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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 1,875 editors.
Q: How much do you want to know about the person submitting to you?
A: A brief, 2-3 sentence bio always helps. Previous publication credits are useful, but we sometimes run pieces by people who are starting out who are passionate about a particular book or author.
A: We don't want an entire life story, but we would like to know just a little bit about the person submitting to us.
A: No, we do not ask for cover letters. There is a submission inquiry form on the website
A: Where they've written, what expertise they bring, examples of work they've done. Cover letter is fine but not required.
A: We do appreciate a brief, friendly cover letter. What do you like about WTR? What's the origin story for the pieces that you've sent? Publication credits are unimportant, but we do like to know if folks belong to traditionally marginalized communities.
A: Writing samples are mandatory. That being said, a writing sample can be one from the writer’s own blog. I need to have a sense of their writing ability.
I enjoy working with writers across all experience levels. It doesn’t matter if the writer hasn’t been published—I just need to see raw talent.
A: I like a cover letter that tells us who you are and why you chose to submit to us. In my opinion, the ideal bio is 50-75 words long. Most publishers don't require your entire CV.
A: Most moms communicate well, so there is nothing more we seek when someone is contacting us.
A: We prefer to read the work blindly before noticing your name or bio because it intensifies our focus on your piece and examines if it is a proper fit for the monthly theme.
A: We've discovered that prior publications matter little, and we're probably going to drop the cover letter request in the future. Story quality is really the only thing that matters.
A: I'm a writer myself and I hate writing cover letters, so it would be pretty hypocritical of me to care too much about them. We want the stuff outlined in our guidelines, but if you write more, honestly, I'm not going to read it. If your submission is accepted, I'll ask for your bio. Before that, it's your piece that matters. We don't care if you have a long list of publication credits. Your work will speak for itself.
The only thing that is really helpful--because we accept works from all ages--is age. Once you're past eighteen, you're lumped into "grown-up" world, so it doesn't matter. But if you're still in school, tell us. Awesome work by a seven-year-old looks different than awesome work by a sixteen-year-old. If it's awesome, we want it.
A: We’re more interested in quality than we are in where the writer or artist has published before, whether they have an MFA, etc. That being said, we have long been committed to diversity and inclusiveness, so biographies are important to us when making final decisions. We are strong supporters of gender parity and will continue to publish writing from underrepresented voices. Don’t be afraid to include this biographical information in your cover letter if you feel comfortable doing so.