Editor Interview: Rose & Thorn Journal

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

A: Open to an eclectic mix

Kathryn Magendie & Angie Ledbetter, Co-Editors/Publishers on 15 July 2010 Read other answers to this question

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

A: There are simply too many to mention; however, we do want to support other small independent online presses and journals, who, like R&T staff, volunteer their time and resources to provide writers, poets, and artists with a Home they'll be proud to place their work.

Kathryn Magendie & Angie Ledbetter, Co-Editors/Publishers on 15 July 2010 Read other answers to this question

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

A: If we were to list our favorites, it'd be such an eclectic mix, and a quite large one--which is why R&T publishes an eclectic mix of writers, poets, and artists. Mainly, whatever we are reading Right Now is our favorite poem, fiction, or non-fiction piece. Whatever work of art we are admiring is our favorite. We are a living breathing changing lover of all things literary and artistic, and to name any one or two or even ten or twelve or fifty or five thousand galleven writers, poets, and artists would be difficult.

Kathryn Magendie & Angie Ledbetter, Co-Editors/Publishers on 15 July 2010 Read other answers to this question

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

A: It could be our desire to publish writers and poets (and artists) who have never been published before. We love to include, if we can, at the very least one previously unpublished writer to our line-up (and we do not limit it to that, of course!). We don't care where or when you've been published, or where you went to study, or how many degrees, or how many publications you've been published in, or if you've never been published and have never taken a writing course--it's all about the prose, the poem, the character, the art - the language and words and characters. Send us a good story or poem that makes us sit up and say "Yes!" and we'll want to publish it!

Kathryn Magendie & Angie Ledbetter, Co-Editors/Publishers on 15 July 2010 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: Please Please Please Please Please Please Please Please PUH-LEEZE follow the guidelines! They are not difficult. They are listed on our website. They are there for a reason. Follow them or your submission is deleted and that would be a shame. Other than that, write a good story or poem and do the best you can. Be fearless. Most of all Be You. Don't write what you THINK we want to read, write YOUR story or poem. Be Truthful to your own story/poem. Write with abandon and then edit with a firm hand. Write from your gut, your heart, your brain--all of them together. Don't try to be what or who you are not.

Kathryn Magendie & Angie Ledbetter, Co-Editors/Publishers on 15 July 2010 Read other answers to this question

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: One who follows our guidelines. One who doesn't submit to forty-galleven other journals/magazines at the same time just hoping to make a hit without even bothering to care to look at our publication---since it is online, it is free, so taking a quick look takes but a few moments. One who writes with truth and confidence and love and soul and bravery and humor and darkness and . . . just write us a good compelling story or poem and send it on to us with the proper guidelines followed and we'll be happy.

Kathryn Magendie & Angie Ledbetter, Co-Editors/Publishers on 15 July 2010 Read other answers to this question

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

A: Thinking we don't know when they are sending out to twenty-galleven other publications hoping their story will stick with one, and when we read that story, we see the sloppiness and we see the way they do not care for language and words and character--they just want "to be published somewhere." The other thing we often see is those who send to the wrong email. We have a prose email and a poetry email - we have prose editors and poetry editors - so send to the correct address. Finally, again, just not following our simple guidelines - they are simple! follow them!

Kathryn Magendie & Angie Ledbetter, Co-Editors/Publishers on 15 July 2010 Read other answers to this question

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

A: We do not even read the bios and/or lists of previous publications until after we read the story and have decided we are considering it for publication. Previous publication does not sway us; the story does. If we decide to publish the writer or poet, we then will ask for a bio, so honestly, until that point, we do not need to know a lot about the writer - we more want to know a lot about what they have just submitted. Once we send them their acceptance, that's when we like to know about our writers. However! that said, even when sending rejections, we do enjoy reading about our writers/poets who have submitted. When writers/poets send "tidbits" about themselves, or a short bio, or a short "cover letter," we do read them with interest, even if that writer had to be rejected.

Kathryn Magendie & Angie Ledbetter, Co-Editors/Publishers on 15 July 2010 Read other answers to this question

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

A: Most all of the time we will read the entire piece; however, honestly, if after a few paragraphs a piece it isn't compelling then chances are it isn't going to make it into our publication so we then have to decide if we want to keep reading until the end, hoping maybe there will be something there that saves the story. Then again, we receive so many submissions, and of those submissions, many capture us from the beginning- it makes it hard to keep reading stories that just can't quite hold up. If we are not captured by the work after reading near half-way through, our readers will not want to read after a couple of paragraphs (sometimes less than that).
The only time we will stop reading right away, or not read at all, is if it is obviously something we do not publish: gratuitous violence or sex, et cetera, or they didn't read our guidelines.

Kathryn Magendie & Angie Ledbetter, Co-Editors/Publishers on 15 July 2010 Read other answers to this question

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

A: More than one editor reads the pieces, so there is input from more than one editor. Sometimes a story will be loved by one editor, and not so much by the other: in that case, the story is then re-considered by the editor who is not as excited--and if they still are not convinced, then the story is rejected (but sent a nice note of course!)We keep our process pretty simple and straightforward.

Kathryn Magendie & Angie Ledbetter, Co-Editors/Publishers on 15 July 2010 Read other answers to this question

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

A: We first make up folders: Yes! Maybe. No. In the Yes! file go stories that are so strong and compelling, the ones the editors agree on, and for which we know without a doubt we want to publish. In the Maybe folder goes stories that maybe have something needed, some little bit of work, but are still good strong, compelling stories, or in the maybe folder goes stories where one editor may love it and the other isn't so sure, or there is some question the editor(s) have about the story where we aren't quite sure (and yes, some Maybe stories find their way into the Yes! folder!). In the No folder -well, that's pretty obvious--that's the stories that just are a No right off the bat (however, even some of those receive feedback from us; it may be they just aren't quite ready to be published).
We start reading for the next issue soon after we've accepted our pieces for the last issue. We carefully read every submission, other than, as we stated in the last question, if there is some problem that isn't easily fixed, or the guidelines aren't followed, or someone submits something we do not publish.
There isn't any real magic - we do the work: We read and honor the writers/poets who submit to us and then we make hard, very very hard, decisions on who to publish. Some times good writers with good stories receive rejections, and that's a shame, but there is only so much space. That's always the most difficult part: rejecting a dang good story because of space--we've pushed the limits on number of stories/poetry pieces we publish, but there has to be a cut off somewhere!
For the No's, they receive one reading. For the Maybes, they receive more than one. The Yes's are strong enough to stay right there in that Yes folder where the editors leave it happily nestled until acceptances are sent out.

Kathryn Magendie & Angie Ledbetter, Co-Editors/Publishers on 15 July 2010 Read other answers to this question

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

A: We like to think we are a little bit of both, but open to Wonderful New Lands Out There! Our struggle right now is to find a good "social networking" person who is willing to volunteer their time and help us become more "out there in the technological world" of social networking and etc. We are interested in looking into e-readers, and becoming more visible on different social networking sites. A good volunteer in this area would help us tremendously. Until then, we do our best.

Kathryn Magendie & Angie Ledbetter, Co-Editors/Publishers on 15 July 2010 Read other answers to this question