Editor Interview: pioneertown

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

A: feel.make.rinse.repeat.

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

A: Split Lip, Thoughtcrime Press, Meekling Press, Sundog Lit, MUSE /A Journal, The Offing, Funhouse, HTMLGiant, Synaesthesia Mag, Two Dollar Radio, YesYes Books, Dryland Lit, NOÖ, matchbook, Conjunctions, Graywolf, STORY magazine, featherproof, Dancing Girl Press, and any journal/mag/press that figures out how to do something we didn't even know we wanted.

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

A: so.many.people are so.damn.good we can't choose favorites. we love to love writers and love even the ones we hate.

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

A: we don't specify genre.
we let work speak for itself.
we embrace the uncomfortable.
we want to learn.
we need to feel things.
we like emerging writers.
we edit work!
we support our writers.
we pay.
we care so much it (sometimes)hurts.

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

A: read what we publish, or don't. everyone's time is limited and there are too many good journals/writers/pieces of art to spend hours engaging with things you don't want to. go outside, have experiences and regrets. read what makes your work better and more like itself. and then send us your best. even if it's not for us we are honored to read it and send all the good vibes.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: short, strange, full of instinct and emotion, walks a line we can't define.

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

A: sending us traditional short stories. we love them and appreciate them and enjoy reading them, but without some sort of edge in style/content/form, it's probably not for us.

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

A: if you bought us a drink at a bar, let us know. if you've submitted before, remind us. sometimes publication credits help us sift through the piles, sometimes they don't matter at all. sometimes we look you up on social media, sometimes we don't. mostly, we want to read your work.

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

A: depends. if we get short work we read it all. if it's longer, sometimes we have to make a decision based on a couple of pages but those pages always include the first and last two.

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

A: we do our best to make sure the work is, in fact, previously unpublished.

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

A: i limit myself to the number of submissions i read each day, and of course take days "off" to do things like work on my own writing, focus on other creative projects, and get out into the world to live a little. but the reading limit is in place mostly because it's not fair to our submitters if they are rejected due to fatigue or efforts to blast through submissions for the sake of clearing our inbox. also, we actually edit work. i used to teach creative writing to undergrads and editing work was one of the best parts of the job. it's exciting as an editor (and writer) to encounter writing that can be better, that has something different and exciting if only pushed and pulled in a few other directions. unfortunately (though understandably), so many journals don't have the time or resources to edit work, but if i get a submission that excites me in some way, i don't mind spending a few hours with it and going back and forth with the writer. sometimes that slows response time down for others, but it's an important part of the literary community.

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

A: it's incredibly important, but there are so many ways to do it. the best you can do is keep up with the new stuff, embrace the old stuff, and figure out how to make it all work together for yourself and the work you publish.

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

A: we've already touched on this, but as with most things it varies. we love editing if the work could benefit from it, but are just as happy to have a perfectly packaged piece fall into our laps. writers always get final approval. it is their work - their hearts, minds, souls, imaginations on the page - and we never want to take away from that.