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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.
Here is a small sampling from our recent Editor Interviews. We have interviewed over 1,775 editors.
Q: How much do you want to know about the person submitting to you?
A: We ask for a short bio that gives publishing and creative background.
A: We are open to as little or as much biographical information as authors care to provide. There's no guarantee we'll read/use all of it, however.
A: Previous publications are nice, but they don't bare anything as to whether the story your submitting can stand on its own. So, I like to see some credentials- if they've published in science fiction magazines, or been nominated for awards. Blogs and websites are helpful if the submitter has them, but please don't send me a cover letter with a list of 18 stories you've published, or self-published novels. I won't read it anyway.
If you write a story about biology and you are a biologist- tell me that.
A: We care in that we enjoy a nice one - but we'll always pay attention to the actual story first. A moment of originality in a cover letter is a pleasant moment in our day, but there's really no need to try hard. Short and straightforward is absolutely fine. We don't pay much attention to lists of previous publications except in the case of a previously-unpublished writer whose story is *brilliant*, which means we can be the ones to launch them on the world via our "Introducing" series.
A: I like a polite, straightforward cover letter with a short bio included in the body of the email. Occasionally, if I’m really torn about a piece, I’ll consider those past publications—maybe even check one or two out. But generally, it’s all about the submission that’s been sent to us.
A: We don't care much about cover letters or previous publication credits. We do care about your short bio. We want to know who you are.
A: Nothing at all. We only look at the piece itself, since we do not believe that its value is measured by where this person has studied, worked, or published.
A: Not really. I mean, it's nice to get to know the author a bit, so I mostly just care about a small description of them and maybe their past work.
A: Totally irrelevant to us. In fact, we skip over the "here is why I'm cool" section in the emails people send because we don't want it to influence our reading of the story.
A: Cover letters are not important to our selection process. Lists of publications may be helpful to understand a writer's current exposure, but previous publication is certainly not required.
A: We do not use cover letters. Our Editorial Manager on line system requirements are clear.
A: A short bio will accompany all our published essays, but the finalists are blind judged, so previous publications are not a requirement for selection. Just strong, honest writing.