Editor Interview: The Commonline Journal

This interview is provided for archival purposes. The listing is not currently active.

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

A: Accessible poetry +

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

A: I find the small DIY publications with a strong community base the most admirable. With that said, many of my favorite publications are in some stage of defunction.

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

A: The Commonline Journal acquired its reputation by publishing short pieces of dirty realism by emerging small press writers and our favorite authors tend to have influences and associations there.

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

A: Read the journal before submitting to gauge Editor proclivities. Be critical of yourself and detail oriented. Send your work in final-draft form. Lead with your best piece and skip the lengthy introductions.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: The ideal submission of poetry is dramatic, graphic, succinct, thoughtful and well-crafted.

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

A: Many writers who seek to appeal to our dirty realist roots often over do the dirty and under do the realism.

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

A: Editors don’t need to know anything beyond what the submission itself reveals.

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

A: Editors read all submissions that adhere to the journal's simple guidelines. In general, it is obvious when a manuscript has been thoughtfully submitted to the journal.

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

A: We first review submissions to ensure that they adhere to our basic submission guidelines. Once a manuscript is read and accepted by the Editor considerations are made with regard to issue placement and the piece is then scheduled for publication.

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

A: It’s obviously important for e-journals, webzines and DIY operations to embrace modern technologies because the medium itself demands that.

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

A: Editors expect that manuscripts submitted to the journal will be in final or near final-draft form. This is especially important for submissions of poetry. The journal copy edits all the work it publishes and rarely makes substantive (content) changes to submitted manuscripts. If Editors do make substantive corrections to a work then authors must approve all changes prior to publication.