Skip to Content

Editor Interview: Furrow

Q: Describe what you publish in 25 characters or less.

A: The best undergrad work

Q: What other current publications (or publishers) do you admire most?

A: Booth, Ninth Letter, A Public Space, Cream City Review

Q: What sets your publication apart from others that publish similar material?

A: While most undergraduate literary journals only publish work from students at their host school, Furrow accepts submissions from undergraduates at any U.S. college or university. So we receive an extraordinary number of submissions for each issue (sometimes over 1,000), and this enables us to publish what we consider the very best work from undergraduates across the country. (Our 2019 issue earned the AWP Program Directors Prize for best undergraduate literary journal!)
Another thing that sets Furrow apart is that our undergraduate student editors do ALL the work. They don't just pick which pieces to publish, they handle copyediting, layout, design, web design, fundraising, promotion, and everything else it takes to put out a beautifully designed and professional-quality print and web publication.

Q: What is the best advice you can give people who are considering submitting work to your publication?

A: Make sure your work is carefully polished and revised. Competition is stiff, and if your manuscript shows that you took special care to make it as polished, cohesive, and satisfying as possible, editors will trust you and take note of it.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: The ideal submission uses language (or art technique) in skillful and surprising ways. It has substance and emotional resonance, and uses specific detail and vivid imagery to create a memorable experience for our audience. The ideal submission is complex and unusual enough to invite discussion. It is not formulaic or reliant on hackneyed tropes or stereotypes.

Q: How much do you want to know about the person submitting to you?

A: Cover letters aren't that important to Furrow.

Q: If you publish writing, how much of a piece do you read before making the decision to reject it?

A: We go into each submission hoping for greatness, but if a piece obviously isn't right for us or ready for publication, we will stop reading.

Q: How important do you feel it is for publishers to embrace modern technologies?

A: Modern technologies are essential! They really simplify and speed up the process of managing submissions, sharing files, designing our print issue and website, and engaging with our audience.

Q: How much do you edit an accepted piece prior to publication?

A: Though we don't generally have time in our production schedule to work with each author on substantial content edits, we do send recommended copyedits to each accepted author and give them the chance to approve (or reject) copyedits. Occasionally, if a submission is exceptionally promising but has some issues that could be resolved with relatively easy content edits, we will engage an author in discussion about content edits.

Q: Do you nominate work you've published for any national or international awards?

A: Sometimes.