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Editor Interview: Oxford Magazine (OxMag)

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

A: shortish cleanish writing

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

A: It's a tough question because our staff rotates annually, but we read genre fiction in addition to the more traditionally literary offerings. Most recently, publications like Booth, PANK, and Paper Darts have got us excited.

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

A: We have a diverse cast of staff readers, and we're very committed to having more than one person read every submission. We try, as much as we can, to allow OxMag to accurately reflect an entire staff's tastes and interests, which can sometimes diverge wildly.

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

A: Don't worry so much about your cover letter. Submittable's layout makes it pretty easy to avoid reading those almost entirely. But outside of that, send us your favorite stuff. We'll give it a good read, or two, or three.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: An ideal submission would definitely be one that doesn't engage with the most prevalent tropes and conventions of its genre/format. We love being surprised, and we hate being able to sort writing into simple categories based on the first few lines/sentences.

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

A: We don't need to know much at all. You don't need to worry about making us laugh or insulting us. Submitting is stressful enough as it is.

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

A: I can't speak for everyone on staff at this point, but I read all of a piece because I'd like to feel that I've made an informed decision rather than an uninformed one.

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

A: We wouldn't exist without the internet. Small creative writing programs sometimes have a difficult time sustaining magazines and journals. The internet allows us to remain pretty nimble and visible even during years when departmental interest wanes. Writers look for opportunities on the internet and they know that's also where a large portion of their potential readership spends a lot of free time. It only makes sense to want to reach an audience wherever it may be hiding.