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Editor Interview: Interstellar Flight Press

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

A: Small Speculative Books

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

A: Tor, Erewhon Books, CLASH Books, Crone Girls Press, Small Beer Press, Dzanc Books

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

A: Margaret Atwood, Kazuo Ishiguro, Kelly Link, Edward Hirsch, Cixin Liu, Yoon Ha Lee, Nnedi Okorafor, Ursula Le Guin, Sofia Samatar, Amelia Grey, Ted Chiang, Kazuo Ishiguro, Margaret Atwood, Ken Liu, Sabrina Orah Mark, J.R.R. Tolkien, Virginia Woolf, Audre Lorde, and Rita Dove.

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

A: We're one of the few SFF publications with a nonfiction magazine that publishes pop culture reviews, interviews, and essays. We publish small books such as short story collections, novellas, poetry collections, and chapbooks.

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

A: For the press, we love strange and experimental works, but also works that deal with SFF tropes in new ways. For the magazine, we're seeking essays on any speculative genre from horror to fantasy to science fiction in books, movies, comics, and games.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: Most of the works we've accepted stood out from the slush pile because they had a focused theme or story, a well-written and believable premise, and some overlap as far as intersectionality goes.

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

A: For the press, we don't accept submissions outside of our submission calls. For the magazine, we often get pitches that aren't about speculative genres. We only publish science fiction, fantasy, or horror genres (or works that would fit into the umbrella of "speculative" works.)

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

A: We ask authors to send us a cover letter with a bio and any links to their social media. We don't necessarily care if you've been published before, although we do aim to publish the best up-and-coming authors in SFF today.

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

A: This varies, but is ultimately up to the discretion of our slush readers. Some prefer to read a whole piece and some prefer to read just the first few pages. We don't require our slushers to read an entire piece. If it doesn't grab us right away, we probably won't be interested.

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

A: For the press, most of our submissions are reviewed by a slush reader, then bumped to the managing editor. If we're working with a guest editor, they receive 5-10 of the final submissions for reading. Then, the decision to publish is a collaborative effort between the managing editor and guest editor.

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

A: So. Many. Emails. I probably respond to over 30-40 emails a day, from submissions to volunteers to writers to marketing.

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

A: We utilize a lot of online tech for our process, but we want to reduce any cost on our authors. So we use a form for our submissions, but process them through email. This reduces the cost of unnecessary submission software. All of our books are print on demand. This is less wasteful than traditional publishing. And lately we've been getting into doing online launch events for authors.

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

A: This depends on the piece. For a magazine essay, there may be limited editing. But a full-length book will likely receive a developmental edit and copyedits if needed. We always work with our authors on edits and they have the ultimate say. We consider publishing to be a collaborative process.

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

A: Yes! Our works have been nominated for awards like the SFPA Elgin Award, HWA Bram Stoker Awards, and we also nominate for independent publisher awards.