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Editor Interview: Girls with Insurance

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

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

A: A variety of awesome.

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

A: P. H. Madore: Esquire, GQ, Popular Science, A Public Space.
Dawn Corrigan: Online, I like and return to Slate, The Rumpus, Dogzplot, Wigleaf. I like to stop by now and then to read the articles and the shockingly flaming comment boards. I mourn the passing of Pindeldyboz, 3711 Atlantic, The Raging Face, VerbSap, and Cautionary Tale, and hope The Raving Dove truly will come back to life next year.

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

A: P. H. Madore: This is a silly question.
Dawn Corrigan: I think it's a fair question, but it's hard to answer after Madore's chewed it up and spit it out. And maybe he has a point. If I tell you I love Salinger's Glass stories, is that really much help? For those considering sending me fiction, I do think looking at the stuff Dogzplot and Wigleaf publish, as well as the work we've put up during the past year, should give you some notion of what I'm apt to like. I can say Madore and I were both thrilled that Noelle Adams decided to send us her story "On Money" last June--maybe that helps. (You can find it by going through our Contributors page.) Poetry-wise, I'm a fan of A.E. Stallings and Catherine Tufariello. If you send free verse, please make sure it's at least as compact and thrilling as Creeley's "I Know a Man."

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

A: Our editorial model. We are a collective of associate editors. If one editor doesn't like your work, another might. We are a symphonic cacophony.

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

A: Be familiar with the work of the editor you're submitting to or the work of GwI; one or the other should do.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: Heartfelt, targeted, and not rushed.

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

A: P.H. Madore: I prefer OpenOffice.
Dawn Corrigan: <1000 words in the body of the email; >1000 words attached as an rtf file, please.
(And as a broader answer to your question: I'm tempted to say, with Bokonon: "It is not possible to make a mistake." Most of the writers I've worked with during the past year have been an absolute delight to work with. Every once in a blue moon we receive a submission, or more often a query, whose tone is hostile. I'm not going to call that getting it wrong, but I do find it curious.)

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

A: After accepting a piece, I want to know everything. Before that, I don't really need to know more than their name, I feel.

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

A: P. H. Madore: I use the rule of three. Three sentences. Three paragraphs. Three pages. Then the whole piece. I never make it evident where I rejected a piece. But I ordinarily use this filter when weeding through a ton of submissions, and it works well for me.
Dawn Corrigan: I almost always read things through to the end. If it becomes evident to me that it isn't going to be a match, I may start to skim. But I usually read to the end, because I'm looking for something to give back to the writer. Is there a gemlike micro hidden within a text that just isn't working yet as a full length short story? Etc.

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

A: P. H. Madore: Just me.
Dawn Corrigan: To clarify, this is true for each of our associates. As explained above, each GwI associate has complete editorial automony, in terms of his or her selections.

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

A: Mostly I do a lot of administrative work these days. I publish a couple columns and occasional fiction, but that's mostly it. Lately I've been really interested in publishing more non-fiction at GwI.

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

A: Extremely.