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Editor Interviews

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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.

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Here is a small sampling from our recent Editor Interviews. We have interviewed over 1,950 editors.

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

A: I don't need to know much or anything about them beyond what's in their official bio. I appreciate a cover letter but it's not necessary as long as all the other information listed in the call for submissions is there.

A: We ask for a short cover letter in the body of the email and a brief bio. We read the poems before we look at the cover letters and bios, but we do consider them. Brevity is key as we get lots of submissions, but we do want to know what else you're up to.

A: We don't need to know much about you. A 50-100 word biography is plenty.

A: I like a nice third person bio, but you don't have to list EVERY previous publication or award. That being said, I don't hold it against someone if they do that.

A: We prefer not to know too much about the person submitting in order to avoid bias in our selection process.

A: Do not need to know about the submitters. CLAJ is engages in blind review.

dr. vay a.k.a. Vershawn Ashanti Young, Editor of CLA Journal, 10 January 2022

A: We love cover letters. More information about an entrant gives them something beyond a name, and we feel a connection. To know the author is a 90 year old grandmother or a 16 year old schoolboy from Japan or Iceland adds an element of joy to our days. However, obviously, the readers and judges have no access to such information; each stoy is judged on its literary merits alone. Lists of previous credits does interest us of course, but serves only our curiosity.

A: If material is accepted for publication the Journal requires a brief autobiographical note on the contributor. This will appear at the back of each Journal. It should mention, briefly, academic achievements, publications, military service or other relevant work. Ideally, it should not exceed 6 or 8 lines of text.

A: Credentials are not important to us! We do ask for brief bios for accepted poems, but we don't read your cover letter until after accepting your work.

A: Cover letters are always nice. Especially for longer fiction, we always like a brief, spoiler filled synopsis so we can see the 5000-foot view of the story, pacing, etc. But they aren't necessary. And previous publishing credit doesn't matter too much. If you come to us with a fantastic story but no one has picked it up yet, no worries. Too often the publishing industry doesn't take a chance on good work because they like the safe bet. We don't. We like the good stories. Your story counts way more than anything else you send in with it.

Joshua Demarest, Executive Director of CatStone Books, 03 January 2022

A: A cover letter that include a brief bio is helpful to place the submission in context.

A: We love cover letters. We aren't as interested in your previous publications, but we like to know interesting details about you, what your day job is, if you have any pets. The cover letter lets us make a small connection with the writer before we start reading any poetry. Your cover letter won't really affect whether or not you get published; we just really enjoy learning about you.