Editor Interview: RHINO Founders' Prize
Q: Describe what you publish in 25 characters or less.
A: Love affair w language!
Q: What other current publications (or publishers) do you admire most?
A: All of them.
Q: What sets your publication apart from others that publish similar material?
A: The actual publication is beautifully bound, with a professionally illustrated cover which changes each year, very nice paper, and professionally designed on the inside as well. We put a lot of care into the printed matter.
We also publish each poem online throughout the year, and offer our writers the opportunity to record their poem for the website.
Q: What is the best advice you can give people who are considering submitting work to your publication?
A: Read the guidelines carefully. Read the poems carefully to get an idea of our taste - while eclectic, we value craft and risk.
You can purchase a back issue for only $6.
Q: Describe the ideal submission.
A: 5 pages of poetry or less.
The poems don't need to hang together but we value a struggle between choosing one of the bunch.
Q: What do submitters most often get wrong about your submissions process?
A: Some submitters send overly cliched work or more poems than we ask for.
Some submitters for the Founders' Prize don't see the huge PayPal button and wonder how to pay. We're happy to answer questions but it makes our lives easier if the guidelines for formatting and submitting are followed.
Q: How much do you want to know about the person submitting to you?
A: We like to know how people heard of RHINO and anything else they want to share.
We don't need a lot of explanations about the poems - in fact, we prefer to make our own discoveries while reading them.
Q: If you publish writing, how much of a piece do you read before making the decision to reject it?
A: We read every poem in every submission.
Each submission is read by 4 editors.
Q: What additional evaluations, if any, does a piece go through before it is accepted?
A: We query to make sure the piece hasn't been published or accepted elsewhere.
Q: What is a day in the life of an editor like for you?
A: We have 10-12 editors who are each tasked with reading throughout both submissions windows (general and Founders'' prize). This often means we read 20 packets a week, which is 100 poems a week.
We meet twice a month to "bring to the table" poems we feel bear reading by the group. There the poem is read out loud - some of us follow along on our laptops - and discussed at length.
Q: How important do you feel it is for publishers to embrace modern technologies?
A: Online submissions are much easier for us to handle and respond to.
However, we know that for various reasons some people don't use computers or have access to internet. We still want their poems.