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Editor Interviews

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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.

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

Q: What is the best advice you can give people who are considering submitting work to your publication?

A: Read our guidelines carefully and preview the previous issue on our website for an idea of what we like to read.

A: We publish expressive writing, free writing, non-fiction, personal essay, memoir, reflective essay, poetry, prose, contemplative discourse, and creative non-fiction—all that originate from a writing prompt—by both established and emerging writers. We do not accept fiction. Word count is flexible, but the length should be no more than what can be generated in a 20-minute free-write. We accept submissions throughout the year on a rolling basis and we publish new content weekly. There is never a deadline, because we don't feel there is ever a deadline for creativity.

A: The best piece of advice would be to write something that builds the tension and dread slowly. I want a slow burn on the creep factor. Bonus points if it is well-done cosmic horror as I am a big fan of the cosmic. If you submit something that is cosmic, set in a rural location, and gets creepier with each page, then there is a good chance I will ask for a full manuscript.

A: Creative writing is the most important element of our life as it helps us understand and appreciate the world around us. We strongly recommend to our submitters, 'Don't rush your writing in order to meet the deadlines'. Give all your time in the world to your writing and learn how to be patient. Eventually, you will discover your work will not only get selected by publishers but also will be appreciated by the readers. This is also one of the most effective ways of producing great content.
Additionally, we expect our submitters to have a complete understanding of the theme of our contests. That's it. Write. Feel. Publish. Before submitting your work to us, we further ask you to take out your time to read our contest guidelines. This helps publishers like us to ease the judging process and further announce the winner and release the book at the earliest.

A: Submit the poems you like the most, not what you think I might like the most.

Emily Tristan Jones, Editor of Columba, 13 November 2021

A: Be funny, but don’t be mean or racist or hurtful towards other people or groups. Don’t worry too much about the style, it’s the content that matters!

A: Reflect on your daily routine. Then, surprise us—uncover the beauty behind your everyday activities. How do you walk the line between dream and reality?

A: Please, please, please read both the full guidelines and the back issues. We get so many submissions that don't remotely match the aesthetic of the magazine and submitting works like that will only end in frustration for both editor and submitter. Many of these people clearly haven't read the full guidelines or any issues of the magazine and it's disheartening to have to send a rejection of a decent story that just doesn't at all fit.

A: I think the biggest issue we see is people recapping games that most of us know about already. I try to tell the writers that we don't really care about what happened at games, we care about the writer and what they experienced. The more personal a poem or essay can get, the better. With fiction, we are always looking for ways to be surprised, aspects of the game that maybe we haven't thought about and how that can tell a story. I think the best pieces aren't really about baseball, but use baseball to tell a larger story.

A: Read our previous publications (they're free) and see if what you're writing actually fits the magazine's aim.
Read our submission guidelines - please anonymize your work and respect the word limits.

A: Follow the submission guidance on our website please - https://www.acumen-poetry.co.uk/submissions/
Do not send work we do not publish (e.g. short stories)
Please understand we receive a very large number of submissions, every single day, and can only take a small proportion of the work submitted
Do take a look at the magazine, via the website or by subscribing or asking your library to do so
Please do not send the same work to us and at the same time as to others, we do not consider simultaneous submissions (i.e. work that is submitted elsewhere), the submitted work should be unpublished and not submitted elsewhere
Ensure your submission is typed
Submit no more frequently than once every three to four months.
Unfortunately due to the volume of work we receive we are unable to provide individual appraisal.
If poems or your work is shortlisted, it enters the shortlist for the next issue of Acumen. The final poems / articles to be included in the issue will be chosen from the shortlist about two months before the issue is released.

A: We love to review vibrant, exciting, wild pieces from new voices. No matter your medium, the staff at Reed Magazine wants to hear your stories.