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Editor Interview: Red Rover Magazine

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

A: Emotionally-charged art

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

A: We appreciate both the importance of large journals as well as the hard work put in by small publications. Black Warrior Review, Okay Donkey, The New Yorker, Entropy Magazine, and Homology Lit are some of our favorites.

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

A: Writers: Lucille Clifton, Terrance Hayes, Edgar Allen Poe, Flannery O'Connor, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Lemony Snicket, Lorenzo Carcattera, Roald Dahl
Art: Jamie Livingston, Claude Monet, Edward Weston

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

A: We're much more intimate and personable than your average journal. We like to know you by your name, and why you created what you created. The benefit of submitting to smaller literary journals is there is an opportunity for connection between editor and artist that doesn't manifest as often in larger presses.

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

A: The best advice I can give is to put thought into the cover letter. It's easy to tell from a cover letter if the submitter is genuinely invested in the mission of our magazine or if they're just copy and pasting as many submissions as they possibly can.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: One to three poems, six pieces of art, or four pages of fiction that are emotionally-charged and deal with the broad scope of living a lifetime, and a strong cover letter that addresses the background behind the creation of the submission and what it personally means to the writer or artist to have created it.

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

A: They treat "the Editor(s)" as a shadow authority of stature, or use a generic cover letter that doesn't address our magazine's mission statement. We want to know you and your work on a more personal level. Either that or they don't follow the submission guidelines.

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

A: As already explained, cover letters are very important to gauge the reader's engagement with our magazine's mission. However, cover letters are not everything -- we're looking for polished, quality work that engages with human emotion during the act of creation.
We've accepted works from complete unknowns and turned down collections from poet laureates. The work is much more important to us than prior publications.

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

A: Sometimes it takes us several weeks to decide if we want to keep a piece or not, sometimes it takes a few minutes. But each submission does get a thorough reading before the final decision is made.

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

A: At Red Rover Magazine, we have a two-fold evaluation process. One, is if the work is of polished, high quality. The second, is if the author or artist engages with our mission of exploring emotion through the act of creation.

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

A: On rare occasions, we'll reach out to a submitter with a conditional acceptance where we ask if we can make a few changes and then include it in the magazine. But this is very rare, and most likely we'll either take a piece as it is or send it back.