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Editor Interviews

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Read all the editors' answers to Duotrope's interview question: How much do you want to know about the person submitting to you? Learn more.

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Here is a small sampling from our recent Editor Interviews. We have interviewed over 1,825 editors.

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

A: The only thing we need to know about for sure is that you meet our geographic eligibility requirements: that must be made clear in your cover letter. That said, we also love to know about some of your previous publication credits... but those credits do not weigh into our editorial considerations. To illustrate: the poem which was awarded the 2020 poetry prize from Stone Canoe was the poet's first publication.

Philip Memmer, Executive Editor of Stone Canoe, 13 August 2020

A: It's always nice to be greeted, but it's not a prerequisite. Having an idea of who is submitting to us is great, too, but not a deal-breaker. A listing of a few previous publications, if applicable, is welcomed, but please don't send us your entire resume. Feel free to include a short, third-person bio. But if you don't, we'll ask for one upon acceptance.

J. Edward Kruft, Editor-at-large of trampset, 09 August 2020

A: I don't require cover letters or ask for a bio. The poems speak for themselves. I discovered early that poets can publish in prestigious journals (congrats to them!) but I have to like their work and sometimes I don't.

A: A short third-person bio is sufficient, along with anything that might put the submission into context.

A: The best cover letter is short and sweet: four-five sentences about who the writer is as a writer, with some previous credits (if applicable). The work is what matters. If the writer has never been published before and we love their work, we are happy to be their first publication credit.

Melissa Wade, Editor-in-chief of phoebe, 07 August 2020

A: It genuinely doesn't matter. I make decisions based on the writing, not the writer's accolades. Whether you've never been published or you've been published 100 times, I will make my decision based on the piece you submit. For visual art, I do want an artist's statement at the time of submission.

A: I would prefer a simple introductory email telling me who you are, the topic you wish to write about, and what you hope to gain by being published. I consider every submission, regardless of credits, experience, or education.

A: We just want to see the work that the author considers their best writing! We take geographical diversity into consideration and therefore request their home undergraduate institution, but the work itself takes precedence. Our journal is meant to be a platform for both exploration and excellence. We embrace experienced authors who include past publications or their inspiration/writing process in cover letters but equally look for those who have never been published, just started creative writing, or are looking for feedback on how to improve their writing.

A: Where they live, where they have been published, what they are experts in, who else they write for, their photo is mandatory too.

A: We do not want cover letters, bios, or any unasked for information. It slows the process reading the anthology entries.
When we select feature poets, we will ask for their photo and bio. Feature poets present workshops at the yearly festival when the anthology is released.

A: We like cover letters / brief bios; let us know if you are local to the DC/MD/VA area, what publications you are most proud of, and link to your website, if you have one. The quality of the work matters most, but we like to try to get a sense of why you wanted to submit to us and who you are.

Diana Smith Bolton, Founding Editor of District Lit, 26 July 2020

A: We ask for a short bio. If the writer has been previously published, it's nice to hear where. But we actually prefer the unpublished. Instead of listing publications, we like to hear where you are from, what your do for a living, and some of your interests.