Editor Interview: Goreyesque

This interview is provided for archival purposes. The listing is not currently active.

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

A: Online literary journal

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

A: Unstuck Journal
Tin House
Cemetery Dance
Conjunctions
PANK
Curbside Splendor
The Masters Review
Fantagraphics Books
Zoetrope: All Story
Gulf Coast Journal
Knopf

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

A: Edward Gorey
Ray Bradbury
Katherine Dunn
Audrey Niffenegger
Lauren Groff
Karen Russell
F. Scott Fitzgerald

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

A: Our publication provides a forum for work that celebrates Edward Gorey’s influence across all genres, featuring up-and-coming artists and writers alongside seasoned professionals. It is an anthology that combines fiction, nonfiction, and poetry with illustration and other forms of art in an ongoing literary journal style format. Though we focus on Gorey's influence, the umbrella encompasses a vast range of styles and formats. Most publications promote only a few of these elements.

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

A: Be familiar with Edward Gorey's work and aesthetic, first of all. Keep in mind that he did not focus primarily on the macabre and the horror-based, but rather the quirky and darkly humorous side of every day life. With that in mind, we accept work that spans a broad spectrum of genre, style, tone, and format. Our guidelines are intentionally loose. Use Gorey's work as inspiration, as a jumping-off point, to produce your own original creations. One more thing: please avoid submitting Gashlycrumb Tinies - inspired alphabet stories and poems. We've reached capacity with those.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: The ideal submission would be a story, poem, piece of artwork or multimedia short that would take Edward Gorey's work as a kernel of inspiration and expand it and twist it into something entirely different and new. Think about what Tim Burton or Lemony Snicket did in their work. They were inspired by Gorey, but they used that inspiration to craft their own distinct visual and narrative style. The ideal submission would accomplish this, and feel as if it was created specifically for our journal.

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

A: They often seem to not have a full understanding of Edward Gorey's work, assuming that he only wrote and illustrated grim and morbid tales. To be sure, there is a bit of that in his repertoire, but we are not looking for pieces that are flat-out horror or gross-out material. We want something a bit more nuanced. We have unfortunately had to reject some excellent writing and artwork because the pieces were just not "Goreyesque" enough.

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

A: We want a brief biographical summary (no more than 50 words) about any publication experience they may have, any relevant education, or anything that tells us why they were drawn to submit to our journal. The work will speak for itself, but we do like to learn a bit about who we are hearing from.

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

A: We do our best to read everything we receive in its entirety. Our editorial staff operates by democratic process, placing votes on each piece, and if a piece is rejected, we almost always discuss the reasoning. As writers ourselves, we understand the frustrations of the submission process, and we do our best to give each piece the consideration we would like to see for our own work.

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

A: Sometimes, if we feel a piece has potential, but isn't quite there, rather than rejecting it outright, we try to work with the author to improve it so that we can ultimately accept it for publication.

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

A: As we receive stories and artwork in our inbox, each of the Goreyesque editors reviews each piece, shares feedback, and places votes. One of my duties is to keep us on track to make sure we reach our deadlines for each issue. We split up tasks of responding to submissions and editing pieces that will ultimately appear on the website. As Editor-in-Chief, I also spend my time on promotional activities (planning social media strategies, coordinating special events, etc.) and talking to authors, publishers, and other publications with whom I would like us to work. We operate on a tiny to non-existent budget, so I have to be creative with ways to spread the word about Goreyesque, entice quality talent, and increase readership. All of the editors, including me, are graduate students at Columbia College Chicago, so we must balance these duties with our ongoing schoolwork.

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

A: As an online-only literary journal, it is essential that Goreyesque embraces modern technologies. We use Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and email to spread news about the journal and its related events. We interact with other editors and journals who also maintain online presences. We have engaged in interviews and podcasts which we are then able to post to our website, retweet, and share via Facebook. Perhaps it is because of my years of marketing experience, but I feel very strongly that all of these elements are critical to the survival of literary journals, especially in an age when print runs, while still important in their own right, have dwindled. Having said that, we hope to one day produce a printed component of Goreyesque, but until then, modern technologies are our friends.