Skip to Content

Editor Interview: Alyss

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

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

A: Works that provoke

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

A: Quaint, Dancing Girl Press, Thank You for Swallowing, Anthropoid, Dreginald, The Fem and Muzzle

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

A: Anne Rice, JK Rowling, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Lucille Clifton, Anne Carson, Eula Biss, Jeanann Verlee, Amy Hempel, Diablo Cody, Tina Fey, Kristen Wiig, Dee Rees

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

A: We honestly try to publish works that aren't similar to what's being published elsewhere.

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

A: Please read prior issues before submitting. That way you'll get a good indication as to what types of work we're into. If you decide we might be a good fit for your home please follow the word and page length restrictions.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: An ideal submission is well crafted, well written, engaging and provokes an emotional response (negative or positive) and deals with a subject matter/POV/technique that we haven't seen a few hundred times before.

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

A: Poets often make the mistake of putting more than one poem on a page. And prose writers often include their names in the header which we discourage as we read blindly.

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

A: We don't read CLs or bios until after we've decided to accept a piece so they don't matter that much in deciding what to publish. However, once we've decided on a piece we try to find out as much info about the author as possible because it's fun to learn about new writers we're excited about.

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

A: You can pretty much tell if a piece is going to work or not in the first few pages/stanzas but I always read all the way through in case there's a surprise. Also, I suffer from a serious case of FOMO so...

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

A: Each piece is read by at least three readers before a decision is made.

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

A: Wake up, work 9 to 5, read a book on the commute home, eat dinner, work on Alyss related stuff (reading subs, assigning subs, website work, etc.) for an hour or two, work on personal writing projects til midnight and then go to sleep.

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

A: Alyss is currently a strictly online publication so we fully embrace all the "modern" technology that goes along with that.