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Editor Interview: Cervená Barva Press

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

A: Strong voice

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

A: White Pine Press, Hanging Loose, Gargoyle, MadHat Press, Glass Lyre Press, Ibbetson, Graywolf Press, CavanKerry Press, Unlikely Stories, Nixes Mate Books, Muddy River Poetry Review, Writing in a Woman's Voice, spoKe and so many more. I am not listing everyone but I admire anyone publishing magazines and books bringing work out into the world.

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

A: Neruda, Celan, Allegria, Pessoa, Agosin, Forche, Raphael Alberti, Rilke, Amichai, Ritsos, Milosz, Transtromer, Vallejo, Alan Dugan, Stella Vinitchi Radulescu

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

A: All types of work is published.

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

A: Follow the guidelines, send clean manuscripts, send completed manuscripts

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: Clean and completed manuscript, organized, and a strong voice. Poetry or fiction that takes risks and surprises me.

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

A: Not following the guidelines

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

A: Publication credits do not matter to me. What matters is the work itself. I do not care about how many publications or awards a writer has. If a writer lists it in a cover letter, it does not make a difference.

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

A: I read all the poetry. For fiction, if it is interesting and written well, I read the whole manuscript. If it does not grab my attention after 3 chapters, I reject it. If it is written badly with horrible grammar and spelling, it is rejected.

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

A: I can only accept so many manuscripts so it has to be really good writing for me to accept it.

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

A: I now solicit poetry and fiction manuscripts only. When I have a open reading period for chapbooks, I read them and separate ones I like. From there, I read them again and pick the top 10 or 15 manuscripts. I read again and then decide what I will publish. At times, I have guest readers pick the fiction chapbooks. I have to agree though before it is accepted. I give every manuscript my full attention. Writers put a lot of work into their manuscripts.

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

A: It is good to keep up with modern technology. Electronic submissions make responses faster. Social networking is good for book publicity, and you can reach more people.
I have corresponded with so many publishers and writers through social media. It is really wonderful.
POD is more economical because publishing books is expensive plus this avoids storage problems. You can order books when you need them. POD has gotten better over the years and the books look great. When it first started, I went through a few different POD companies because I was not happy with the way the books looked. Now I am happy with who I use.

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

A: I expect perfect manuscripts when I get them so I do not have to edit. I reject manuscripts that aren't edited when they arrive. If I see a few things which I feel could be better, I talk to the author about it and it is changed.
The author always proofs their manuscript. Many authors aren't good at this which is frustrating.

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

A: I nominate writers every year for The Pushcart Prize, The MA book Award (if they are a MA author), Pulitzer and other awards.