Editor Interview: Corvid Queen

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

A: Feminist fairy tales.

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

A: I'm a big fan of Moonchild Magazine, Memoir Mixtapes, Bone & Ink Press, and Luna Luna! These teams consistently publish incredibly interesting writing. They have so much passion for their work and they're so kind to their writers and readers.

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

A: Unlike many magazines of our size, we're a paying market! We pay a $5 honorarium for each accepted piece.

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

A: It's a bit of a cliche, but I'd recommend at least browsing the magazine first. If you're submitting a fairy tale retelling, read the other retellings we've published based on that source material. I'm always open to new takes on a familiar story, but I have declined pieces before because they were too similar to pieces we already had.

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

A: We get a lot of submissions while our reading period is closed. Definitely check the Corvid Queen site to make sure we're accepting submissions.

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

A: Our submission form has a space for writers to tell us a bit about themselves. I don't need a formal cover letter, but I do like to get a better sense of who the writers are, beyond their professional bio. I especially love to hear about their personal connection to fairy tales, and what other books or magazines they're currently enjoying. Previous publication credits don't matter at all; we're proud to be the very first publication for a few of our writers.

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

A: I can generally tell if a piece isn't a good fit for us in the first few paragraphs, but I read every piece to the end. Because Corvid Queen is all online and has rolling submissions and publications, I'm not constrained by having to layout pieces for pieces or select pieces for a themed issue. I try not to publish too many takes on the same source material close together, but overall I have a lot of freedom to consider each submitted piece on its own.

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

A: I work a 9 to 5, so I tend to do my editorial work late at night. I like to keep submission response times short, so I block off a couple hours each week to read new submissions, send response emails, schedule accepted pieces, and prep upcoming posts.

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

A: It's very important! I can't imagine using a mail-in submission system; our electronic system is easy and fast for writers to use and for me to organize. (I highly recommend Airtable, for any publisher who hasn't tried it.) I enjoy creating print publications and having a tangible object to hold, but I find digital publications to be simpler for publishers and more accessible for readers.

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

A: It depends on the piece. Sometimes I publish as-is, sometimes I make simple grammatical or stylistic changes, and sometimes I work with the writer on substantial revisions. In the last case, I'll let the writer know to expect a lot of questions and suggestions. Writers always have the chance to approve the final edits.

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

A: We nominate work for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net.