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Editor Interview: Drunk Monkeys

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

A: Earnest, original lit.

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

A: The New Yorker
Red Fez
Cease, Cows
Bartleby Snopes

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

A: Kurt Vonnegut, John Steinbeck, Raymond Carver
Alan Ginsburg, Pablo Neruda

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

A: We make a point of working with emerging or even beginning writers, and try to weed out anything too cynical -- its the internet, if you're looking for cynicism, it's not hard to find.

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

A: If it's fiction, try to have as complete an arc to your story as possible.
Be genuine with the emotions of your character.
Read your dialogue out loud.
If it's an essay, explore your topic from all angles, try to be thorough and entertaining.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: A story or poem that conveys an experience so directly that you can picture yourself in that world.

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

A: People have been pretty good about following the guidelines. Honestly, the only thing that turns me off is people who send a blank email with a file attached - it just doesn't seem professional.

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

A: Cover letters are nice, even if they're brief. We publish all our posts with a brief two or three sentence bio, so it would be awesome to have that up front.

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

A: I try to read every piece to the end (and I have a few editors that help me out), but within two paragraphs I can tell whether the person knows where they're taking me. I'll give a long submission at least a few pages before declining it - everyone deserves a fair shake.

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

A: Usually I read it through, then pass it along to our assistant editors for review. That can take a few days, depending on their schedules.

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

A: I usually skim submissions as they pop up on my smartphone, then flag them for follow-up later. When I have time after work I will sit down and read them all the way through, then send them on to the other editors to get their take - or, if it's an exceptional submission, I'll just make the decision to publish then and there.

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

A: We're a web publication, and have done a few eBooks, so we couldn't survive without new technologies. But I think there needs to be a mix of media, if only to be able to reach as broad an audience as possible with your work.