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Editor Interview: Fixator Press

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

A: Free-verse/experimental

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

A: There are a host of underground publications I have admired over the last fifteen years that I have been writing, and there are so many currently I really respect and like, but I would say; Mad Swirl, The Rye Whiskey Review, Cajun Mutt Press, Silver Pinion, Punk Noir, Lothlorien Poetry, M58, Streetcake and Popshot, just off the top of my head.
Like I say there has been a number of other great zines that have unfortunately folded or closed over the years, and it's always a little sad when that happens.

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

A: I've been really lucky that nearly all my favorite writers on the underground scene have submitted to Fixator Press, and I've had the privilege of publishing them over the last couple of years, so singling out any specific writers would seem a little unfair. To get an idea though, just read through the Fixator Press archives as they're all pretty much in there.

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

A: Please read the other work that is on the site via our archives first. There is a particular angle I tend to like for both the free verse or more experimental pieces that I publish, I tend to favour subtlety over more 'in your face' sort of stuff, and I lean more towards mood and imagery, rather than shock or humour. (although I'm not opposed to those elements if done well). I really like to see any kind of experimental writing as well, cut-ups, found poetry, word collages; anything along those lines really. I like to publish a mixture of stuff, but still keeping on the same vibe with how ideas are put across.
Also, please, please read the guidelines! They are there to make life easier for both me and the writer submitting; and the easier it is for me, the quicker I can get people's work published and out there.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: My ideal submission is a Word doc, with around five pieces, so I can get a really good scope of the writers work, as the more I have to work with the more there is a chance of me finding something I like. A short, polite covering note, and a short but to the point bio. Basically someone who has read the guidelines and followed them! Also, someone who has gone to the effort to read the sort of stuff I like and have submitted accordingly. I have some great writers who submit regularly to me, and who do all that and more.

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

A: I would say the only time I have ever had any issues, is when the submitter has clearly not read any of the pieces on the site, and so just submits without putting a bit of work in.

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

A: I always read any submission from start to finish, and If there is a piece or pieces I'm not too sure about at the first read, I will often let it rest a day or so, then go back to it, as often I can be a little hasty in dismissing something that on a second read, is actually really good. Although yes, there are times when before I even get to the end, I know that it's not suitable, or just doesn't fit the zine. A lot of my rejections are of pieces that are well written and I enjoy, but I just don't think they are the right fit, or quite follow the right aesthetic and that has been the case most times in the last year or so. I always try to offer a little feed back as well if I feel it is needed, or if I would like the writer to submit again.

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

A: There are no real additional elements I take into account when evaluating stuff, I usually know after the first read if it's a good fit or not. I may go over it a few more times, if I'm not 100 percent sure at first point, but I usually know straight away if I think it's suitable or not.

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

A: I work a full time (rather mundane) job, so most my editing starts when I finish my shift, and it usually helps if I'm still a bit 'wired' from just finishing work! I will usually spend a good couple of hours a day reading submission emails, putting up any work due, and sorting the social media side of things. My inbox gets checked occasionally though the day if I have time, and I can often have a submission I've not yet decided on yet mulling around my head through the day before I make a decision. I also write and submit to journals and zines myself, so I manage to balance my time quite well.

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

A: I think social media is very important for both writers and editors. Social media has pushed many mediums in art forward, but poetry has especially benefited. It is way more easy to publish, and promote work via social media channels then it was to get your work out there, say, twenty years ago or longer. Other traditional methods of course have their place, but the recent technologies mean you can reach a much wider audience much quicker.

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

A: I state on my guidelines that any proof reading must be done prior to submitting, and that pieces will be published as received. There are various trends appearing in regards to playing around with grammar, spelling, ect, that I find really interesting, and for me to start editing that sort of stuff can just end up ruining the writer's initial intentions. Also, with more experimental or abstract stuff, there is a lot of room there for license, so again, I wouldn't start meddling with anything. The only time I would edit in that respect would be if the writer specifically asked me to, then I am more than happy to oblige.

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

A: Not as yet, but that will be something I will definitely be looking into next year.