Saturday, March 19, 2011

Steven Ramirez ~ OS Staff Interview

Steven Ramirez  

is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop. His fiction has appeared, or is forthcoming, in the Indiana Review, North American Review, Blue Mesa Review, Stumble Magazine, and Midway Journal. His work was awarded the Blue Mesa Review Short Fiction Award, as well as the Prairie Lights-Jack Legget Award in Fiction, judged by Yiyun Li. Two of his short stories were recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Steven currently teaches in Chicago, where he is working on a collection of short stories and a novel.

Here's a short Q&A we had with Steven about his writing, reading, and editing. Enjoy!

Q: If you had to choose one work of fiction to live out the rest of your life with, what would it be, and why? 

Sherman Alexie's The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven. It's a difficult question only in that I couldn't decide which Alexie book to choose--but his first collection of short stories still makes me laugh out loud and feel deeply affected at the same time. Everyone knows (or can argue) how important short fiction is, but this book shows how much fun and accessible the form can be, too. 

Q: For you as an editor, what in a submission is a deal breaker?

Mistakes in grammar! Before I send anything out, I've probably read it (silently and aloud) about 10,000 times. I expect no less from other writers! Let's face it, the whole process is highly subjective, so why not perfect the part that CAN be perfected. Tobias Wolff and Joyce Carol Oates can probably get away with a typo or two when sending off a manuscript. But the rest of us can go ahead and consult a dictionary. 

Q: What's next for you and your writing?

Working to complete my collection of short stories, The End of the Mayan Calendar, and continuing along (and along) with my novel. 

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