Editor Interview: Bull & Cross

Q: Describe what you publish in 25 characters or less.

A: Tell me a story

Q: If you publish writing, who are your favorite writers? If you publish art, who are your favorite artists?

A: I read broadly. My favorite writers include:
Flannery O'Connor
Margaret Atwood
John Gardner
Michael Chabon
Ed McBain
Tom Wolfe
David Sedaris
PD James
CS Lewis
Chester Himes
Bill Watterson

Q: What sets your publication apart from others that publish similar material?

A: I appreciate a broad range of genres, styles, structures, techniques, etc. This means that Bull & Cross might be a good place to try a piece that hasn't found a fit with more-narrowly focused publications. But I'm still looking for a story. I'm not interested in scenes, meditations, or think-pieces. A good story told in an artless way has a better shot with B&C than a beautifully crafted character study.

Q: What is the best advice you can give people who are considering submitting work to your publication?

A: Send it in. I don't mind simultaneous submissions, and I normally have a pretty decent response time.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: I have no ideal submission. I have a few things that are non-starters and which will receive a form rejection, but those are pretty clearly spelled out in the guidelines.

Q: What do submitters most often get wrong about your submissions process?

A: I've got a very simple submissions process which is meant to limit the time writers have to spend fiddling with formats and layouts, because the whole "computer age" thing means it's very quick and easy for me to do whatever I need as far as reformatting. Honestly, who is printing out submissions and using the extra space between the lines to write in a bunch of notes?

Q: How much do you want to know about the person submitting to you?

A: I just ask for the author's name or nom-de-plume. The story tells me the rest.

Q: If you publish writing, how much of a piece do you read before making the decision to reject it?

A: I read nearly every piece to the end. That doesn't mean that I'm looking for a "good twist" or a "surprise ending." Those are so rarely done well that they often get a rejection. But the truth is that I usually don't know if the piece is right for me until I've got the whole thing in front of me.

Q: What additional evaluations, if any, does a piece go through before it is accepted?

A: None. If I like it and it fits the guidelines, I accept it.

Q: What is a day in the life of an editor like for you?

A: I work in Spain, and B&C is a labor of love, so I spend some time in my evenings after work reading, considering, and responding to submissions.

Q: How much do you edit an accepted piece prior to publication?

A: I've made very basic edits only occasionally, and only with the prior permission of the author. If a piece needs substantive editing, I have to send it back.

Q: Do you nominate work you've published for any national or international awards?

A: I do, including Pushcart, Best of the Net, and Best American.