We here at Epoch Press are writers, artists, and creative people ourselves. It’s the main reason we are committed to not charging submissions fees; we know what it’s like to feel held back by financial disadvantage and predatory practices. We also know how it feels to submit to publications without knowing how or why the selected work is chosen. Because of this, we wanted to take a moment to give you a behind the scenes look into our artwork submissions process.
Step one: artwork submission is received.
When a submission hits our inbox, the first thing we do is check to make sure all pertinent information has been included and all files are properly formatted. If not, you may hear back from us with a request to resubmit. As much as we’d like to accept all submissions as we receive them, we often must insist on proper formatting and caption information in order to streamline the selection process.
Step two: anonymize submission.
Epoch is committed to judging submissions anonymously and all artworks are entered into a confidential spreadsheet which tracks each piece and where it is in the selection process.
Step three: post submissions to round 1 of the selection process.
Every Friday the week’s new submissions are posted anonymously for our art editors to view and react via a simple voting process. Any work which has received a vote by the next Friday will move on to round 2. Any work which does not receive a vote is considered rejected at round 1.
Step four: post submissions to round 2 of the selection process.
Any work which received a round 1 vote the previous week is moved to round 2 the following Saturday. The image files are posted to a special folder and their caption information is entered into a collaborative spreadsheet where each art editor will add their comments and recommendations for each piece. If an artwork receives a “no” recommendation from every art editor, it is considered rejected at Round 2.
Step five: read selected CNF and make artwork selections.
Much of the visual art we receive reflects the theme of the current issue and is strong enough in both subject and technique to stand on its own. We have found, however, that it is helpful to be familiar with the written pieces that have been selected for print in order to better understand how the artwork will fit into the issue. Many times, we pair CNF with a piece of art due to similarity in theme or in order to aid the general flow of the journal. For this reason, we often wait to make final artwork selections until after the CNF selection process has been concluded. The team of art editors will then virtually meet with the Managing Art Editor and the Editor in Chief in order to discuss and finalize artwork selections.
Step six: notify artists.
Once the selection process has concluded, all artists are notified of acceptance or rejection (if they have not been previously notified). Contracts are sent out to the accepted artists, their preferences and important information (such as bios) are collected, and artists upload their large files suitable for print.
Throughout this process we have received quite a few questions about what kind of art we are looking for and I wanted to take this moment to address that. To be perfectly honest I, personally, want to see everything. I want to see your traditional art, your performance art, animations, installations, photography, ceramics. I want to see your pretty art, your weird art, your social protest pieces and your beautification projects. With that said, some of these things tend to be more conducive to print then others. Further still, some will be more in line with Epoch, our ethos, and our esthetic than others. I always recommend spending time with any organization that you intend to submit to. Getting to know their goals, their work, and their personality before submitting will always raise your chances of submitting something that they are interested in. With this in mind, I highly suggest visiting our website at www.epochpress.org to get to know us a little better and to check out our submission guidelines!
Always remember that we, and other publications like us, receive hundreds of submissions. If your work is not chosen, it doesn’t always mean we didn’t like it. Sometimes another piece just happened to work better for us or for the theme on hand. Don’t ever allow a rejection to define the validity of your art.