A Talk with Matthew Guerruckey, Editor-in-Chief of Drunk Monkeys (2015)

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Although I had found Drunk Monkeys by clicking randomly from a catalog of literary magazines, I had not found it easy to click away; I was ensnared briefly by its funny name, and, more importantly, by the wide-ranging nature of its content. Drunk Monkeys, an online literary magazine since 2011, has a great selection of original poetry, fiction, and nonfiction – and a healthy film blog. Even though I can’t pinpoint exactly what Drunk Monkeys is “about”, I think that’s exactly part of its charm and what it aims to do.

I had the pleasure to get in contact with its Editor-in-Chief, Matt Guerruckey, who was kind to give me more insight on how Drunk Monkeys creates and maintains its content.

My first question was about who reads Drunk Monkeys. Due to the lit mag’s film section, literary and film fans alike are attracted to the site. A slight majority of college-educated females frequent the literary section, while males visit the film section. Guerruckey describes their readership as “small, but loyal, which expands as we publish authors with a larger fanbase.” I noticed that myself when perusing their site and social media – I especially enjoyed reading “Writers of the Month” pieces for more exposure to emerging or local authors I haven’t heard about.

I was curious about the selection process for pieces Drunk Monkeys publishes. I found it interesting to see a variety of processes for each section poetry (the decision of the poetry editor, Aaron Wiegert), fiction (three readers and a Fiction Editor, Tegan Webb), and non-fiction (Donald McCarthy and Guerruckey himself). This combination of individual and team work works well, as they have to remain efficient to keep their readers on their toes. Since Drunk Monkeys publishes “at least two poems and three short stories a week”, Guerruckey paces the selection process so that they have “a month’s worth of posts ready to run at any time.”

The digital age has made it possible for Drunk Monkeys’ staff to create a cohesive product despite geographic differences. Guerruckey cites Facebook as “the one place that everybody is” which makes it easy to coordinate different time zones and discuss submissions.

Guerruckey splits his day as a fiction writer himself, and working for Drunk Monkeys. He has been published in other lit mags like Bartleby Snopes, Cease Cows, and Literary Orphans. (I think this sounds like a pretty cool job.) When asked about what he’s most proud about this lit mag, Guerruckey says, “I’m happy that it’s eclectic. I’m happy that we have a focus both on literary work and film reviews and articles. It’s nice to see fans coming to us from both sides, because I’m passionate about both of those worlds.” He hopes to expand their film section for the future and continue building their fanbase.

For anyone inclined to see what has made me so excited, I encourage readers and writers alike to check it outDrunk Monkeys is free to read and submit to!

Special thanks to Matthew Guerruckey of Drunk Monkeys for taking the time to answer my questions!

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