Skip to Content

Editor Interview: Spilling Cocoa Over Martin Amis

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

A: Comedy poetry

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

A: I must admit I don’t read a lot of online poetry or journals. I’m quite fond of Dreich, which has a good mix of styles. And Defenestration, the humour website.

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

A: I come from the performance poetry / spoken word scene, so my tastes reflect this. People like Salena Godden, Rachel Pantechnicon, Dandy Darkly, John Hegley and Ivor Cutler.

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

A: Spilling Cocoa is an almost daily dose of comedy poetry. I don’t know how many other comedy poetry sites there are, but we try to provide a poetic laugh every day.

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

A: Be funny, but don’t be mean or racist or hurtful towards other people or groups. Don’t worry too much about the style, it’s the content that matters!

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: The ideal submission will just make me laugh! And I’m hoping that it does the same for other people.

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

A: I don’t think there’s a wrong way of going about it. Although I do get a lot of serious poetry which people send ‘on the off-chance’.

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

A: All I care about are the poems themselves. So people can write anything in the submission letter. Long lists of previous publications are OK but I don’t really know much about other publications, so they wont mean much!

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

A: I read every piece to the end. You can usually tell immediately if it wont suit the site.

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

A: Just the effect a piece has on me as a reader.

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

A: I usually save submissions for one day, usually a Sunday morning. I then read everything that has come in and send emails out, then work on the site. I schedule the posts for the coming week. As I am a spoken word artist who tours and performs regularly, I don’t have a huge amount of time just to spend on Spilling Cocoa matters.

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

A: I think the internet is the perfect form for Spilling Cocoa as it allows poems to be shareable on social media platforms. Personally, I do like an actual paper book to hold, but I know that there are environmental factors, and anyway, I’ve got too many books!

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

A: I do look at spelling and the position of the lines, but I don’t touch the content of a poem as that’s individual to the writer.

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

A: Not at the moment. I wouldn’t want to single out one or two poets of the many who we publish.