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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 1,700 editors.
Q: How much do you want to know about the person submitting to you?
A: We always ask for bio and head shot after acceptance. For submissions a synopsis of the plot as we want to see the author can sum up their story in a concise manner.
A: No, I do not need a cover letter or previous credits. All that matters is the present submission.
A: People are free to send us that stuff in their submission, but we don't read any of it before we read the submission itself. We don't want to be influenced when reading a story. Once we've read it, we ask for that sort of info anyway.
A: Their biography is okay.
Although, the signature of some submitters tells me about their profession and location which I appreciate, their biography is adequate.
Some of my submitters introduce themselves, this is also welcome.
A: I do not care if the system has bestowed publication on you. I'm also not interested in where you went to school. Information about you should help inform me about the lens through which I read your work. No politics is bad politics.
A: I think it's important to know about the author, yes. Even if they are a debut author. Everyone has their own story after all. Although a few hundred words will suffice!
A: Less is more. Mystery is good. Epic-length bios take up an enormous amount of room. The best bio contains a line about the author on a deeper level, four or five favorite previous publications, a note concerning existing books, and a link to the author's website.
A: We like to know a bit about authors' backgrounds, but we rarely make a decision to review a book on that basis. Previous publications are interesting, but we prefer to work with authors at the beginning of their careers, so we can develop their profile together.
A: Nothing. We don't care at all. We don't care about your identity, we don't care about your past publications, awards, successes. We just care about the story that you've sent us.
A: A cover letter can include vital information and set the context about the author for the reader. Previous credits are useful when considering an emerging writer.
A: For us, the quality of the story stands on its own. For the contest, judging is blind so no information is provided to those selecting the stories. For the anthologies, selection is not blind, but we do not care about the writer's background unless it has bearing on the submission (a police officer writing a crime story, for example). We get writers who have never been published before and accomplished writers with impressive bios; we have published a high school student and a writer in her mid-80s. It's all about the quality and creativity of the story.
A: I'm always glad to know about the person behind the screen! The more sense I get of an individual in the cover letter, the more hopeful I am for the submission. Publication credits are always a part of this, though not the only thing by any means.