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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 1,550 editors.

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

A: We like to get to know our authors. During the editing process, we get to know you a bit because you will be working with editors closely and exchanging many emails. In addition, we like to know about our authors for marketing reasons. It allows us to help position the book to target audiences and make the author appealing. Also, knowing a bit about the author during the submissions process helps us see if we are the best publisher for that author and if they are a good fit for our company.

A: We toy with the idea of eliminating cover letters all the time, actually. They don't matter that much. Typically, I don't read them until after I've decided one way or another about a submission.

A: It's not important. We are all so many things, but we want to see the person through their work.

Miah Jeffra, Editor-in-Chief of Foglifter, 20 March 2018

A: Cover letters with submissions are optional. We usually don't read them; if we do read them, it's only after becoming interested in the work itself. We've published huge names like Chen Chen and Mark Jacobs as well as first timers like Stephen Hundley and Mackinley Greenlaw. Everyone is equal until we see that first line or paragraph. Our guest editors read submissions blind.

A: Entries are judged anonymously.

A: All entries are judged anonymously.

A: No, previous publication credits are not taken into consideration. We publish both established and emerging artists. My panels do not see the cover letters. I enjoy reading what people have done in the past, and I do request a bio to have on hand for chosen contributions, but the people selecting the work do not see them until the magazine is published.

A: The more 1) succinct and 2) informative the cover letter is, the better. If a submitter can achieve the perfect fusion of these two qualities, that's a winner. The briefest of self-profiles, listing the briefest of relevant credits and personal background info, accompanied by an equally brief (but arresting) description of the accompanying work, is what we're looking for. Additionally, cover letters that observe standard rules of etiquette -- without, for instance, being inappropriately joking, folksy, or forward/familiar -- are appreciated.

Jon Padgett and Matt Cardin, Editors-in-Chief of Vastarien, 08 March 2018

A: We care about the person's dedicated contemplative practice/s in the cover letter. Only that.
We focus on the work submitted.
When we accept work, we are interested and happy to know as much as the person wants to share with us.

A: Yes, I like cover letters, third-person bios, and working email addresses. I do like to get a general idea of what the author has been doing with his talent, so a list of publications can be helpful--though I never require previous publication for the writer. We all have to begin somewhere.

A: We feel your writing will tell us what we really need to know. If your words speak, we listen.
We have a form and cover letters get in the way. Just fill out our form online and follow the directions. They're simple really. Previous publications are wonderful; however, they have no bearing on our decision process at all. In fact, we ask that bios be kept to 50 words max. We are just as thrilled to publish someone for the first time.

A: We look for a query rather than a cover letter, and we do not accept manuscripts. Rather, we prefer to work with writers from the beginning to avoid unnecessary re-writes. A list of previous publication credits matters only insofar as they may give us an idea of the level of sophistication and/or expertise of the writer.