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Editor Interview: Blink-Ink

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

A: 50 Word Fiction

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

A: I love independent press. I love every single publication from the big pretentious ones with forty people on the masthead down to two kids passing out
photocopies in school. Everything from the twelve copy micro zine run through somebody's sewing machine though the ones with perfect machine binding
for sale in big box stores. I recently heard the phrase "Use your art to make a difference", and I feel people involved with indie press are doing just that.

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

A: Johnathan Lethem, Anne Proulx, Cory Doctorow, Nancy Kress, David Sedaris, Michael Faber, Paul Harding, David Mitchel, Kevin Barry, Becky Chambers, Miranda July,
Kelly Link, Geoff Ryman, Emily St. John Mandel, Haruki Murakami, Suzanne Clark, Neil Gaiman, Jonathan Carroll, and so, so many more.

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

A: We publish fiction approximately 50 words in length in print on a quarterly basis. Our format is just the right size at 5 1/2 X 4 1/4 inches.
Our issues are themed, and we usually alternate between a more or less serious topic and something fun. We are a print only publication.
Online we regularly post to our website as well as social media. Being a small publication allows us the freedom to respond to every inquiry
and submission personally. We try very hard to be inclusive rather than exclusive.

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

A: As with all publications please read our guidelines. We want unpublished fiction approximately 50 words in length that relates to our theme. No poetry, attachments,
or bios please. Send us something fresh. If you have heard the story before, so have we. Save the vampires and zombies for publications who specialize in them. Same goes for sexual violence and pointless murder/torture. No thanks to sexism, racism, hatred, bigotry, and intolerance. Too much of these things in the real world already.
Ask first on artwork, it should relate to the theme, but we may keep it on file for a future issue. Everyone is welcome to drop us a note to say hello or ask a question.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: We greatly enjoy a wide range of submissions From all around the world. From well known writers, high school kids, ESL, from everybody.
One thing that is a true delight is how unique these submissions are and how so many are so well written.
As editors we do work with writers to bring the piece into clearer focus (iron out a few lumps and comb out the burrs). We are not
a "clink and publish" / "click and reject" publication. It is always nice when someone read, and followed our guidelines.

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

A: We are fairly relaxed, but at least give your story a title and put your name in your email. We care about your submission, we appreciate it when you care too.
Something close to more or less standard formatting is good to, but not mandatory. We stay around 50 words, and will help edit something we like. We are always
available to answer questions as best we can. Send us three or four stories if you like, but try and pick work that relates to the issues theme. If the connection is a stretch,
that is okay, but there should be something.

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

A: That is a funny question. Like most people we are nosy. A little note, maybe a sentence or two, with your submission is always nice.
We do not want bios or blurbs. They are dull, mostly irrelevant, and at 20 pages we don't have room for them.

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

A: We read and review every single submission in its entirety. Since submissions are short, and that we are a relatively
small publication we can do this. We often read something we like several time before deciding to take it or not.
We do not use submissions software, or any type of response form.

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

A: Every issue develops a personality. Not just a theme, a personality. Will the piece get along with the others?
Rejections that refer to something as "not a good fit" sound cliche, but it is so true.
An Editor I like recently said the purpose of her publication was; "to make contemporary fiction accessible".
That is something we strive for as well.

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

A: Managing ones time is the biggest trick. The balance of family, work, and the enjoyment of life.
Most days we spend at least and hour or two working on Blink-Ink, or a related project. When we are pulling an
issue together, or getting an issue mailed out things become full time for three or four days.
We are always thinking, about the publication. Fiddling around with ideas, and spending time on our own creative work.

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

A: Very important, but only to the degree that is comfortable and doable. E-publication is very attractive financially, but is so ephemeral. We are
committed to stay with print. The pandemic of 2020 drove us to Zoom calls and readings. While online entities can be so intrusive, it is great
to share online and host readings. I wish we had a better grasp of available technologies so we could better pick and choose.

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

A: Depends. Most times we edit something it is really just a bump here or there. Word choice, maybe drop a line. Nothing big.
The more you change the more it sounds like you and the less it sounds like the original work so what's the point?
Spelling, typos, and punctuation we just fix. For any changes we ask permission from the author and are happy to
discuss alternatives.

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

A: Yes. We nominate for all major awards. Since we are not a paying market this is the least
we can do as a thank you to our contributors. I wish we could nominate more people,
we publish so many great stories.