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Editor Interview: Bold + Italic

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

A: Every literary form.

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

A: There are numerous, but obviously, noone’s going to miss ‘Poetry’, ‘Agenda’, ‘The Poetry Review’, ‘No Tokens’, ‘Ploughshares’ and numerous others. Also, specifically, when it comes to poetry and that for youngsters, The Poetry Society (UK) has a wonderful ‘Young Poets Network’, which I admire more than anything else right now.

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

A: Coming to writing, I have a thing for historical fiction and gothic elements, and very fortunately, in our first issue, we had a submission of this kind from Kat Devitt, who now kindly helps me edit magazine’s prose. In poetry, there are numerous names, including Agha Shahid Ali, Kathryn Maris, Shara Lessley, Lisa Stice and William Wordsworth (an extended list of names is available on our website). We have Maris’ poems in our Issue 02, and also Lisa Stice has helped edit poetry for Issue 03. To add to it, poetry that defines the ideas of place is certainly a personal favourite.
As for art, there are a few recent favourites — Jana Heidersdorf, and some others; and we loved having Yoko Kubrick in our very first issue.

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

A: There’s so much that could separate us from others, but above all else, there’s this taste we have (that you’ll have to look for yourself) that sets us apart.

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

A: Send us your best edited pieces, because those are the ones that have been loved by you even after all the grilling and trimming — certainly, those have to be your best at the moment.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: One that comes in with a little cover letter mentioning the titles of pieces submitted, and a 40-50 word bio. Nothing else! (well, except for the ‘.doc’ file)

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

A: We aren’t usually sent the titles of the pieces submitted to us, and which makes arranging the files a bit tougher.

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

A: We prefer having a little cover letter, only to help us with titles. We hardly bother about previous publication credits — we’ve published a few writers for their very first time already.

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

A: It can be said whether we’ll keep a piece or not by just the first few lines too, but there’s always a wish to be proved wrong, which makes us read every piece until the end.

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

A: Because there’s only limited space — we publish 10 poets, 2-3 prose writers and an artist (we’re planning to introduce book reviews soon too) — there comes a bit of mess while we go for final selections. For prose, Kat decides which will be the final pieces, while I do that for poetry, but as it is, no work is done alone; all the editors are always in touch regarding specific pieces.
For me, the pieces that win the final places are the ones that just stay with us for quite a while, just more than the others do.

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

A: I usually sleep with a novel, a poetry book, and my diary with me. The diary has the names of the submitters and their pieces of work. The novel these days is Miriam Darlington’s ‘Owl Sense’, the poetry collection is Willa Carrol’s ‘Nerve Chorus’ — my days begin with reading a few pages from each. After which I get on with Gmail read several submissions, mark which pieces to simply reject, and which to keep for further reading. And it’s later in the month that I again select 4-5 pieces from all the ‘to be read again’ ones. So, sometimes the days are just hectic — more so when the writers submitting to us don’t know what they’re submitting (yes, it’s quite a common phenomenon!)

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

A: In a few words, these are quite, quite important for “better reach”, which is always necessary.

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

A: There’re are certain formats that are impossible to keep online, and only that is where we (must) make some changes. Else, it’s the writer’s cut; and they, obviously, get to approve the final edits every time.

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

A: Yes, we do! We nominated some writing for Pushcart Prize this time, and we’re looking forward to nominating some for Best of the Net too.