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Editor Interview: River Teeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative

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

A: true stories told well

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

A: Fourth Genre, Creative Nonfiction, Welcome Table Press, Brevity, The Normal School, Gettysburg Review, and many many others

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

A: River Teeth publishes essay, memoir, and literary journalism, the latter of which we are quite determined to find and publish. We are not shy about printing friends or printing brand-new, never-published-before writers. We'll publish short essays, very long essays, and everything in between. We don't typically operate on any particular theme but only seek to publish the best of what's being written.

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

A: Everyone says to familiarize yourself with a publication first, and we agree with that. We recommend ordering a sample copy to see what we're all about first. Also, take a breather before hitting submit - make sure your work is at its finest before sending it in - we want to see your very best. Your submission should have a universal appeal. It should strike a nerve. It should make us want to call our closest friends in the middle of the night to talk about it. It should be THAT good.

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

A: Submitters occasionally send us two or three essays at once, back-to-back, which just makes us feel bad if we need to reject all three. Send one piece at a time and wait for us to reply. Also, it is not necessary to provide a synopsis of the piece in your cover letter, but we do like to hear a little about you, the writer. Let us decide whether we like the piece - there's no need to write up a marketing campaign in your cover letter - your writing should sell itself.

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

A: We like a short bio just to know more, but this doesn't carry any weight in the decision to publish or not to publish - we've published plenty of first-publications as well as big names. We do not discriminate against newbies and are in fact quite excited to find something fresh and new by a fresh and new writer, to be the journal to discover a new talent.

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

A: Our readers are advised to read at least two pages into a piece before voting no, but each piece is reviewed by a minimum of two readers before a decision is made. Our readers approach each piece rooting for it to be the next piece to be published in RT, not looking for something to reject.

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

A: If a submission receives two yes votes, it is sent to the associate editors, and if they vote yes, it is sent to the editors (Joe Mackall and Dan Lehman), who deliberate between the two of them about the final selections.

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

A: Electronic delivery, social networking, and technology in general is not going away any time soon, and in order to survive and thrive, literary journals need to embrace whatever means make sense for their publications in order to make good literature available to as many who want to access it. We're right there, helping our authors make their voices heard online and in print.