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Editor Interview: The Nervous Ghost Press Book Prize

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

A: The human experience

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

A: My favorite artist and writer is Alex Pardee. Growing up (and still), I had a lot of nightmares. Pardee paints and writes about his. It was really cool to see that I wasn't alone and that other people out there dealt with similar fears and obstacles. I could never really get myself to paint mine, but I could definitely write them out.

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

A: As backwards as it sounds, we're not focused on making money. By removing the need to bring in dollars and publish work that sells, we're able to take chances on art that is maybe not so mainstream or inline with social expectations. It makes it fun and dangerous. We're able to focus on bringing the community together is very real and raw ways.

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

A: Be confident. Own it. Your voice is so strong. If you believe it, so will the world. Don't try to be someone you're not in hopes of getting published. Be yourself and the time will come.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: The ideal submission follows all guidelines. Content-wise, they're all great.

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

A: Making sure to follow all guidelines.

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

A: We have a blind review process. The editors have no idea who the person is that wrote the submission, and we will always keep it that way. The blind process lets us focus on the art, so we can give it all the attention it deserves. At the end of the review process, it is always awesome to finally learn about the authors, but by that time, the final decisions have already been made.

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

A: Depending on the guidelines, a pair of eyes touches every submission that is sent to us.

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

A: We have our first review, second review, third review, and sometimes a fourth review before making final decisions. All reviewers make their voices heard and we discuss the submissions as a team.

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

A: Between grading papers and normal life, it's a lot of emotions, sitting, stretching, papercuts, note-taking, emails and texts to the reviewers, and the joy of being fortunate enough to read work by so many great voices across the world.

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

A: There should be a balance of both. There are definitely benefits to technology when it comes to submissions, ease of contact, editing, sharing, and so on, but nothing beats the communal aspects of in-person readings, editing all-nighters, and watching a book come to life.

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

A: The amount of editing depends on the project. With the annual journals, there are some edits made for clarity and style (spelling, formatting), but we try to keep the work as close to the original as possible. If there are ever questions that need answers, we will reach out to the authors for feedback. The single author books go through an intense line-by-line editing process, content editing, story and plot review, and overall proofing before printing, and the authors are part of that process from start to finish.

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

A: Yes