Skip to Content

Editor Interview: IHRAM Publishes

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

A: International Activists

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

A: I greatly admire Restless Books for their commitment to publishing international authors, and for supporting immigrant writers through workshops and contests. This small press also revitalizes the classics with new introductions and jaw-dropping illustrations.

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

A: My favorite writers are Casey McQuiston, Warsan Shire, Emily St. John Mandel, Sarah Schulman, and Benjamin Alire Sáenz.

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

A: IHRAF Publishes has a unique set of values: beauty, sincerity, vulnerability, and engagement. We choose work that promotes these values and stays away from anger, hate, or pointing fingers.

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

A: Stay on theme! IHRAF Publishes is a place for literature about human rights, activism, and celebrating diversity. Make sure that your work is a good fit before submitting it for review.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: The ideal submission contains high quality work, is submitted in a Google Doc for easy collaborative editing, and comes from a writer outside of the United States. We are always looking for writers from countries that have not yet been represented in IHRAF Publishes. The ideal submission is evocative, and speaks to the author's personal experience with a human rights issue.

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

A: Occasionally, we will receive submissions in languages other than English. Unfortunately, we can only publish work that is written in English. That being said, we welcome translations, and even have a separate platform to highlight translated works (IHRAF Translates).

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

A: It's important for us to know the author's country of residence so that we can make sure to publish writers from all over the world. We don't ask for cover letters, but we do require a 2-5 sentence biography to publish alongside the works. Writers are encouraged to include previous publication credits in their bios if they have them. However, previous publication is not a requirement -- far from it -- we love to discover new authors, and, when making editorial decisions, prefer to let the works speak for themselves.

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

A: It depends! Sometimes I can tell that the piece is a bad fit within the first few lines, especially when the subject matter does not align with our themes. (For example, we do not publish love poems unless they are tied in some way to human rights.) Other times I will read a piece twice over before making a decision. For an average poetry submission, I read to the end, but I will reject prose before reaching the end if I am confident that it's a bad fit for IHRAF Publishes.

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

A: Works are evaluated only for quality and fit.

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

A: The amount and type of editing required depends on the length of the piece. Poems typically require copy edits and basic proofreading, while longer works, such as essays or short stories, may require line editing as well. If a piece requires substantive editing, we likely will not accept it for publication. The author always has final say -- they can accept or reject all edits, with the exception of grammatical changes and typos.

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

A: IHRAF Publishes is a Pushcart Prize-nominating journal.