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Read all the editors' answers to Duotrope's interview question: What is the best advice you can give people who are considering submitting work to your publication? Learn more.
Here is a small sampling from our recent Editor Interviews. We have interviewed over 1,725 editors.
Q: What is the best advice you can give people who are considering submitting work to your publication?
A: First, is it in proper format?
Next, what does your piece say? Do not think too hard on this question. It should be clear and present. Does it fit with the theme? Our themes change year over year, but many times I wonder if an author even bothered reading the small bit on the website before sending their work.
Is it reasonably free of errors? I don't expect perfection, but a 5k word short-story with no paragraph indents and inconsistent spacing is not going to get a full reading. This isn't always true, but poor formatting is usually an extension of poor writing and/or poor storytelling. Make it easy to say yes.
A: Don't send us poetry that has no other media element. We consider text-only erasure and highly experimental, formally-manipulated text-only work or 'concrete poetry.' But we are most interested in all forms of collage, including "collage poetry"-- we broadly define this as language that moves through/within other types of art/media, be it video, sound, fiber arts, paint, scissor-and-glue cuts, sculpture, found objects, etc. We want more work that isn't (just) visual!
A: It's common advice, but it's important to read what we've already published (either online or in print). This will give you an idea of whether your work will fit in our magazine. Reading our guidelines is also critical. We judge blind so if we see a name on your submission we can't consider it. Finally, just because we allow for multiple submissions, that doesn't always benefit your submission. Choose your best work and send it to us. Less is, almost always, more.
A: Read the guidelines carefully. We publish every day and publish the best story submitted on that day. All things being equal we'll choose the one that is the most helpful to us. For instance today we had three equally enjoyable stories so we picked the one that was formatted correctly.
A: First and most important: Never be afraid to submit!
Secondly, take the time to review your work so that the final edition is as close to perfection as it can be. If possible, use grammar or spellcheck or ask someone (friend or teacher) to read over any verbiage to catch any unseen mistakes.
Another area to confirm is to stay within the guidelines of the request. Make sure to read all the requirements - word limits and categorical themes are two of the most commonly overlooked admission errors. In other words, if there is a set word limit, please stay within that boundary - word limits are specific and should be taken with the utmost consideration. Sometimes publications have a theme, so when submitting, it is imperative to provide writing or artwork that fits the theme. Ignoring a categorical theme can cause the artist's work to be placed in a 'holding pattern' or denied for that particular edition.
And lastly: Never give up submitting - there are many chances to resubmit and also seek out new publications.
A: Please read the guidelines. It's always a let down to tell a writer that we loved his or her story but that it's over 2,000 words, so we can't publish it. Of course, it helps if you read our previous issues.
A: Just read the guidelines and send us what you think will fit when you think it's ready! If you want an insight into what we publish either review our free sample stories from the year or take out a subscription.
A: I'd visit the website and read a little bit. Everything is on there, and it is free to read.
A: Make sure to read guidelines first. Often writers submitting are still neophytes and ignore basic rules of grammar, themes, and the most important rule: Show, don’t tell.
A: Send your completed article, interview or cover art submission to [email protected]
A: Send us something unexpected. We always have an idea of what we want, but the stories that I remember years after initially publishing them are the ones I couldn't have imagined when first creating the call for submissions. Obviously following the guidelines, and writing well are a given, but sending something that stands out for being outside the box will always put you in good stead.
A: The best advice is that they adhere to the submissions guidelines.