Editor Interview: Mutha Magazine
Q: Describe what you publish in 25 characters or less.
A: Alternative Parenting
Q: What other current publications (or publishers) do you admire most?
A: Hip Mama, Autostraddle, Weird Sister, Kazoo (for kids), The Establishment, Catapult, Motherly, Brain, Child, Bitch, Bust, ROAR
Q: If you publish writing, who are your favorite writers? If you publish art, who are your favorite artists?
A: MUTHA favorites and frequent contributors include Michelle Tea, Ariel Gore, Aya de Leon, Sharline Chiang, Andrea Lawlor, Elisa Albert, and many other feminist, fierce, weirdo and LGBTQ-do's, as well as artists and cartoonists like AK Summers, Keiler Roberts, Rina Ayuyang, Tyler Cohen, Lauren Weinstein, and more!
Q: What sets your publication apart from others that publish similar material?
A: The diversity of voices and formats--from essays to interviews to videos to photo narrative to comics to poetry, all with an inclusive/supportive/radical vibe.
Q: What is the best advice you can give people who are considering submitting work to your publication?
A: Read what we've published; be patient; and get raw/go deep in your writing. It doesn't hurt to be funny, too.
Q: Describe the ideal submission.
A: A fresh perspective with a compelling story.
Q: What do submitters most often get wrong about your submissions process?
A: Really, we're a pretty welcoming inbox. It's frustrating when simultaneous submissions are not marked as such, and we begin work on a piece that gets pulled or published elsewhere. With rare exception, we don't accept previously published blog posts, so this needs to be indicated in the submission. Please send an attached Word document, don't submit in the body of the email. Ideally, submit with photos (that you own or have the right to publish), your author bio, and your author photo.
Q: How much do you want to know about the person submitting to you?
A: Tell it all.
Q: If you publish writing, how much of a piece do you read before making the decision to reject it?
A: Usually I can tell within the first few paragraphs, but if I know the writer's work and admire it, or they are coming from a place we have a gap on, especially in terms of diversity of representation, I'm going to pause and read further, and offer more editorial support to make it a better fit.
Q: What additional evaluations, if any, does a piece go through before it is accepted?
A: We typically do 1-2 rounds of editing, before publication. In some cases, for a well-formatted and edited / clean submission, it can go straight to press.
Q: What is a day in the life of an editor like for you?
A: MUTHA is a labor-of-love for all involved, and I do this work in between (and late into the night) around my other professional gigs (which include book publishing and cultural programming contracts). So I often check the inbox on off days, edit pieces before bed, and carry the laptop to coffee shops before I pick up my daughter from school. It's a working-mother, MUTHA magazine.
Q: How much do you edit an accepted piece prior to publication?
A: Depending on the needs of the piece, we do substantive editing, line editing, and copyediting. Authors approve substantive edits and (typically) any copyediting.
Q: Do you nominate work you've published for any national or international awards?
A: If an author requests, we will submit for nomination to awards, and routinely we submit our stand-out comics art section for all indie awards.