Editor Interview: Night Train

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

A: Love/Death/Evil

Rusty Barnes, Editor on 24 January 2011 Read other answers to this question

Q: What other current publications (or publishers) do you admire most?

A: 32 Poems
Quick Fiction
SmokeLong Quarterly
Ploughshares
Wrong Tree Review
Pank
Hobart
fRIGG
too many more to count

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

A: We publish literary fiction and poetry of all kinds but have a yen for rough and gritty subject matter. We're very open to experimental work, especially in poetry.

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

A: We've been publishing for nearly ten years, and many of our writers go on to publish widely and well. We like to overstate the case a little, but the fact remains that many of your favorite contemporary writers and poets appeared in Night Train years ago. We've also been profiled or written up in the Boston Globe, Boston Phoenix, New York Times, and many other worthy venues.

Rusty Barnes, Editor on 24 January 2011 Read other answers to this question

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

A: Read our guidelines, which are simple, and be sure to check through our back issues. And please,for the love of God, don't send us stories of more than 4000 words unless we ask for them. Which we generally won't, because longer stories don't fit easily into an internet aesthetic.

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Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: great opening, follow-through on the tacit promises made to the reader who reads that opening,and a slambang ending that knocks my dick in the dirt, to borrow a phrase from Harry Crews.

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

A: They send us a story longer than 4000 words. Grrrrr.

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

A: I don't care about cover letters, and a laundry list of credits will probably get you a slightly longer look, depending on where those credits are from, but that's it.

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

A: Truthfully, I can often tell whether we'll take a story in the first few graphs, but I read on until I get exasperated, out of a sense of loyalty to the submitter and my own sense of fair play, but generally, I don't have to wade through crap to know it's crap.

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

A: None. Sometimes, though not often, we edit to help the author along, but usually, we demand greatness from the get-go,and accept stories that have little need of editing.

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

A: I get up, I take care of and teach my kids, and I deal with submissions late at night or early in the morning, depending on how you look at it. I steal, squeeze, borrow and rip time from the fabric of my life, and sometimes, the balance just isn't there and I have to ignore the mag for a week or two. Sorry in advance, but better that you know now.

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Q: How important do you feel it is for publishers to embrace modern technologies?

A: It's essential. Embrace or get lost in the furor.

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