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Editor Interview: Strukturriss

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

A: Writing that shifts shape

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

A: In alphabetical order: 1870, Absurdist, Always Crashing, Antiliterary, Bayou Wolf, Briefly, Fast Capitalism, Figure One, Kreaxxxion, New Critique, Overheard, Stinging Fly

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

A: I publish writing myself, both fiction and theory. In fiction, I admire the work of Thomas Pynchon, William Gaddis, and Stephen King's Dark Tower series. In theory, I am mostly influenced by Jacques Derrida and Friedrich Kittler. Hegel shaped my way of thinking.

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

A: In each issue, Strukturriss features an artist whose work is juxtaposed with each work submitted by authors. The artist has complete freedom to explore the meaning of the pieces featured in the issue, tease out some and suggest others, and accompany or recast what's on the page. This offers additional layers of meaning in each piece published - and the aesthetic effects are great too, the art is just drop-dead gorgeous!
I also like to think that I provide as much constructive feedback as I can on every submission, although this is naturally in the eyes of beholder.

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

A: Please make sure to consult the submission guidelines before you submit, especially with regards to how many pieces you send in your submission.
Within this, I will also read everything submitted, but please ensure your work fits the journal's mission. I don't go as far as "if it can be published in a mainstream journal, don't submit," but I am looking for the outer edges of what's permissible.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: Something that is so explosive either in content or in form that it blows me away: whether it's an unusual formal approach (such as unusual formatting, fragmentary writing, aleatoric writing...) or unusual content (such as political radicalism, cut-up or austere writing, otherworldly scenarios...).

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

A: Apart from the formalities, most rejected submissions tend to be too 'conventional', so to speak: well within the range of form and content that I can envision published in less experiment-focused journals.

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

A: Neither of these matter to me. I have sympathy for first-time authors (who doesn't!) but at the end of the day, the work matters.
I have, however, recently discovered that an author I had published has harrassed fellow publishers in the past. If I find out about this, the work in question will be refused and, if I find out after publication, the author gets deplatformed.

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

A: It would seem hubristic to say that one can tell right away; so I do read submissions to the end. Truth be told though: some I have skimmed if they trailed off towards the end, just to see if there's an as it were redeeming feature at the end.

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

A: There are the obvious ones, is it racist/sexist/homophobic/transphobic, those sorts of things. Other than that, none: I read pieces several times that I'm inclined to accept, but couldn't say there's an evaluation other than - does it fit?

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

A: I have a 9-to-5 in addition to running Strukturriss, so the reading happens either in the mornings before I clock in, or over the weekend. I have a master spreadsheet with all the names of authors and pieces + their send-in date (I know, so rickety...) so I check which ones are up and how long it's been. I try to keep it under two weeks. Then I take chunks of ~five and read through them. Rejections get an email right away, and submissions I'm inclined to accept get a checkmark in the spreadsheet. Then I switch to my on-the-clock persona until the next morning, when I pick up the ones I wanted to accept, reread, and either reject or accept them.

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

A: Both are vital! Strukturriss comes as a limited edition print, and the art and the writing are just gorgeous. But it is also heavily present online, as an e-copy, a website, and a Twitter account. I accept only electronic submissions and am not entirely sure, to be honest, why anyone would do otherwise. But the journal as such lives in both worlds; each of which has its own perks: the tangibility of print, the accessibility of e-copies...

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

A: I attempt to reproduce each piece in the journal exactly as the author sent it. In rare cases this doesn't work - e.g. it might run over line breaks - in which case I work with the author to see how this can be accommodated.
Every piece, however, gets copyedited, and every piece is sent to the author for final approval before it is juxtaposed with the art.
After that, I work with the artist to create the final shape on the page. This is without author input but also strictly adheres to what the author signed off on - it only adds the art, it doesn't distort the piece. (And if it does, I'll get back to the author before publication.)

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

A: Not at the moment; this is something I am looking to implement when Strukturriss has grown a bit bigger. At this time it's a one-person operation and I will need additional capacity before I can do that.