Editor Interview: Read Short Fiction

This interview is provided for archival purposes. The listing is not currently active.

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

A: Short reads that pop.

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

A: The Battered Suitcase, Word Riot, Barbaric Yawp, State of Imagination, Shock Totem, Shroud, ESC! Magazine, Toasted Cheese, Mipoesis, The Smoking Poet, Morpheus Tales, Vagabondage Press Books, Dark Opus Press

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

A: Ernest Hemingway, Edgar Allan Poe, Junot Diaz, Sigrid Nunez, Carlos Fuentes, William Faulkner, Mark Twain, Timothy Zahn, Alison Lurie, Jeanne Mackin, Shirley Jackson, Koji Suzuki, Haruki Murakami, Kazuo Ishiguro, José Saramago, Daniel Pearlman, Paul Tremblay, Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, Ray Bradbury

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

A: Our take: Good story spans genre and form, which is why we publish in every genre (except erotica--but we do like spice within the context of a story); in addition, the characters that speak in our journal are those rarely represented--the tornado-chaser's wife, the anti-hippie, the inconvenienced deity, the adulterous academic. We do a cover image for every story and set it prominently on our home page. We believe short stories are stand-alone entities and don't need to be part of a collection. We're jazzed by reader-response theory and express that by allowing feedback on each published piece.

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

A: We're pretty approachable--feel free to write to us if you have questions about anything. We love odd characters and out-of-the ordinary situations, but we're not limited. We know that our submission guidelines are lax, so we do reject stories that don't follow them.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: We love stories that we finish reading and say, "Wow!" We know this sounds vague, but writers know when they've potentially created these pieces and we want to be on their short list.

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

A: Including attachments. Please no attachments. Paste into e-mail only.

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

A: Don't bother with a heavily-crafted cover letter -- a brief "hello," a couple of details (word count, was it published anywhere else), and a bio are just fine. Please ensure, however, the bio you send includes some previous credits, if any.

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

A: Each submission gets our full attention; because of the sheer volume of submissions we receive, however, we do check after the first few paragraphs to determine if the piece is a good fit for us before finishing reading.

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

A: We're on the two-thumbs-up system: both of us need to enthusiastically say "yes!"

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

A: We do things the old-fashioned way: meet over dinner, although it's all pretty informal.

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

A: We remember the days back in the late 1990s when the earliest e-zines weren't considered CV-worthy, and when email submissions (nevermind non-existent submissions managers!) were avant-garde. We also remember, even as recently as the mid-2000s, when simultaneous submissions were a no-no for almost every market. We waited for people to embrace change, and they did...and for that reason, we are supporters of POD and other new publishing models that not only are more earth-friendly, but also create more opportunity. Do we love traditional? Sure...we have housefuls of books! But we also love and believe in change and growth.