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Editor Interview: The Ilanot Review

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

A: fresh takes on themes

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

A: We keep coming back to books put out by Graywolf Press, Milkweed Press, Boa Editions, Coffee House Press, Rose Metal Press, Black Lawrence, Red Hen, and so many others!
Current publications we love include The American Poetry Review,The Cincinnati Review, Gulf Coast, The Paris Review, On Being, The Normal School, World Literature Today, Poetry, Alaska Quarterly, Black Warrior Review, New Ohio Review, The Offing, Scoundrel Time, Words Without Borders, Guest House, Blackbird, Thrust, One Art, Unbroken.

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

A: Our favorite writers and Artists are the ones we publish in The Ilanot Review!
Here are some of them: W. Todd Kaneko, Erika Meitner, Jenny Browne, Yehuda Mercado (Supermercado) Dorothy Chan, Tomas Mika, Martha Silano, Roger Camp, Martha Collins, Katrina Roberts, Steve Gehrke, Susanna Childress, Ann Fisher Wirth, Philip Metres, Camille Dungy, Jill Talbot, Octavio Quintanilla, Nicole Callihan, Philip Pardi, Zoe Ryder White, Patty Seaburn, Dante Di Stefano, Rachel Deutsch, Michael Anthony Moreno, Meg Pokrass, Amy Newman, Eli Eliahu, Elizabeth Hughey, Ayelet Tsabari, Deborah Bernhardt, Yehoshua November, Lauren Camp, Camille Dungy, and Abraham Sutzkever

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

A: In each issue we curate a conversation around a theme of current interest. This allows writers from all over the world to converse through their art in a single moment in time, because about 10-25% of each issue are works in translation. We chose pieces that are particular in such a way as to be universal and timeless.
We use guest editors for each issue, who work alongside our permanent staff, to keep our energy fresh and exciting.
We publish poetry, literary nonfiction, micro fiction, written in English or in English translation (alongside the original language) and all things hybrid. We especially love graphic poetry and nonfiction, photo essays, and art.

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

A: To read our journal, to read as many other journals as possible, and then to read the submission instructions.
Send us your best work, and a variety.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: Makes us see the world in a new way.

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

A: They do not send material that corresponds to the theme.

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

A: We like them, but we don't need them. If we accept the piece, we'll ask for a bio.
Often we try to read the submissions blind.

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

A: It depends--we can tell early on if the piece is appropriate (on theme, high enough quality, if it's proof-read and edited, if the submitter is aware of the type of journal we are, and has read the instructions). If it's not appropriate, we do not read to the end.
We also immediately decline anything that is filled with hate towards anyone based on religion, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, etc.
Otherwise, we read to the end.

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

A: We think embracing technologies is a matter of taste and skill sets.
At The Ilanot Review, since we are an international journal, online publishing and virtual readings allow us to connect with all our contributors and readers in ways that were not possible before. Our online format has allowed us to publish art, comics, and graphic literature.

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

A: Most of the time, we decline a piece that we feel needs editing (we often give feedback). Once in a while, when we love everything about a piece except maybe the last line, the first line, etc. we'll take it. Once in a long while, if the piece has been translated from a rare language, we'll work with the translator on line edits. But this is an exception rather than a rule.

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

A: We have nominated work for The Pushcart, The Best of the Net, Best Small Fictions, Best Spiritual Literature Anthology, published by Orison Books, The Best Literary Translations 2024. We are also open to nominating for new competitions as we become aware of them.