Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Six Questions for Elias Simpson, Chief Editor, Toad

Toad publishes new poetry, prose, and visual art. Read the complete guidelines here.

SQF: What are the top three things you look for in a story and why?

ES: I look for mystery to satisfy curiosity. I look for language to please my ear. And I look for experimental or informed or exciting taste to placate my intellect.

SQF: When reading a story, what clues tell you the story was written by a novice author?

ES: When lines and sentences don't connect or acknowledge the progression of the piece then I can tell the writer doesn't feel the writing in his or her gut; though I must admit I struggle with this myself, being relatively young and inexperienced.

SQF: What other common mistakes do you encounter that turn you off to a story?

ES: Dependence on irony or flippancy, or humor that isn't funny.

SQF: Do you provide comments when you reject a story?

ES: I haven't yet. Toad just began accepting submissions.

SQF: What do you consider to be the primary responsibilities of an editor?

ES: Editors determine the aesthetics of the journal, they connect to the staff, promote the journal, and cooperate with the writers to present the best work available to them.

SQF: What one question on this topic do you wish I'd asked that I didn't? And how would you answer it?

ES: What benefit does Toad offer to the public? It's rare because it offers different aesthetics on the same pages. Toad challenges artistic comfort.

Thank you, Elias. We all appreciate you taking time from your busy schedule to participate in this project.

NEXT POST: 5/20--Six Questions for Rusty Barnes, Editor, Fried Chicken and Coffee

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