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Editor Interview: Making Waves: a West Michigan Review

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

A: Michigan related/themed

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

A: Third Wednesday and Dunes Review

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

A: Jeanie Mortensen, Jack Ridl, Diane Wakowski, Fleda Brown, Anne-Marie Oomen, Karen Anderson, Linda Sandow, Andy Skinner, and Brian Kainulainen

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

A: We are based out of a small town in rural West Michigan and are run by a local writers group with the support of our community arts center.

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

A: Read our guidelines carefully and preview the previous issue on our website for an idea of what we like to read.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: Personal and specific while avoiding the trappings of cliché, over sentimentality, or too much repetition.

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

A: Forgetting to include a coverage with a third person bio, contact info, and the titles of their work

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

A: We don’t require or look for a cover letter, but we appreciate it when an author tells us their connection with West Michigan (if it’s not clear from their bio or submission).

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

A: If the author has followed the submission guidelines, we review the whole piece and try to provide personal feedback. We do not read or review the pieces at all if the author has submitted more than the maximum number of poems or prose allowed per submission.

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

A: Multiple editors review the piece and must agree on their inclusion or rejection. We discuss our feelings on submissions at regular board meetings where editors have the opportunity to convince each other that a work should be included. Any helpful feedback provided is passed on to the submitter.

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

A: Most of us work other full time jobs, so fitting in submission reviews fill the evenings and weekends. It’s exciting to see the submission notifications come in and to assign different editors to consider each piece. The worst part of the day is having to spend time replying to submissions where the guidelines were not followed. The best time comes when the editors meet as a group to discuss their favorite pieces.

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

A: Electronic submissions trackers are now vital and social media posts can help each authors who have something new and exciting to submit find your publication.

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

A: Typos or grammatical/spelling errors only and only with the author’s/artist’s permission. We may ask an author to consider making specific changes before accepting a piece.

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

A: We have not yet but we do intend to