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Editor Interview: Mad Scientist Journal

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

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

A: Fiction by mad scientists

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

A: Razorgirl Press, Dreaming Robot Press, Glittership

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

A: Neil Gaiman, Gail Carriger, Mary Robinette Kowal, Roger Zelazny, Jim Butcher, Nnedi Okorafor, Erik Scott de Bie, Nathan Crowder, N.K. Jemisin

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

A: The stories in Mad Scientist Journal are all told from within the world of a mad scientist. Whether it’s a first person story or a scientific paper, each story invites readers to immerse themselves in the world of mad science for a little while.

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

A: Read the guidelines closely. Many of the stories we reject are because they aren't told from the right perspective.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: A solid story that fits our guidelines and yet does something fresh with the idea of "mad science."

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

A: We ask that submitters use the links on our website to submit through Submittable. We still get a number of submissions via Email, which makes it a lot more difficult to make sure that both of us see the story and not have it slip into the morass that is our email.

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

A: We generally don’t read the cover letters until after we've read the stories and made our decision. So while including a cover letter is great, we don’t base our decisions on their presence or absence.

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

A: Many of the pieces that we’ve rejected have been rejected before we get past the first few pages. But if we make it through those first few pages, we will generally read all the way to the end, and then sometimes read it again before making the decision to accept or reject the story.

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

A: None.

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

A: Co-Editor Dawn generally reads the stories first. Sometimes this is as soon as they come in, but more often, she waits until there are a handful of stories to look at. She then makes an initial assessment of yes, maybe, or no. She also types up a few thoughts on each of the stories and Emails those to Co-Editor Jeremy. Then Jeremy reads the stories (and the thoughts) and makes the final decision on the story. There haven’t been any stories since Dawn came on board that we have drastically disagreed on, so the system seems to be working so far!

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

A: All of our submissions come in electronically. We publish digitally and using POD options. We also use social networking to get the word out about the stories. It seems pretty unlikely that we would be able to have the following that we do and submissions from all over the world if we were devoted to traditional methods.

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

A: The edits we do on stories are primarily copy editing/proofreading level, as well as making tweaks to stories so they fall in line with our internal style guide. All of the edits go back to the author for approval after we edit the stories, and authors get another look or two at their stories when we put together the ebook and print versions of the quarterlies.

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

A: In the past, we have submitted some of our yearly anthologies for awards. We are working on increasing the number of stories we submit for awards, particularly our regular (non-anthology) stories.