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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 1,625 editors.
Q: How much do you want to know about the person submitting to you?
A: We don't care about this at all. For stories we publish, we like to add a little bio at the end, but it is not a factor in considering a submission.
A: I love that many authors have included a short, third-person bio. That way, later, I won't have to ask for one from the authors of accepted stories (since we do print them bios near the back of the book). Do I care what's in the cover letters? It doesn't make any difference to my read of the story, since I look at the cover letter afterward. I tell my Alpha students (alpha.spellcaster.org) to include the story title, word count, genre, and any significant publication credits in their cover letters. If you have not had anything published yet, don't say that -- just don't mention anything about previous publications. The story stands on its own, so don't stress over the cover letter.
A: Our publication and evaluation process is strictly independent of the person who is submitting. The only exception are junior scholars who have as yet little experience with international publishing. For them, we have a special mentor program in place to assist them in the sometimes arcane process of academic publishing. Their work will have to undergo the same rigorous evaluation standards as other submissions, however. In all cases, manuscripts are double blind peer reviewed, so the experts who evaluate the manuscript have no idea of the identity of the author.
A: It's nice to see a writing sample if there is one. But we care more about the pitch than bylines.
A: We don't read cover letters and previous publications credits don't matter to us. The only thing that matters is your story. If you can write a great story, we wan't to read it!
A: Previous publication credits do not matter to us. We're happy to celebrate your past accomplishments with you, but certainly don't require them. We believe in letting the work speak for itself. If you submit strong writing accompanied by a warm and positive cover letter, we'd be thrilled to add you to our pages, whether it's your first attempt at publication, or your hundredth!
A: Just a formal introduction and the description of the pieces.
A: We really don't care too much about cover letters in the first round of consideration. In the second round, we're slightly more interested in knowing who you are and what you do--mainly because we want to make sure to get established AND fresh talents into each issue. Overall, we're less impressed by exhaustive lists of publications than we are with a cover letter that offers us real context for the writer's work. Tell us where you fit in the larger literary landscape. And maybe save the jokes for another context.
A: Cover letters are not required or expected. Previous publications or previous work don't matter as much as the piece itself.
A: I like to see a short bio, but publication credits are irrelevant to my process (unless they are the credits for the story I'm about to read). The shorter the cover letter, the better. Just "Here is my story, thanks!" is plenty, and even that's not really needed. I just want to read the story. :D
A: Previous publication credits are good, but more importantly, we want to know about the author's platform. Do you have a strong social media following? Do you lead a bible study or have an existing ministry that already touches many lives? Let us know.
A: We love cover letters! We love publishing new writers, but do let us know if you have previous pub credits.