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Editor Interview: OpenDoor Magazine

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

A: Themed Monthly Material

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

A: Harvard Review
The New Yorker
The Iowa Review
Luna Luna
Pretty Owl

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

A: My favorite writers:
Stephen King
Margaret Atwood
J.R.R. Tolkien
Neil Gaiman
Cheryl Strayed
Andy Weir
Da Vinci
Johannes Vermeer
Henri Matisse
Leonid Afremov

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

A: We don't worry about if you've made a name for yourself or are considered a profound artists to uncover. My partner and I started this magazine to give a voice to those who have trouble getting publications to hear it. We are here to bring the best out of everyone and give everyone the opportunity to shout from the rooftops. That's also why we don't charge - we remove any barrier we can - to allow everyone to submit.

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

A: Follow the instructions. Fill out the submission form on the website then follow the instructions that are emailed to you. We get so many submissions and so many that are missing information, have too much information, have docs attached wrong, etc - and we are more likely not going to be able to sift through submissions that aren't submitted properly. And pay attention to the theme. Don't push to create something that is "OK" to fit into a theme - wait for the theme that speaks to you.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: My favorite submissions are ones that are clever and something different or that you can just tell have passion about the theme.

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

A: One of the things I see the most often are submission emails with 15+ attachments - bios and photos and links - when someone is submitting a theme poem only. Stick to the submission guidelines and please don't include more than we ask for.

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

A: We would like to know your name, what country you are submitting from, and your social or website links - with your work. If you are submitting for a feature - then we would love to have more and that is also included in the submission email response.

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

A: We read every piece through - at least twice. Sometimes more!

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

A: We do look at how often we publish people in a row - we get authors that we get a rapport with but we still want to make sure we are giving opportunity to new submissions as well. We also read it against the theme and have a rating system to help us choose pieces in the first round. We typically go through three to four rounds of review to narrow down to approximately 30 pieces per month.

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

A: I receive all submissions by the 15th of the month (for the coming month's issue) and I read them as they come in and apply an initial rating to each. Each day, I share to our social media sites with previous month entries as well. After the 15th, we do a full review and by the 28th we have selected the final pieces. I typically have the layout and design ready to go by the 25th and spend the final days of the month pulling in the final selected submission, making any tweaks to the issue, and updating our website. Every third month, we layout our quarterly anthology and proof that before putting through blurb and amazon.

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

A: I love traditional - but it is so convenient to use new programs for layouts and iPad apps for design and forms on our website with auto-responders. I don't know that we could be carrying this magazine for over a year with hundreds of submissions per month - and us each having full time jobs as well - without the technology.

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

A: We do very basic spelling and grammar proofreading only as needed. We prefer to let the author/artists/poets make those decisions. If we receive something that has many misspellings and grammar issues - we typically wont accept that and let the submitter know that with future submissions to double check their work before sending it in.

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

A: Not that this time, but that is a goal for the future state of OpenDoor