“5×5” is one of twenty-five phrases used in radio-transmission-speak or “voice communication” via two-way radios to describe the signal-to-noise ratio or the quality of communication of a given transmission. The scale used to describe the quality of communication ranges from one to five, where one is the worst and five is the best. Static, or white noise, is what results from a low signal-to-noise ratio, whereas a high ratio, such as 5×5 or “Five by Five” or “Fivers” or “Fifers,” is a signal that is very strong and very clear, as in I can hear you perfectly, or Rodger that—loud and clear.

5×5 the magazine, which borrows from that concept of transmission, is a non-profit, online literary magazine run by a small team of editors who aim to publish a healthy mix of both established as well as emerging writers of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Each issue we publish is theme-based and includes at least five pieces per genre. Though our criteria vary some from genre to genre (see submission guidelines for more details), all of the writing we showcase meets these basic criteria:

·       500 words or less in length

·       previously unpublished

·       is original, surprising, and dynamic (as opposed to, say, “static”)

·       speaks to the chosen theme (we’re open to loose interpretations)

·       demonstrates the nature of the magazine’s namesake