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Editor Interview: K'in Literary Journal

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

A: Diverse, literary

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

A: A Gathering of the Tribes, Superstition Review, DoveTales, Apogee, publications with a social conscience interested in the role art can play in addressing injustice and inequity, publications that give voice to those too often denied that opportunity.

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

A: I don't want to speak to just my own favorites. K'in has a socially engaged and diverse editorial staff, so this list would reflect that range.

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

A: We're willing to take risks, I guess, on the work, nontraditional, experimental. We're also willing to take risks on first-time writers. Our Young Writers section holds space for a diverse range of young voices from across the globe.

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

A: Follow the guidelines. Read previous issues. Don't be afraid to take a risk, in content, in structure. Be mindful of the fact that we're seeking quality work and a diverse range of underrepresented and/or marginalized voices and experiences.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: All the technical stuff: Follows the guidelines. Demonstrates an understanding and control of the craft of the genre submitted. Demonstrates an understanding and control of pacing, tension, voice, and sensory detail. Is error free in terms of mechanics and grammar.
In terms of content, we're looking for work with real heart, humanity, interested in the range of individual experience. But we understand that human experience doesn't always follow the rules, or fit in a box, so we love writing that that blurs the lines between forms or. genre.

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

A: In all of the genres, we see work that struggles with a lack of tension, a lack of that final emotional payoff for the reader. As writers ourselves, the editors all believe that we write for ourselves, but we revise for the reader. Too often it feels like the work hasn't yet been pushed to that final revision where the stakes for the reader are refined and delivered.

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

A: A standard fifty-word bio is fine, but we would like a sentence or two on how the writer sees their work fitting K'in's aesthetic and ethos.

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

A: Every piece submitted to us is read and considered by multiple readers, including at least two genre editors. We read all submissions to the end, just in case there's an unearthed gem that might emerge with a little editing.

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

A: Genre editors, in partnership with the editor-at-large, in the final stages before acceptance, all reread the short list for each issue, discussing all final acceptances. We may consider asking for minor edits, and if so, both genre editors work with the writers on these requests. Our amazing Young Writers editors work more often directly with those accepted for that section, again, with minor edits, but also to make sure the submissions and writers' bios adhere to the guidelines set out by the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.

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

A: We read year-round, online, via Submittable. All of our editors do so without compensation, and in addition to their full-time jobs, so it's a labor of love. As Editor-at-Large, I read everything, all genres, so submissions for K'in are an ongoing part of my daily and weekly schedules. I tend to work on a genre at a time, reading for several hours at a sitting, making notes for the genre editors, as well as coaching our K'interns. We will often make notes to ourselves, or to alert other editors, to come back to a work for a second or third, or even fourth read. We also have a private editorial discussion group for all of the staff where we regularly share questions or insights. It's always the best when an editor is really excited about a submission and virtually jumps up and down in the group, telling us all to go read it :-)

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

A: I'm pretty sure if I polled my staff, to a person, they would say they preferred a physical book. Having said that, though, we love the reach and read possible now because of modern technology, the increased accessibility for everyone, for us as editors, and for readers, for an audience that may not be inclined or able to purchase literary journals. I personally remember being a poor undergrad, sitting on the floor in Barnes & Noble, reading litmags because I could only afford to buy one every now and then. So I'm glad that technology has made good writing accessible to a much wider audience. For K'in specifically, this technological access is crucial, given that we're seeking to provide a space for voices from all over the world.

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

A: We seldom do substantive editing, preferring work that is more polished and publish-ready. We have, however, at times, worked with writers on what I would consider more minor editing, like smoothing awkwardness in phrasing or sentencing, clarification of time or movement through adequate use of transitions, or copy-editing and proofreading. The author approves all edits prior to publication.

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

A: We submit nominations for Pushcart and Best of the Net.