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Q: Describe what you publish in 25 characters or less.
A: Slices of human ether
Q: What other current publications (or publishers) do you admire most?
A: The Sun, Rusty Truck, subTerrain, Killpoet, Big Bridge
Q: If you publish writing, who are your favorite writers? If you publish art, who are your favorite artists?
A: Anne Carson, Ken Kesey, Herman Melville, Emily Dickinson, Octavia Butler, Kenneth Patchen, Italo Calvino, sooo many others...
Q: What sets your publication apart from others that publish similar material?
A: The inclusion of flash, and even microflash, along with stories of much longer length, in a slightly darker, yet humanistic vein. Strong fiction, in whatever form, ought to be able to stand next to other strong fiction regardless of length or genre.
Q: What is the best advice you can give people who are considering submitting work to your publication?
A: Be able and willing to step away from the piece you are submitting and look at it as a whole. Beyond grammatical concerns, is the story a complete story? And I don't mean in terms of moving from opening to conclusion, or from point A to point B to point C. I mean, does the story you're submitting, in even the most abstract terms "present a whole?" It may not even be important if it is a whole "what"...so long as it is "whole." Fiction at its best will transcend suppositions and formulas.
Q: Describe the ideal submission.
A: The ideal submission is the one that keeps bothering me, or nagging my attention long after I've finished reading it. The one that forces me to go back and look at it a few times over. This will require a deft balance of layering and voice.
Q: What do submitters most often get wrong about your submissions process?
A: Sending in poems to a fiction periodical.
Q: How much do you want to know about the person submitting to you?
A: Cover letters should be short, spare as should the bios. Previous publications credits do not matter to this editorial staff. They are great for bios, but not too many. Previous credits will not inform decisions about what work gets accepted or rejected.
Q: If you publish writing, how much of a piece do you read before making the decision to reject it?
A: It has to be pretty awful for me not to finish it. I want to give every story a fair shot, and that means sticking with it to the very end, even if I have an idea it won't be right for the issue I'm working on. But you never know. An author can surprise you with the directions they will take, and editors should remain open to that possibility.
Q: What additional evaluations, if any, does a piece go through before it is accepted?
A: None at a staff level. With pieces I'm on the fence with, I will compare them to other pieces that have been accepted for an issue and I might be looking for some clue as to what "fence" pieces will wind up complementing others that might be stronger.
Q: What is a day in the life of an editor like for you?
A: Once the sorting through e-mails and social media is all done, I bury myself in my "safe" space for editing, with minimum distractions. I still print out manuscripts and like to read them off of paper. I feel this archaic process helps me engage the authors and their work better, though I know the actual print I'm reading didn't come from them. It's enough to feel their artistry in my hands. Once I have a stack of papers in front of me, a cup of coffee and sometimes a smoke (horrible habit) I feel like I am doing the work of the ages, which is creating space for beauty.
Q: How important do you feel it is for publishers to embrace modern technologies?
A: More and more important every day. Not for me to say to what degree publishers should embrace technology, but for literature to remain relevant, it will need to keep up with the means of access. How long before we will be saying the app is killing the internet? Does it matter? We seem to keep having literature printed out on paper too, so I don't get too excited by the doom and gloom proclamations of the death of this and the death of that...storytelling is always going to be around in whatever form it can be disseminated.