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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 1,850 editors.
Q: How much do you want to know about the person submitting to you?
A: No, we don't need any additional information. But if the poet feels like explaining why he or she submitted a specific poem we appreciate it. We publish profiles of our published poets on our site but we only discuss this once a poem is chosen for publication.
A: No cover letters or lists of publications are required. Literary social classism has no bearing on successful submissions.
A: Publication credits are not why we select works. Cover letters can be useful, if they help the editor understand the author's driving impulses in creating the work. We don't seek a synopsis, but we do want to understand what genre it is (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or hybrid), and what compelled the author to write it. If the work, for example, wrestles with certain issues, we're glad to see the author articulate that in the cover.
A: Very little. Quite often, submitters will include a bio in their submissions email, but I try to disregard these until I've read the submission. It's always interesting to gain insight into a submitter after the fact, but it has no bearing on whether or not their work will be accepted.
A: Cover letters are fun, but not necessary. We like work to stand on it's own, but it's also nice to get to know the author. Previous credits do not make or break a submission.
A: Anything you feel like sharing; although, I’d prefer you keep the correspondence reasonably professional.
I do not need a long introduction about how the poems you're submitting came into existence. If some context is useful feel free to share.
A: As little, or as much, as you want to tell us. We’ll get to know you through your work and you participation in the forum.
A: As already explained, cover letters are very important to gauge the reader's engagement with our magazine's mission. However, cover letters are not everything -- we're looking for polished, quality work that engages with human emotion during the act of creation.
We've accepted works from complete unknowns and turned down collections from poet laureates. The work is much more important to us than prior publications.
A: I do want the poet to send me a short bio, but I won't read it until after I have read the work. I don't care where you have been published; I care about the quality of the work you send me. I will happily be the first person to recognize an emerging poet; in fact, that is one of the great joys of this work.
A: We ask for just a bio—and that’s mostly in case of acceptance so we already have it on hand. Honestly, we don’t even look at who’s sending it until after we’ve read the story. The work is what counts—although we do like some experience, so that they know how to work with an editor and what that process entails.
A: Who you are is less important than what your write.
A: We don't really care where else you've published if your writing is good. Feel free to give us links to past published works, but it's not required. In fact, we enjoy working with emerging writers!