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Editor Interview: Crow & Cross Keys

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

A: everything dark & lovely

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

A: We love Corvid Queen, the Ghastling, f(r)iction, Air and Nothingness Press, Coffin Bell, Hexagon SF Magazine, The Dark, Wrongdoing and so, so many others.

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

A: We adore the work of Catherynne M. Valente, Angela Carter, Neil Gaiman, Carmen Maria Machado, and Helen Oyeyemi to name but a few!

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

A: We have a big focus on publishing stories and poetry that make an effort to read beautifully or lyrically. We don't just want the dark, we want the beautiful dark. We describe the ideal CCK submission as dark and lovely.

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

A: 1. Your titles and openings are incredibly important. Spend extra time making these as good as they can be.
2. Always make sure you read some of our material before you submit, we have a vibe that we tend to stick to which can only be properly explained by reading the work on our site.
3. Be unexpected.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: The beautiful dark. Our ideal submission sings with every breath, is lush with description and has a killer opening.

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

A: Too many submissions in the one email -- we're a one-person team, we can only read the amount listed in our submission guidelines from each author.

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

A: We love reading about our potential contributors! We don't require a cover letter but it's always lovely to get one.
Previous publications aren't important to us at all, we read the submission before we read the email and we judge based on the piece itself, not the prior publications.

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

A: While we can generally tell if a piece isn't right from the first page or two, we read every piece to the end.

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

A: We tend to read each piece at least twice through -- we make an initial decision and then prior to sending the response, we read it again to make sure the decision sticks. Some days you might read a piece in a completely different way than others. We like to allow for that.

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

A: We tend to have 'reading' days and 'responding' days. We will read a lot of submissions one day and then respond to as many as possible the next. CCK is edited alongside a full-time job so there's a lot of juggling! We rarely have whole days to dedicate to our submission box, so managing our time is like putting together a puzzle.

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

A: We're purely online (for the moment) so for us, it's very important. We love reading about anything new in the industry and we'd give anything a try once!
Traditional publishing is beautiful, but so is the wonderful world of indie publishing.

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

A: We proof-read without author approval. However, if we have any bigger suggestions than fixing typos or errant punctuation, we always seek author approval. We try not to change a piece too much but we do offer suggestions.
(If you use the word 'suddenly', more than likely we'll gently suggest you don't need it.)

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

A: We're still very new and getting to grips with the whole awards scene but we would definitely like to!