Editor Interview: Capricious

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

A: Speculative fiction

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

A: Strange Horizons, Lackingtons, Shimmer, Betwixt, the late, lamented Crossed Genres... there are many.

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

A: China Mieville, Nalo Hopkinson, Ursula Le Guin, Ian R MacLeod, Virginia Woolf and many, many more.

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

A: This isn't original advice but: read previous issues, and read the guidelines. We particularly want literary and experimental speculative fiction, and reject many good stories because they're not consistent with our style. Reading work we've published is the best way to get a sense of what we're looking for.

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

A: Some submitters make obvious errors, like ignoring the word length guidance, or submitting the wrong genre, or abusing the editor in the cover letter (yes, this has happened!), but they're rare. Most rejections are made either because the writing is not strong enough, or because the style is not a good fit for Capricious. So no easy advice here, just work on your writing, and read some previous issues before you submit to give you a sense of what we publish.

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

A: We ask for a little autobiographical information - a bio, or a cover letter, or a link to the writers' website. That's really just a personal preference, to know a little about who I'm contacting when accepting a story. Publication credits can add to that, but they're far from essential - and we've published great work by writers with minimal publication history.

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

A: It varies hugely. Sometimes I know after reading the first paragraph that it won't be a good fit (though I'll normally read at least a couple of pages anyway). With other stories, I might read several times, make some notes and ask for a second opinion before making a final decision.

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

A: Editing varies a lot from story to story, but is generally done with a relatively light touch. If a story needs substantial plot reworking, we won't accept it - but we will also sometimes go beyond line editing to encourage consistency within a story. Authors absolutely have the right to approve or reject edits (the only caveat is that if I spot an obvious typo or similar just before releasing the issue, I'll use my discretion in correcting it).