Skip to Content

Editor Interview: Galley Beggar Press

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

A: Quality literary fiction

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

A: Influx Press, Tramp Press, &Other Stories, Bluemoose, Biblioasis, Scribe, Melville House, Pushkin Press, Peirene, CB Editions, Dead Ink, Tilted Axis, BookThug and loads more.

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

A: Denis Johnson, Ben Fountain, Jeanette Winterson, Penelope Lively, James Baldwin, Ernest Hemingway, Salman Rushdie, Raymond Carver, Lawrence Durrell, Charles Dickens, Anthony Powell, AS Byatt, Penelope Fitzgerald, F Scott Fitzgerald, JG Ballard, Ford Madox Ford, Jean Rhys, John Le Carre, John Steinbeck, Angela Carter, Anthony Burgess, PG Wodehouse, Beryl Bainbridge, HG Wells, Joseph Heller, Don Delillo, Joseph Conrad, EL Doctorow, Jan Morris, Franz Kafka, Mary Renault, Malcolm Lowry, Geoff Dyer, William Golding, Proust, Virginia Woolf, Charles Portis, Saint-Exupery, Anne Proulx, Joseph Conrad, Chimamanda Adichie, Mario Levrero

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

A: We like to think that we don't really publish similar material to anyone else. Our books are all unlike.

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

A: Make sure you know what we are about. Read our books, see if you like them. If you do, you might fit in with us.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: A barnstorming, uncompromising world-changing work of genius... Something that gets the hairs on the back of the neck lifting. A book that does something new with words... (The truth is that it's actually very hard to describe the ideal submission because part of what we hope for is to be surprised.)

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

A: They submit books that aren't likely to interest us or our readers. Our advice is to try to do your best to understand our list and our writers before submitting. If you like their work, hopefully we'll be on a similar wavelength.

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

A: Cover letters can be useful. And publication credits can help - but ultimately we're interested in the current work.

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

A: It varies from book to book. We try to give every book a fair reading. Sometimes you can tell quite quickly. More often it takes time.

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

A: Both co-directors have to read and love it.

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

A: My day is busy!
When we look at submissions, we make a series of decisions about which ones we need to read in detail and print off... It can often be hard saying no to books that are good but don't quite fit our list. But it's joyful when we do find the ones that we love and have to publish.

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

A: It all depends on the technology. If it's worth embracing, go for it. But our bedrock is quality paper books.

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

A: An author will get to approve edits. How many edits there are is entirely dependent on the book. But we like to work closely with out writers if we feel it will help their work.

Q: Do you nominate work you've published for any national or international awards?

A: Yes.