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Editor Interview: The Fictional Café

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

A: Fiction, Poetry and Art

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

A: Poets & Writers
Authors Publish
The Paris Review
Ploughshares
Pierce Press
Dead Darlings
Wheatmark Publishing
Spilled Milk Literary Magazine
Cutlass Press
826 Boston
The Center For Cartoon Studies
SciArt Magazine
The New Yorker

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

A: The Fictional Café is a nonprofit virtual coffee shop and online/print literary magazine that brings people of all backgrounds and cultures together to discuss and enjoy the creative work of our contributing members. We publish all genres of fiction, poetry, fine art, photography, audiobooks and podcasts. Each published piece (we call it "Fresh Java") includes a photo and bio of the creator, with links to his or her website, storefront and social media so our visitors can truly get a sense for who the contributor is and can easily find more of his or her work. Our global community of 800+ members hail from over 50 countries on every continent, making this café one of a kind.

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

A: We accept work on a rolling basis and publish monthly. Each edition includes a fiction piece, a set of poems, visual art and an audiobook or podcast.
Please read our Guidelines for Submissions: https://www.fictionalcafe.com/submit/ for more information.
We jury all submissions as they come in. We appreciate the time and courage it takes to submit and show that appreciation by replying to each submission, even if it is to pass on the person's work, within 30 days. We believe all literary magazines should do the same.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: We love diversity at the Fictional Café! There is no agenda here and no genre or individual we would not consider. Diversity - in work and members - is truly a main goal of our literary magazine.
Please see our Guidelines for Submission for more information: https://www.fictionalcafe.com/submit/

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

A: We love to learn about the person submitting to us! They can send a personal message with their submission if they wish to let us know more about themselves. We always include a bio and a photo (optional) for each person we publish on our site and in our print issue. We are always interested to see what else the submitter has done, so links to previous publications or sites are great.

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

A: All editors read the entirety of each piece before making a decision and believe it unfair to the author to do otherwise. We each then vote and include why we said yes or no. A conversation ensues if we feel the piece warrants discussion based on the voting or an impassioned response by any of the editors.

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

A: I thank those who have submitted that day for sharing their work with us and inform them that we will review their work and get back to them with a decision.
I post work that has been approved, including a featured image that we feel represents the work best (or if the work is art, a favorite image from the set).
I interact with our members on social media and share literary and art posts on our pages.
I confer with other "baristas" who work on the site with me about operational and organizational topics.
I network with other literary magazines and sites in order to meet new people who could become members of our community.
I read or review work that has been submitted and vote on whether or not to accept it (with an explanation of why or why not).

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

A: Generally, we accept pieces as they are. Most of the pieces submitted to us have been edited and proofread by the author and are in their final form. However, when we believe a piece is great but it needs editing of any type, we are happy to work with the author to suggest changes or offer her or him an opportunity to revise their piece. The author always gets to approve final edits - we don't make any changes unless he or she wants them.