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Editor Interview: Bolts of Silk

This interview is provided for archival purposes. The listing is not currently active.

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

A: poetry with substance

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

A: My favourite poets are: Edwin Morgan and Margaret Attwood

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

A: Bolts of Silk publishes 'beautiful poetry with something to say'. I like to publish poetry that is written with skill and elegance but that has something of substance to it. I like poetry that deals with issues with subtlety, but avoid poetry that rants about these issues.

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

A: Please read the poems already included in Bolts of Silk! Although I'm open to different styles and themes, the existing content gives an idea of what types of poetry I'm most likely to publish.
Please read the submission guidelines!
Please check your spelling!
Include submissions in the body of an email - no attachments please!

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: The ideal submission would include 5 or 6 poems. Each poem would be less than 40 lines, contain vivid language and interesting ideas. There would be some variety in the poems, eg in theme or form. There would be a politely written cover letter.

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

A: Most submitters get it more or less right! I get too many submissions of single poems though.

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

A: I like submissions to include a covering letter. Even a minimalist one is fine, it's just polite rather than sending in a group of poems with not a word of introduction. I do ask for a bio and prefer to know something about the poet rather than just a long list of publication credits.

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

A: I read most poems at least twice. There are some that I know immediately are not right for Bolts of Silk and those may not even get read through, but that is rare.

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

A: I leave a couple of days between my readings of a submission in case my opinion changes. Other than that though there isn't any additional evaluation of a poem.

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

A: Editing Bolts of Silk is just one of the things I do! I tend to read submissions once a week. On the first reading I get an impression of the poem and most will be put to the side to be read again the next week, a few will be rejected at this stage. I don't enter into correspondence about why I reject a poem. On the second reading I try to make a decision, though some poems need even more readings. I try to respond to all submissions within a month.
I post poems at least once a week, sometimes up to three times a week. When I post a poem, I email the URL to the poet for them to check layout (which can alter in email). I add the poet's bio in the comments section under the poem and I add a link to their blog or website to the post too.
I share links to all the poems published on Bolts of Silk via Twitter and have them showing up on my Facebook page too.

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

A: I think new media offers lots of potential to make publishing and marketing easier. It depends on individuals as to how much you take on though. I use Twitter and Facebook to help publicise Bolts of Silk but I don't have a web form for submissions, preferring to use email.