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Editor Interview: The Lotus Tree Literary Review

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

A: All genres & art.

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

A: The Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association and its wonderful publications. Jean-Paul L. Garnier is doing some very cool stuff there as the editor of Star*Line, for example. Also, Phantom Drift, a journal of fabulist literature. The editor, Matt Schumacher, is really helping to build the canon of New Fabulism with the work he and his crew are doing. These guys are multitalented poets and I'm always very happy when I get to publish their work in Starship Sloane journals. Be on the lookout for an interview with me in Star*Line, probably in the Fall issue.

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

A: Here’s the shortlist: writers Zdravka Evtimova, Leslie Kean, John Horgan, Richard Stevenson, and Matt Schumacher; artists Michael Alan Alien, Dave Vescio, Ronan Cahill, and Richard Grieco. I've had the honor of publishing work from these very talented individuals, so my favorite's list is totally biased. Dave Vescio and Richard Grieco are remarkably talented visual artists, although they are better known for their acting.

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

A: The vision, the passion, and the collegiality. Down-to-earth vibe and style. My mission is to publish great work, not to be the human equivalent of a ginsu knife with a self-sharpening ego. Many years ago, in correspondence with the author Steve Sanfield about my own work that he was reviewing, I was treated to such a wonderfully supportive and inspiring exchange that it has forever shaped my own approach to working with aspiring and established writers and artists. The importance of being treated well when sending your work out into the world cannot be overstated.

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

A: Send me work that you believe in.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: I'm looking for outrageously creative work. Stuff that roars with the sheer magnitude of the human imagination. I want to be inspired by what your wildly electrical mind generates -- send me your creative voltage!

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

A: Not much, really. Just keep in mind, as stated in the guidelines, that with very few exceptions I am not seeking previously published work.

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

A: Cover letters are unnecessary. I do want to see an author/artist bio with credits. I enjoy seeing where your work has appeared. A well-crafted bio is a beautiful thing.

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

A: I read the whole piece but am usually able to make my determination quickly.

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

A: A reread. It has to fit the vision.

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

A: Reading, rereading, and thinking deeply about what I've been reading. Deciding what will work best in achieving the vision for that publication. Responding to submissions. Putting together publications. Working on the website. Lots of associated activities, from correspondence with writers, artists, and other editors to social media.

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

A: I think publishers should embrace modern technologies because it can make the whole process more efficient, cost effective, and timely. Everyone benefits. Social media is great for promotion and discovering talent. Nothing beats a real book though, it's high art -- and very importantly: it's off the grid! So, keep that aspect of traditional publishing for sure. Utilize both new tech and traditional approaches to best accomplish publishing objectives, choice, and accessibility for everyone.

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

A: The work has to be clean, so I will edit as necessary to ensure its mechanical elegance. I do not interfere with the author’s voice or vision.

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

A: Absolutely. I have nominated work for the Pushcart Prize, the Rhysling Awards, the Dwarf Stars Award, the Critter's Readers Poll, Best of the Net, etc. Slowly rolling out our in-house awards, with Dave Vescio being the first recipient of The T. O'Conor Sloane Jr. Prize in Photography.