Editor Interview: Sonic Boom

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

A: Leave our senses deranged

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

A: We love work published by Otoliths, shufPoetry, Literary Orphans, Yellow Chair Review, A Hundred Gourds, Bones, The Other Bunny, Jaggery, and lots more!

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

A: Too many to list! But if we had to choose, Emily Dickinson, T. S. Eliot, Charles Bernstein, Walt Whitman, Kamala Das, Rankit Hoskote, Nissim Ezekiel, Cummings, and so on.

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

A: Sonic Boom is open to publishing material in a variety of genres. This helps us in breaking genre distinctions and giving our readers something palatable to their own literary sensibilities.

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

A: Please read our back issues! That's very important, and cannot be stressed enough. We want literary gems that are memorable and accessible to a large audience.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: Someone who has read the current issue, written a neat and simple cover letter, adhered to the submission guidelines, and has submitted work that we wish to accept instantly! Meticulous submissions and a great personality are some of the things that we are drawn to! And, please let your work/piece speak for itself.

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

A: We have grown weary of submitters who send us work that is far, far removed from our aesthetic. For instance, if you've never written a haiku or a tanka before, it's advisable to check out the kind of contemporary poems (haiku) we publish! The 5-7-5 three liners are NOT haiku.

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

A: A cover letter sets the tone for the rest of your submission. It shows us that you took the time to introduce yourself to us, and we greatly appreciate it! Although a veritable list of publication credits is pretty awesome, we will still align our editorial process and decision according to the pieces you send us during that particular submission cycle.

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

A: If it's fiction, and we spot numerous grammatical errors or misspelled words even before we get to the good part/s, it immediately sours our mood. Poetry, on the other hand, is something that we always read through carefully and ruminate on for a few days before we decide it's not a good fit for the issue/journal.

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

A: As editors, we never claim to be infallible or serve our readers the gospel truth. Our decisions are very largely subjective, as is the case with most other publications. Each issue, consciously or unconsciously, is put together keeping in mind the overall aesthetic. If we receive a substantial amount of experimental pieces, we might have to reject the ones that don't quite fit in. Acceptance solely depends on the quality of a piece. If we are drawn to it, and find ourselves quoting lines, or replaying a scene or an image in our minds all day long for the next several weeks, and we gloat over how proud we are to showcase your work, you'll see us do a happy dance!

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

A: It can best be described in the list below:
1. Open inbox.
2. Sort submissions into poetry, fiction, and art.
3. Acknowledge receipt of all new submissions.
4. Save them in the respective folders.
5. Allow them to marinate for a day.
6. Do a cursory reading of all submissions.
7. Sort them into definite acceptances, the maybe pile, and the rejection pile.
8. Agonize over a comma for the next few days.
9. And so it goes.

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

A: Modern technology has made it more viable for us to grow as a community and constantly bounce ideas off each other. We become more aware of publishing opportunities through calls for submissions groups, are able to follow our fellow writer friends and their recently published books, get in touch with journal editors via social networking sites, and so much more. By allowing ourselves to embrace what the current indie scene has to offer, I think we would only be benefiting to a great extent.