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Editor Interview: The Muleskinner Journal

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

A: Distinctive voices

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

A: We admire and aspire to all of the "big guys," Paris Review, Ploughshares, New Yorker, etc., but we love all the little folks like us, making a go at sharing great stories over the internet and in print (for the intrepid few) with as many folks as they can reach. We strive to spread the word about all of them.

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

A: The thing that distinguishes us from many other journals is our publishing process. We publish live on our website as we accept items. When we publish a new piece (pretty much weekly), we send an e-mail to our subscribers asking them to read it, and also post it on social media. In this way, the author gets a few days in the spotlight. At the end of the themed submission period, we then compile and publish a completed journal. The other thing is that we read and discuss every piece submitted, and we respond personally to every submission.

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

A: Make it distinctive. Tie it to our theme (even tenuously). Follow our submission guidelines.

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

A: We like cover letters and we publish short bios. I think our readers like hearing about where you've been published before, and it helps promote those publications as well, and so even though it makes no difference to our readers/editors (as the information is not shared with them), we don't mind them being included. Mostly, though, we want the elevator pitch version of your journey as a writer.

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

A: In general, we read every piece all the way through. We sometimes suggest revisions or edits that we think can fix a piece with great potential. If we don't read a piece all the way through, we might miss that opportunity.

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

A: None. It's all about how a piece resonates with our editors and our theme.

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

A: I have a full-time job in the financial services industry, and so I spend a lot of time with PowerPoint. My headstone will someday read, "See PowrerPoint." This is true for all of us. Muleskinner Journal is a midnight oil passion project.