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Editor Interview: streetcake

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

A: experimental, innovative

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

A: Knives Forks and Spoons
Adjacent Pineapple
Hesterglock Press
3AM Magazine
Selcouth Station
Fly on the Wall
If p then q
Nostrovia! Poetry
Degenerate Lit
The 87 Press
The Emma Press
Eye Flash Poetry
Gallery Beggar

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

A: bp nichol, SJ Fowler, Sascha Akhtar, Eileen Tabois, Asta Papachristodoulou, Irene Okojie, Leone Ross, Charles Yu, Haruki Murakami, Yoko Ogawa, Stephen Emmerson, Maggie O'Sullivan, John Keats, Bernadette Meyer

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

A: We champion underrepresented writers, as well as more established writers. We offer a pathway into publication and have connections with other amazing presses. We welcome a variety of work that is non-traditional and do not require you to be university educated or previously published. We are willing to take risks. We also support all our writers and shout about your work.

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

A: Read past issues and our anthology to see what we like. We generally prefer non-traditional writing so if you write rhyming, very formal stuff, it probably isn't for us. If however, you experiment with form, content, presentation, style, blends of styles and languages etc - please consider us!

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: Something that surprises us, makes us laugh, makes us think differently. You don't need to do all of these at once! Also images that jar or fill our heads with something fresh and exciting.

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

A: Not reading the guidelines and sending us work that we don't normally publish. Also calling us 'sirs'!

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

A: We love to have a biog for the site and to learn more about the writer AFTER we have read their submission. We generally tend to read the work before looking at anything else. Even if we know your name, we try to focus on the writing alone. We have rejected work by writers we know because we have to make a connection with the writing first and foremost!

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

A: We get a feel for it quite quickly - probably in the first page for fiction, but we always keep reading until the end. For poetry, we read all of it as well, but it's great to have 2-5 poems to consider as we may like one piece more than the others.

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

A: Nikki and Trini both read the submissions and we decide together. We may disagree about some and go back and forth, but we always settle on the issue jointly.

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

A: We only publish 4 issues per year and when we have funding, we run our prize. When we get around to new issue time, one of us will often read first and makes notes on which ones we think might be a yes, maybes and then the ones we don't think fit well. Then the other editor will read through everything and we'll compare notes. Usually we agree but we may have a few pieces to discuss and make a final decision on. Then we set about emailing the writers, getting the issue together, ensuring we have the correct biographies and updating the site.

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

A: Incredibly important, especially in terms of new ways to present writing that is visual, experimental and innovative. We also think networking is extremely important - to see what else is going on and to make friends in publishing circles who may be interested in what we do and may be doing interesting stuff themselves that we can share with readers. Therefore, we use social media and try to share great opportunities and news with our followers. We use POD for our prize anthology and this has been a great way to make something physical at an affordable price, which our winners have loved to have in their hands.

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

A: We try not to edit someone's work, unless there is an obvious typo. Sometimes writers ask us how we feel about an aspect of their work and we try to give helpful feedback and let them make the final decision.

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

A: We do not have the capacity to do that. However, many writers we publish have gone on to be published by other presses, some of whom were discovered in streetcake. Moreover, we established our prize in 2019 to recognise young writers creating exciting innovative work, which has been hugely successful and aided writers' development.