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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 1,650 editors.
Q: What is the best advice you can give people who are considering submitting work to your publication?
A: Do not be put off by waiting a bit. We have a specific process to follow and several editors who curate our space. Over the years we have also become competitive but publish emerging and established writers. We try not to be a churn and burn space but a nurturing place.
A: No matter what your style or genre is, if your writing is well-crafted Eyelands is definitely the competition to submit to!
A: Read the magazines in which you aspire to publish. When you find material that seems to be in the same realm as your own in subject matter, range and style, then submit your work. Write an informative but short cover letter. If someone advised you to do so, name the advisor.
A: For fiction writers, tell a compelling story, one which grips the reader from the first paragraph and entertains throughout. Do the research. Don't decorate your character with arms or clothing which was invented after the time your story is set in.
For non-fiction articles, keep it conversational and informative and check your facts.
A: Break our hearts and make us laugh and charm us with your style.
A: VitaminZZZ has very specific guidelines that writers really need to follow. This publication exists to help people better understand and articulate their own sleep concerns; its readers are mainstream and turn to the magazine to discover, learn, and be inspired. This means VitaminZZZ is truly FOR its readers and not just ABOUT its writers. Personal stories resonate with its readers more than skillful wordplay that doesn't have an accessible narrative. I don't read cover letters until after I've made my decisions, so the long list of publishing credits and awards isn't really an advantage. What really matters is the quality of the writing, the authenticity of the narrative, honesty and accessibility in language, and a sense of humor. I'm both a sleep health professional and a long-time publishing professional; you can bet I wear both hats during the process of discovery for each and every issue.
A: Send us your best edited pieces, because those are the ones that have been loved by you even after all the grilling and trimming — certainly, those have to be your best at the moment.
A: Get your facts right and creative an interesting narrative framework with them.
A: Give us your best work, the one that sheds light on something overlooked or unnoticed. Are you passionate about something? Are you grief stricken or ebullient? Share your thoughts in the form that demonstrates your excitement and your skill.
A: Write literature. Hack writing is best kept for the big publishers, and pulp writing is not for Twelve House but is probably better suited for pulp magazines.
A: Read the magazine; and look up the name of the editor you're pitching! Most publications have a masthead and often it'll say clearly who you should be pitching for poetry vs fiction etc, and if it doesn't, address it to the editor.
A: Don’t be racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, or demeaning towards any marginalized groups. (And no—submissions using bigotry to be “edgy” don’t get a pass.) Don’t use trauma or violence for shock value. Don’t treat sexual assault as a joke. Keep in mind that Salt Hill’s editorial board—and readership—is comprised of individuals with a a multitude of experiences, backgrounds, and identities. Keep our humanity in mind when you send in your work.
Do proofread your writing and make sure you’re submitting to us in the right file format. Do ask yourself: am I proud of this piece? If you are, take the plunge! We’re a dedicated group of readers, and we give every submission a chance to wow us. - Ariel