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Editor Interview: Wanderlust: Travel Journals

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

A: 1st Person travel essays

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

A: My reading focus is split between travel mags such as Overland Journal, Medium, Land Rovers Classic, and various snippets that show up online through friends. For print journals, I turn to Green Mountain, Hunger Mountain, Tahoma Review and Upstreet. For presses, I love Santa Fe Writer's Project, Red Hen, Two Dollar, and UNM Press.

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

A: My personal favourite writers these days are moving towards the great poets such as Patricia Smith and Eileen Myles, and for fiction, I've turned to Pam Houston, Lidia Yuknavitch, Connie May Fowler, Trinie Dalton, Julianna Baggott, Ann Davila Cardinal, Wendy C Ortiz.
Travel writers are more challenging to find, for me, but there's Tiffany Coates who is the most inspirational solo motorcyclist constantly travelling the world and I only wish she'd write down her experiences but her photographs are incredibly inspiring. Sam Manicon, Carla King, other wanderers who write.

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

A: We're focused on first person literary travel experiences that are well written, unique experiences, deeply rooted in an appreciation of people and places, known and unfamiliar. That's all we do. We have a simple style and website aesthetic that is clear of adverts or clutter. Each contributor has that solo focus on their work.

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

A: It's said all the time but I have to repeat the advice to read the publication first. We're pretty consistent in style and format. The website has clear instructions and explanations of what we offer and how we publish. Sign up for the updates and a monthly newsletter if you'd like to make it easier on yourself. It amazes me that people submit and once accepted ask questions about well, how do we find you, when are you in print, etc. Those answers are on the submissions and in the guidelines. If you don't know what we're doing, why are you submitting to us?

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: The ideal: A sense of curiousity and openness that takes the reader along with the traveler, a story that connects us across cultures and expectations, a discovery of incredible landscapes.
Text and photos combined to give a sense of place that you makes the reader smile and dream of visiting one day.

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

A: That if we ask for open editing and make suggestions, we'd do the work for them. "Go ahead and edit as you want," is the msiguided response. We don't have the time or energy for that given the low cost submission fees. Perhaps though it's something that other publications offer for an extra fee?

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

A: We tend to read the work first and then if it fits, we look at the cover letter for a sense of the person, intentions, experiences. We get a lot of highly published and educated writers, probably as that's who we've marketed the publication to. Given our experiences as travellers, each of the editors has their own network and that brings in more well-travelled contributors with less publication history.

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

A: We publish shorter work of 75-1500 words. We read the whole piece and then decide to ask for edits or other stories if we like the style but not the content.

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

A: As the main editor, I have it pretty easy these days. Quite the idyllic writer's life. Living in an off grid cabin in rural New Mexico, the days start with coffee, dog walks, and then to check submissions and emails. I start by responding to queries and website issues first. Then to social media and checking in that our publication is connected to sharing as widely as possible. There's always a small hiccup somewhere in those processes. The reading of submissions is my favourite part. As an experienced solo traveller from Europe, I love diving into other peoples' experiences exploring. Most of the work inspires me. And that's the goal for the website. To inspire curiousity.
When a piece is accepted, then it's time for line edit/proof reading, and formatting for the web. Look for photos, mostly from my own travels if they're not included in the submissions. Schedule a post that fits with the others, making sure to give a variety in tone or destination each week, link to social media, add the hash tags and categories to make it easier for readers to search the site.
More coffee.
Another walk with Harold and Rosie.

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

A: We depend on tech. Websites. Social Media. POD. Networking. We reach a global audience and we couldn't do it any other way.

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

A: Pretty basic proofreading and edits for the website. Detailed work on the Best of 2019 Anthology print.