, and Full Grown People, amongst others. She has an essay in Seal Press’ anthology The Good Mother Myth, edited by Avital Norman Nathman. She lives in Northampton, Massachusetts. Find her on twitter @standshadows. Her blog is The Valley Advocate.

Melissa Duclos‘ essay “Confessions of a Facebook Mom” appears in the current issue (March 2014) of Cleaver. Melissa received her MFA in creative writing from Columbia University, and now works as a freelance writer and editor and writing instructor. She is a regular contributor to the online magazine BookTrib, where she writes book reviews and lifestyle articles. Her fiction has appeared in Scéal literary journal. Her first novel, Besotted, is a work of literary fiction set in Shanghai, for which she is seeking representation. She lives in Portland, OR, with her husband, two children, and Yorkshire Terrier, Saunders. Her blog is found at www.melissa-duclos.com.

Next week each will introduce three additional writers’ blogs and will answer the following questions, which we’ll do now:

What am I working on? Cleaver is thwacking away behind the scenes working on Issue No. 6: fiction, flash, essays, poetry, and art—we can’t wait to share it all with you. Extra-special is our guest poetry editor, the fabulous Teresa Leo, whose new book Bloom in Reverse was released in January. Read Anna Strong’s review on Cleaver here. And check out Issue 6 when it debuts on June 11, 2014!

How does my work/writing differ from others in its genre? One thing that makes Cleaver different from other litmags is our approach to visual art. Each of our art features includes an essay, interview, or other text about the artist and her/his work.

Why do I write what I do? This question is obviously directed at an individual writer, not a magazine, but to preserve the “train” we’ll adjust the answer, not the question. “Why do we publish the work we do?” Cleaver presents literary and artwork that is specific, beautifully crafted, and alive. We are curators and stewards of this work. We do it to foster community among writers, artists and readers.

How does my writing process work? How does our publishing process work? We cull from a large selection of solicited and unsolicited manuscripts (we had over 1700 unsolicited submissions in our first year.) We are an international magazine based in the Philadelphia area, so we aim for about 25-30% representation of Philadelphia-based writers. We strive to present an emerging artist and several emerging writers among the established contributors in each issue. We welcome new contributors! Our submissions portal is temporarily closed and will reopen within two weeks.

Thwack! Samuel, Sarah, and Melissa, it’s your turn!