Editor Interview: Neon: A Literary Magazine

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

A: Prose, poetry and other.

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

A: 3:AM Magazine, PANK, GUD, Night Train, Eyeshot, Thieves Jargon, Smokelong Quarterly, Word Riot. Many others.

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

A: I admire many writers and poets, but what I enjoy reading personally and what I am seeking for the magazine are often quite different. Browsing the archives of the magazine can give a good idea of the kind of fiction and poetry I am after.

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

A: I have found very few magazines that publish similar material. Those I have found are usually based outside of the UK.

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

A: Read the magazine before you submit. Back issues are freely available online.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: Ideally all submissions would include a covering letter addressed to me by name, mentioning how the author found the magazine and what pieces from previous issues they have liked or disliked.

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

A: Many submissions are sent without a cover letter or brief biography, both of which are requested clearly in the guidelines.

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

A: A friendly cover letter and a brief third-person biography is enough. Long lists of credits, awards, selected works and so on are unnecessary and off-putting.

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

A: I read until I have reached a decision. This usually means reading a piece all the way through, but there are infrequent occasions when I know from the very first line that something is not right for the magazine.

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

A: Submissions are read three times before being accepted. If I still like it after a third reading, it is in.

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

A: I read and sort submissions whenever I have the time. Responses are sent out every few days.

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

A: Times are, and will always be, changing. As with any industry, publishers must evolve to cope with this. "Embracing" modern technologies is perhaps a little eager, but publishers should at least not be resistant to change.