Editor Interview: FLAPPERHOUSE

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

A: Dark weird sexy funny lit

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

A: The Straddler, The Alarmist, Gigantic Sequins

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

A: Kurt Vonnegut, Dorothy Parker, Jorge Luis Borges, Flannery O’Connor, Franz Kafka, Ishmael Reed, Kelly Link, Roald Dahl, Stanley Kubrick, Tina Fey, Bill Watterson, Robert Anton Wilson, Haruki Murakami, George Saunders, Tom Robbins, Emily Dickinson, Hunter S. Thompson, Louis CK, Gillian Flynn, Neil Gaiman, Junot Diaz, Octavia Butler, Amy Hempel, Richard Brautigan, Karen Russell, MF Doom, Virginia Woolf

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

A: While we enjoy & admire & draw inspiration from other literary publications, our biggest influence is probably HBO.

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

A: Poets: Send us your best rhyming poetry, and your chances of being published in our zine will increase. We receive practically zero rhyming poems, because it seems that modern poets, for the most part, don't care much for end rhyme. But we love good rhyming poetry, and wish we got a lot more of it in our inbox.
Prosers: Send us your best review of an imaginary work, a la Borges' "Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote," and your chances of being published in our zine will increase. Real books/ films/ albums/ etc. are great, but imaginary books/ films/ albums/ etc. don’t get nearly enough critical attention, if you ask us.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: Can be described as surreal, shadowy, sensual, and/or satirical. It throbs with life and wit and colorful details. It exudes tantalizing ambiguity, but the writing itself is clear and precise– not too flowery, yet not pedestrian either. It drags the future back through the past like a rotting donkey on a grand piano.

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

A: Most of our submitters seem like cool people who’ve read our guidelines and have a fair idea of what kind of lit we want. Although sometimes, when we have an exceptionally high number of submissions awaiting our decisions, we kindly ask submitters of declined work to wait about 2 months before submitting again. When such writers then send us more work just a week or a few days or even a few minutes later, we tend to get a little cranky. It’s not that we don’t appreciate the enthusiasm; it’s just that we often only have so much time and so many eyeballs to read submissions.

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

A: We don’t mind receiving bios from submitters, but we try not to read them before we read the submission. Then after we read someone’s bio, if we think they seem particularly interesting, we might google them to learn more. Of course, what we learn about a submitter doesn’t really influence our decision to accept or decline their work, but it might influence us to follow them on Twitter.

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

A: We read every submission from beginning to end at least twice, unless the work is splattered with careless errors and lazy writing, in which case we’ll only read it once.

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

A: We’ll do our best to make sure a piece hasn’t already been published before we accept it. We forgot to do that once, and later found out some poetry we accepted had already been posted online. We let it slide that one time, but it’s haunted us ever since.

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

A: We get submissions every day, and I try to read each one as soon as I can. Some pieces tell me very quickly whether they're right for FLAPPERHOUSE or not, and I decide to accept or decline those all by myself. Many other pieces, however, are not so quick to tell me whether they're right for us, and I forward those pieces to our esteemed Editorial Consultant, who then tells me whether a piece should or should not be in FLAPPERHOUSE. He's usually right.

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

A: We embrace modern technologies lovingly, tenderly, yet with a touch of restraint, like an old flame we’re still very good friends with.