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Editor Interview: dead peasant: a journal of writing and arts

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

A: Subversion & Humanity

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

A: This will differ from editor to editor, but I tend to like things that are more experimental and niche. I have a McSweeney's that I hold dearly, and my background is in the magazine world so I like publications that showcase the artist with bold imagery and type. One of the local publications that has inspired me is By Design Magazine and is also worth the mention.

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

A: We publish visual arts, photography, short fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and other works of interest that might not fall in those categories. I love ridiculous worlds that feel like they have the soundtrack of Punch Drunk Love playing while I'm reading them. Douglas Adams, Richard Brautigan, & Kurt Vonnegut have written some of my favorite books, but I also like to read more adult versions of the stories I read as a kid that remind of Harry Potter or the Percy Jackson series.
I'm a graphic designer and hobbyist illustrator, so my favorite artists are among the top of their field in storybook illustration styles or magazine illustration styles. Malika Favre, Tristan Gion, Brian Edward Miller, and Teo Skaffa make the kind of work that I want to make myself one day.

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

A: Dead Peasant aims to be a place for all creatives to have the opportunity to publish their work. We accept works that other journals or magazines might turn away. We love works of interest and we don't want to limit the creatives that submit to us. Our submissions are free, because we want to publish creatives that don't have the money to submit to our journals or magazines. We want to publish creatives who didn't go to art school or writing school, and we want to publish those who did, as long as their work is of interest.

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

A: I want people to submit work that has a communicable meaning. That doesn't mean you need to tell us the meaning, but I'm drawn to intention. I want to publish work that is trying to say something.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: I want to support young talented creatives who make phenomenal and underappreciated works. I want to publish works that challenge the way I and others think, or works that teach me something about something. I want to publish work that other publications might think is too out there.

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

A: Currently we are in our 3rd call for submissions, and it's a non-themed issue. This issue is titled Don't Look, and this time around we are taking submissions through google forms which has vastly cleaned up the submissions process.

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

A: We ask for a short bio that we may use in the publication. At the least we like to know about who is submitting the work, but we don't look at that information until after we have reviewed the creative's work. We anonymize our submissions to try and hide our biases when possible. So as a result of this previous publication credits do not make or break a submission, and the emphasis is on the work not on the reputation.

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

A: We try to read all of the content of each piece, but work filled with spelling and grammatical errors might be given up on easier than others. We have many editors who contribute to the review process, so this differs from person to person. I typically read all submissions all the way through, because I want to give things a chance. There's been work that I've wanted to give up on the past that have completely changed my mind by end of the work, so I think it's important to give it that chance.

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

A: Works submitted to dead peasant are anonymized and sent to editors to review and decide which works they like. Then the editors meet to discuss and pound the table for the works that speak to them.

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

A: I'm the anonymizer & creative direction oriented editor. I promote the journal and try and make the journal look as good as possible. I respond to emails and DMs. When our call ends my day to day will get much busier with reviewing works. When I review works, that process is pretty simple for visual art. I generally know when I look at a work whether or not I want it in the journal. We let majority rule and each editor decides on whether or not to include the work in the journal. Sometimes this sparks a heated debate, and sometimes it's a very clear decision.

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

A: We're a registered non profit in the state of Missouri, and as such we have to make our $ count. We're not a traditional journal, and we're going to do whatever is we can to publish great work. We accept submissions electronically. We use social media to promote the journal and creatives.

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

A: We proofread, may suggest some edits, and we give the author's final approval over their work before we send off to the publisher. Often formatting with poetry can get messed up so it's something that we believe in to allow the creatives to see that their work has not been tarnished and is published as they intended.

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

A: We have not yet, but are open to it.