Interview With the Database

ImagedatabaseWe’re still a few months too young to be interviewed by the Big Literary Submission Database, but if we were old enough, our answers would be:

  1. Dark weird sexy funny lit
  2. The Straddler, The Alarmist, Gigantic Sequins.
  3. Kurt Vonnegut, Dorothy Parker, Jorge Luis Borges, Flannery O’Connor, Franz Kafka, Ishmael Reed, Kelly Link, Roald Dahl, Stanley Kubrick, Tina Fey, Bill Watterson, Robert Anton Wilson, Haruki Murakami, George Saunders, Tom Robbins, Emily Dickinson, Hunter S. Thompson, Louis CK, Gillian Flynn, Neil Gaiman, Junot Diaz, Octavia Butler, Amy Hempel, Richard Brautigan, Karen Russell, MF Doom, Virginia Woolf
  4. While we enjoy & admire & draw inspiration from other literary publications, our biggest influence is probably HBO.
  5. Poets: Send us your best rhyming poetry, and your chances of being published in our zine will increase. We receive practically zero rhyming poems, because it seems that modern poets think end rhyme is only slightly less disgusting than subway masturbation. But we love good rhyming poetry, and wish we got a lot more of it in our inbox.
    Prosers: Send us your best review of an imaginary work, a la Borges’ “Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote,” and your chances of being published in our zine will increase. Real books/ films/ albums/ etc. are great, but imaginary books/ films/ albums/ etc. don’t get nearly enough critical attention, if you ask us.
  6. Our ideal submission can be described by at least one of the following adjectives: surreal, shadowy, sensual, satirical. It throbs with life and wit and colorful details. It exudes tantalizing ambiguity, but the writing itself is clear and precise– not too flowery, yet not pedestrian either. It drags the future back through the past like a rotting donkey on a grand piano.
  7. Pretty much all of our submitters seem like cool people who’ve read our guidelines and have a fair idea of what kind of lit we want. But sometimes writers will get excessively cutesy in their cover letters, which doesn’t exactly go against our guidelines, but it’s “wrong” in the sense that it’s wrong for writers to assume that excessively cutesy cover letters will make their work more endearing to us. And because the number of submissions has been increasing lately, we’ve been kindly asking submitters of declined work to wait about 2 months before submitting again. When such writers then send us more work a week or so later, we tend to get a little cranky. It’s not that we don’t appreciate the enthusiasm; it’s just that for now, we only have so much time and so many eyeballs to read submissions.
  8. We don’t mind receiving bios from submitters, but we try not to read them before we read the submission. Then after we read someone’s bio, if we think they seem particularly interesting, we might google them to learn more. Of course, what we learn about a submitter doesn’t really influence our decision to accept or decline their work, but it might influence us to follow them on Twitter.
  9. We read every submission from beginning to end at least twice, unless the work is splattered with careless errors and lazy writing, in which case we’ll only read it once.
  10. We’ll do our best to make sure a piece hasn’t already been published before we accept it. We forgot to do that once, and later found out some poetry we accepted had already been posted online. We let it slide that one time, but it’s haunted us ever since.
  11. Obsession, rejection, depression, meditation, elation, intoxication, relaxation, titillation, exhaustion.
  12. We embrace modern technologies lovingly, tenderly, yet with a touch of restraint, like an old flame we’re still very good friends with.
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