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Editor Interview: confetti: Westchester Writers Workshop Magazine

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

A: A Celebration of Eclectic

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

A: Chronogram magazine tops our list of ezines and print - they are smart, fun, and support local and amateur writers and poets. We also like Poetry magazine and Rattle and of course, we utilize Poets & Writers.

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

A: Our list of writers is long, and we couldn't even agree on a top three.

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

A: A hidden agenda apparently random. It factor. Some arbitrary synergy of earnest naiveté and curiosity and fondness for language and story.

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

A: Share honestly of yourself - genuineness bleeds through your works like honey. Good editing and the work of writers' groups are invaluable. And oh! Don't let your word processing program auto-capitalize every first line of your poetry - it's maddening to have arbitrary capitalized words in the middle of poetic sentences. Basically, control form to convey meaning.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: Is there such a thing?

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

A: Wrong? Hmmm. Not wrong per se, but we get about half our submission with attached files named "confetti.docx" - a more detailed format for files would be nice. "Last name, type of submission, Spring or Fall, Year" would be a nice organized way for submitters to name files. It would make it easier on our webmaster to navigate all the submissions. Rarely, we also get submitters sending us more submissions than our limits - we try to give everyone a chance and it doesn't seem fair that some submit more.

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

A: Our poetry selectors care little for name, experience, or previous accolades. They relish great poetry. They prefer to let poems stand on their own merit and select poems, not poets. Our prose selectors, however, like to get to know a bit about the artist behind the work - they prefer to get to know the person, not just their resume. For them, the story teller is as important as the story. In either case, brief personal intros are helpful in submitters emails.
In general, we like giving a platform for the previously unpublished or under-published. For our magazine publishing, though, we also strive to make sure the submitters' credentials, links, and media are included and accurate so our readers can connect and to credit the publications of previously published works.

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 to its finish, often multiple times, and have great discussions on the merit of each piece. The last line is as important as the first.

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

A: Our selector teams read through every submission, discuss and debate each work's merit. The editor-in-chief is another level of evaluation, often when there isn't consensus. We try to balance quality and variety for our readers in our allotted space. We look for the best, the avantgarde, the multiplicity, the innovative from each edition's submissions.

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

A: I get to read the gems of poetry, fictions, stories, and plays submitted while sipping wine. I get to discuss these amazing works of art and craft with friends and them share them with others. My worst, most agonizing part is not being able to publish them all. I've felt the sting of "rejection" and can only offer this consolation: poets and writers are wonderful creators - don't let anyone's opinion stop you! Keep creating and expressing and word-smithing. Every story finds a home.

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

A: There is nothing like reading a book on the beach. Period.

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

A: We try to run every change we make by the author or poet first. Some things seem obvious, but we try to make sure what we see as corrections aren't intentional. Very rarely do we offer editing. More rarely do we suggest taking the piece back to the drawing board or to workshop. We expect most submitters have already done this process and have submitted their final best. Most of our edits come with formatting for the web - especially with poetry (and plays). We try to keep the lines and spacing exactly as the poet submitted, but sometimes, it takes some fenagling. If submitters see any issues with published works, we happily fix or correct upon request.

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

A: Not as of yet.