Editor Interview: Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores

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

A: We're seeking to include writers from all over the world, and will publish stories in English and the original language. We're looking for traditional storytellers, hoping to do podcasts and videos of storytelling. We illustrate all our stories, give feedback on all submissions, are planning some special projects (details to follow), and want factual articles and interviews as well. We accept reprints -- if a story is good when it's first printed, it's good years, decades, or centuries later too. Also, subscribers have continued access to the year's stories for as long as we continue to publish.

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

A: Write what you love, edit it thoroughly, and read our submission guidelines and the stories we publish.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: The ideal submission makes me forget I’m an editor and I just read it for the sheer joy of it; the story gives me new perspectives and experience, energizes me on some level.

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

A: Not adding our addresses to their address book to avoid their spam filters blocking our emails to them, and not paying attention to what our guidelines say we're looking for.

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

A: I want to judge the story on its own merits -- I don’t want to see information about past publications, awards, or any life experience unrelated to the story. If we accept their story, then we’ll want a bio to publish with it.

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

A: Sometimes I can tell within the first few sentences, but even if the story is definitely not for us I’ll at least skim it through to the end so I can give coherent feedback to the writer

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

A: A reader may be the first to read it. They'll leave comments and ratings for the editors. If they especially like a story, they may bring it to the attention of the editor or assistant editor. If the editors like it they’ll suggest it to me. But we all read, so it’s not a straight-line process. Sometimes we ask each other for feedback because we're not certain about a story.

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

A: One the one hand -- Gaaaaaaaaaaaaah! – there’s so much to do. On the other hand it’s like sifting through a trunk up in the attic, looking for treasures that, when you find them, may transport you to a whole new world.

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

A: I think it depends on one’s goals and resources. It’s easier, faster, and cheaper to reach people, and larger numbers of people, with words, video, and audio through the internet. But holding a physical book or magazine provides a kind of experience and long-term preservation the computer screen cannot. I think the two forms complement each other.

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

A: Sometimes we only change a word or two, sometimes the story is appealing but needs work. Certain types of issues we’ll ask the writer to work on, others it’s better if we do. But we expect writers to have put in all the serious effort they can to start with; we won’t go through the process if a piece seems lazily written. Authors absolutely have approval over the final edits.