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Editor Interview: El Portal

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

A: transformative and moving

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

A: Split Lip, Button Poetry, and Tolsun Books are each offer unique perspectives and gut-wrenching insights on emotion.

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

A: I admire Sabrina Benaim, Jane Austen, Sarah Bessen, and Jandy Nelson for their real-life perspectives on the constitution of marriage, depression, anxiety, and other real emotions/situations readers can relate to.

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

A: We are open to a wide range of styles, perspectives, and genres. However, we are quite primarily seeking work that opens new doors for ourselves and our readers. We seek real, raw, and resilient writing that unveils a new identity for both the author and the reader. What sets us apart is our versatility and purpose to open the door that lays between history and the future.

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

A: Don't be afraid to submit what you normally probably wouldn't.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: The ideal submission is something new, raw, emotional, and strongly-voiced. It's anything from educational to emotionally-driving. As long as it features passion and impact, it's more than ideal.

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

A: I would probably say response times. We have certain cut-off dates from one semester to the next. It can vary based on our timeline's demand. We are reading them, but our response and decision times may not be as quickly as some may hope.

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

A: Yes, I would prefer to have a short cover letter rather than just the submission itself. Perhaps explain why you've chosen to send these pieces to us. Previous publications are not as important as the reason for submission to our journal specifically.

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

A: For poetry, we read the entire poem. For prose of fiction, we only read the first two or three pieces to get a feel for whether it's right for our publication.

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

A: Pieces will go through the assistant editor and the head editor before being officially accepted. Evaluations will include the piece's unique contribution, emotional drive, and purpose.

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

A: Because I'm a Graduate Assistant, I take time to read for an hour or two every day. When I do, I read in silence to maintain a focused perspective. I like to have hot tea to relax and focalize my mind so that I fully understand and embrace the submission. Last night, I read a submission that made me cry. I value that clear head space and silence to really feel the passionate work we receive.

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

A: I think it's incredibly important to embrace modern technologies in a technology-focused world. Going to social media and other online submission databases/forums allows us to connect to individuals from all around the world. Without this technology, we would not have the diverse range of perspectives and authorships that we do today.

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

A: We rarely edit our pieces. If we do, it is basic proofreading to ensure that the author's intentions are fully captivated and understood by the reader, especially when it comes to poetry or prose. The author always gets the final approval in their piece.

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

A: Unfortunately, we do not. However, this is certainly something I would like to look into potentially starting with our journal. We do, however, feature one submission monthly on our webpage.