Editor Interviews

Members' Area: You are not logged in. You need to log in to access this feature. Sign up if you haven't already. All new accounts start with a free trial.

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.

Free Preview

Here is a small sampling from our recent Editor Interviews. We have interviewed over 1,600 editors.

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

A: All I want to know is their work and a return address. The writing is what matters.

A: We don't particularly care about cover letters. Cover letters that hype the story's attributes are a bit of a turnoff; we prefer to judge the story for ourselves. We may look at previous publication credits to get a sense of the writer's experience level to judge how to frame any feedback.

A: We read blind, so initially, we are not interested in knowing anything about the person who submits. We feel that knowing someone’s background or credentials may color the way we view their poem. We are proud of the fact that our debut issue published well-established poets as well as those who were being published for the first time. We are all about the quality of the poem we are reading at the moment. But...after our final decisions are made, we love reading the cover letters!

Robbin Farr and Judith Lagana, Founders and co-editors of River Heron Review, 14 September 2018

A: I don't really care where people have been published. It feels pretentious to me, and doesn't make me pay greater attention to the work. Tell me something about your soul, give me a glimpse of who you are behind your words. Let me know you stand for something.

A: Cover letters mean nothing unless you write a better one than the material you just submitted. Then we have a problem. I want a short bio submitted to save staff time. But I judge on writing alone. Don’t care about credits, colleges or community teach-in’s.

Mark Antony Rossi, Editor in Chief of Ariel Chart, 07 September 2018

A: As little as possible. We use a blind reading process. Cover letters, while appreciated for their formality, interfere with the blind process. Previous publication credits don't matter to us. We publish both emerging and established writers and artists. All we want to know when you submit is the title of your work. If you want to request specific feedback, you can, but you do so with anonymity. We just want your best work, and that's all we'll base our publication decision upon.
If you're selected for publication (and even if you're not), we're excited to read your bio and get to know you.

A: Cover letters and prior publications are not important to me as an editor. However, you should include an abstract of your paper.

Janet Brennan Croft, Editor of Mythlore, 07 September 2018

A: It's great to hear a bit about the writer's background, her journey and occupations, his prior publications, but we want to hear from writers whose journeys are just beginning, too. The work itself is going to be your best advocate.

Matthew Pitt, Editor-in-chief of Descant, 05 September 2018

A: we have double blind peer review, so the less the better

Chirstoph Pieper, Editor-in-chief of Mnemosyne, 05 September 2018

A: If an unpublished writer sends us something that makes us fight and love, we don't care about credits. I'm always curious to see where folks are putting out their work, but it makes no difference in the final selection process.

A: Bio, CV, and artists statement are VERY important to our selection process. We appreciate a bio that tells what's interesting about each artist's life, preparation, and practice and we do not put a cap on the number of words. We value formal training, advanced degrees, and publication and exhibition history; but we do not need to see every show, course, and review. We are glad to receive an artist's statement that describes the work submitted; but we definitely prefer statements that avoid nebulous nouns, vacuous verbs, and other forms of pseudo-artsy language. .

A: Although Submittable asks for cover letters, we don't really need or care about them. I ask the editorial staff not to read them until after reading and deciding upon the submission itself (and we ask for blind submissions). Lots of submitters ignore the submission guidelines, surprisingly! I don't care about previous publications.