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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 2,075 editors.
Q: How much do you want to know about the person submitting to you?
A: We do care about cover letters, especially those that answer key questions posed in our guidelines.
A: Cover letters don't hurt!
A: We don't require cover letters, but a short third-person bio is needed in the case of acceptance. Previous publication credits don't matter to us--we're an undergraduate journal, so first-time publications are common.
A: Cover letters are fun to read when someone tells us how they found out about Abandon Journal, or tells us a little about themselves, but they in no way impact the judgment of a piece. We don’t read blind, technically, but we also don’t take into consideration someone’s previous publication credits, either. So if you’ve published a lot or a little, we’re happy to read your submission!
A: No. Make them short, sweet, and proofed.
A: We like cover letters and we publish short bios. I think our readers like hearing about where you've been published before, and it helps promote those publications as well, and so even though it makes no difference to our readers/editors (as the information is not shared with them), we don't mind them being included. Mostly, though, we want the elevator pitch version of your journey as a writer.
A: I don't mind either way if others share more about themselves. It is rarely a factor used when selecting submission for publication, though it is interesting to have some background information.
A: No we really don't care and I know some poets put great store by their cover letters and the space allocated - but really we read the manuscripts and re-read the manuscripts. When we alight on something we like, that is the time we start to look for more information about the poet. We do have a focus on women and black poets so it is useful for us to have this information indicated (if it is not readily knowable).
A: We like them, but we don't need them. If we accept the piece, we'll ask for a bio.
Often we try to read the submissions blind.
A: We enjoy reading cover letters that give us a sense of the person, but a cover letter is not necessary. Previous publication credits are not determinative. We do like to list titles of books in our "Contributors Exchange."
A: Cover letters describing the story are hit and miss. We read them all, but don't expect them and are not influenced by them. A good bio should include a list of previous publications, where the submitter is from (town, state, country etc... because we like to promote our international/borderless bona fides), if they have a 'day job' or 'night gig' or other ways of earning a living besides their art, and what they are working on currently/next.