Editor Interview: Theaker's Quarterly Fiction

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

A: Short fiction we like.

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

A: McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Black Static, Interzone.

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

A: Michael Moorcock, Diana Wynne Jones, Michael Chabon, Jack Vance, Catherynne M. Valente, Rhys Hughes.

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

A: We have a lot of experience of working with writers, and do our best to treat their work with respect. Contributors earn our lifelong gratitude.

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

A: I like stories about ideas. I want to read something I haven't read before.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: A story I wish I'd been able to write.

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

A: Simultaneous submissions make me very unhappy.

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

A: I ask writers to supply a bio with the submission so that I don't have to chase one up when typesetting, but previous credits don't really matter to us. I'm very wary of submissions that are just attachments to empty emails, since in the past they've turned out to be plagiarists.

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

A: We generally read everything to the end, but if it becomes apparent in a long piece that the story would require more work to be rendered publishable than we're willing to put in, we'll stop reading at that point.

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

A: We have a monthly editorial meeting to discuss submissions.

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

A: I email submissions to the Kindle and read them in bed, making notes and sorting them into Accept and Reject folders. When I'm putting an issue together, I stop reading the subs and my co-editor takes over.

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

A: Our magazine wouldn't exist without the internet. For one thing, Duotrope has been an invaluable source of submissions! Our goal has always been to make the magazine sustainable, to keep it going, and services like Lulu, Feedbooks, Google Docs and Blogger have been invaluable, allowing us to distribute it widely without incurring any costs. The magazine is regularly downloaded by a couple of thousand people, and yet we spend no time on post-publication admin, no time on mailings.