RS: You're a rather prolific freelance writer, working for a number of different publications. In your experience, what makes for a great editor?
TC: I feel like I could answer this in a number of ways; the type that's sticking out the most, for me, are those who make edits that push a piece forward, that challenge the places where I have made an argument half-assedly, that add clarity to the finished work. But it could be a lot of things: the editors who I can feel fine-tuning the work that I do get a lot of admiration, but there's also something to be said for an editor's willingness to show an interest in an unexpected piece, to encourage a writer's work as a whole.
You're teaching a class for Lit Reactor on submitting to literary magazines. How is that going so far? What have you learned from the experience?
The one in March will be my second time teaching there. The first one, I think, went very well, and I'm eager to venture back into it. (There were a few things that I learned about timing and structure that I'm planning to apply to the next session.) The concept of the course is helping people write stories that get the attention of literary magazine editors; teaching it has definitely made me think more about how I evaluate the stories that are submitted for Vol.1 Brooklyn. It's one thing to go on instinct, but it's another to (at least somewhat) write that into a cohesive set of statements: not just "I accepted this story," but "this is why I accepted this story."
What can Tobias Carroll fans look forward to in 2015?
More writing; most likely, a lot of posts on Twitter about books and music and a lot of Instagram photos of cups of coffee next to books.