Editor Interview: Eyelands Book Awards

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

A: Fiction, Poetry and more!

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

A: I love writing that is refreshingly unique and unpretentiously genuine. There are too many writers I adore; some of them are Vian, Vonnegut, Lispector, Borges, Calvino, Beckett, Prevert, Edson, Foster Wallace but I also love finding literary qualities in non-fiction books, such as the writings of C.G. Jung, for instance.

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

A: Eyelands Book Awards is not just a book competition. Eyelands magazine in collaboration with Strange Days Books has been organising competitions and other writing events (such as Festivals, Book launches, Writing workshops, writers' residency programmes etc) for the past 9 years and this way has steadily created a community of writers and artists, giving the opportunity to people from all around the world to come to contact, create artistic bonds and share their work with a broader audience. We are striving to provide access to a wide range of creative opportunities to all writers that participate in our contests.The grand prize for the published books section is a 5-day holiday in Athens, where winners have the chance to present their work to a Greek audience in a special ceremony. The grand prize for the unpublished section is a publication contract for a Greek translation of their book. All prize winners also win a 50% stipend for 3 Rock Writers' Residency, a writers' resort in a beautiful beach in Southern Crete, where authors are invited to work on a project that will be considered by Strange Days Books for publication. Also, every year's grand prize winner is invited to join our panel of judges and we are very happy to welcome Catherine McNamara (grand prize winner of 2018) as a judge for short story collections this year.

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

A: Eyelands Book Awards is open to all writers and poets, regardless of nationality, age, gender, sexuality etc. The advice I would give is send us your best, something you are really proud of, a book that is well crafted and bears your personal mark as a writer. We love books and we read all submissions with appreciation and genuine interest. We are also writers ourselves and we are aware of the long process and hard work that goes into the making of a book and this is something we always keep in mind when we read submissions.

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

A: We are equally interested in reading an emerging writer's or an established writer's book. But we are also interested in who writers are, what are their interests and their creative profiles. So we like cover letters but ultimately it is their books we are most interested in; we pick the prize winners solely on the merit of their writing.

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

A: We read submissions from beginning to end. As a judge, no matter how perceptive or experienced, one cannot have a full image of the work unless one reads it in full and also a judge owes this to writers who honour the competition with their submission.

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

A: Usually prizes go to books that require minimal or no editing, in terms of style and content, simply because we pick books that we really really like! The books we decide to publish of course go through a process of proofreading and editing prior to publication but we work closely with authors, who always get the last say regarding edits.