Editor Interview: StepAway Magazine

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

A: urban walking narratives

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

A: Granta, The Paris Review, The New Yorker, and almost any publication that shuns heavily stylized, on-trend writing in favor of sharp, well crafted and engaging poetry and prose. We are nauseated by any magazine that aims to “move us, fiercely”.

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

A: Our contributors offer a strong indication of the work we enjoy.

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

A: No other publication encourages writers to slice through urban space, to rediscover the dirty magic of the street by walking and recording.

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

A: Hopeful contributors should first read our magazine and our submission guidelines. It is the best way of discerning the type of writing that we are looking for. We publish urban walking narratives. Do not take us out into the woods, or we’re likely to pull a shotgun.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: There are no perfect submissions. Our readers are open to any approach as long as the submission deals with moving through urban space. We want to be surprised by an author’s ingenuity. Of course, in terms of formatting we are hoping for submissions that are contained within the body of the email. No attachments. No clip art. Our readers expect clean writing with few errors.

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

A: We often receive multiple submissions. We ask submitters to submit only one story or poem per month. We also receive many submissions as attachments, which is contrary to our guidelines.

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

A: We publish both the work of internationally renowned writers and previously unpublished authors. We ask our submitters to provide cover letters, however, the submission is always read on its own merits.

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

A: We tend to publish poetry and prose which is less than one thousand words. I feel that it would be discourteous to our submitters not to read every piece to the end.

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

A: The piece is read by myself and at least two other readers before being accepted.

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

A: Today, I spent time corresponding with Random House and Bloodaxe Books. I received submissions back from our readers, which I sorted into ‘yes’, ‘no’ and ‘maybe’. I promoted the special North East England edition of our magazine which will be published along with our next issue. I also consulted with our chosen photographer regarding ideas for our forthcoming magazine cover. Then I made coffee and updated our Facebook and Twitter pages. This afternoon I will oversee the formatting of StepAway Magazine issue four.