Editor Interview: Open Road Review

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

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

A: World fiction with flare.

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

A: The Paris Review, ZYZZYVA, Tin House and Willow Springs.

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

A: J.M. Coetzee, Haruki Murakami, John Keeble, Richard Salzer, Anton Chekhov, Steve Toltz, Kurt Vonnegut, Alice Munro, Lydia Davis, Flannery O'Connor and Aleksandar Hemon.

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

A: We have multicultural perspectives and are open to writers both new and seasoned. We consider Open Road Review a learning experience where editors and writers can meld their enthusiasm for literature into a solid step forward in their writing careers.

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

A: Polish it. Read it aloud several times. Cut unnecessary dialogue. Ask yourselves what the story is really about? Does the beginning grab readers? Are there too many unnecessary characters? Follow the guidelines. Do not be disappointed or take rejection personally.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: Ideal submissions present with proper formatting, grammar and spelling, but even more than this we like to see solid stories with unique, believable characters that leave readers wanting to absorb the prose multiple times, each read resulting in the discovery of something new.

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

A: Multiple submissions. Not following guidelines when it comes to formatting stories or sending them as email attachments. Submitting stories that are not quite "there" yet.

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

A: Cover letters are not necessary. Upon publication we request a short bio. We're primarily concerned with the story.

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

A: Stories are given a fair chance, meaning in cases where the beginning is not engaging to a first read, further reading may be done to see if a false start or some re-arranging can be done to suit our taste. Beginnings, though, are important. There must be something that propels readers forward, even if it is something subtle. Still, if a story lacks in the ending, it may also be rejected. Think wholeness. That is what Open Road Review seeks.

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

A: Pieces are often read aloud and, at times, read by a second editor.

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

A: There's nothing special about my process. It takes place behind a small desk and a computer. I will admit it helps me to print a story in hard copy format and have it close to me while I perform final edits. I use THE CHICAGO MANUAL OF STYLE often and I suggest you do, too.

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

A: It's probable that more readers and writers (worldwide) may be reached via Internet, and submission processes via Internet save costs and are convenient. Still, as Open Road Review has planned for the near future, hard copy anthologies are important. To hold a book in one's hand--there's nothing like it.