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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 1,550 editors.
Q: What is the best advice you can give people who are considering submitting work to your publication?
A: Send us writings about experiences rather than what 'should' be done in this world. We are interested in 'your' stories, the larger political connections can stem from that. Marginalized writers from all sections of the society are welcome.
A: Please read the Terms and Conditions, and please make it clear in your submission what magazine you are submitting to since we have more than one. Including a bio, social media links, and if you wish a headshot or avatar when you send it simplifies things for us, as we don't have to chase them, if we accept the submission.
A: Like all editors say, because it's true, read the magazine. We publish a new essay every week and all the work is archived, so you can gain an excellent sense of our tastes by reading some of our diverse writers. Then, be true to yourself. Honesty in the hands of good writers is always revealing.
A: Mandy: Make sure you have a strong plot and strong characters. I want to be immersed in the world you've built on the page and to do that we need to connect with the characters who live there.
Dusty: For me, they need to focus on the visuals in their presentation - show me why their story needs to be seen by the world. I'm all about that mind-movie.
A: Don't hesitate. Even if we don't feel like it is right for us at the time, it never hurts to get your work out there and in front of others.
A: Read our past volumes to get an idea of what we're looking for before you dive in to share your own musically-inspired story. There's plenty of inspiration there :)
A: Send us your best stuff. Some poets and writers assume that—because our editors are undergraduates—that we only publish college students or emerging poets. We always love to find an amazing slush-pile piece of writing that we aren’t expecting from a writer we’re not yet acquainted with, but we consider ourselves a journal with top-tier taste in poetry and writing. Send us your strong suit.
A: Polish is very important, regardless of what you're doing. We aren't sloppy. Whatever you're working on, do it with gusto and effort, avoid being shy or ashamed, put yourself in the center.
A: The best advice I can offer is to take another look at your piece. Remember who you're writing for. Remember that when you submit your piece to any publication, real people are going to read it. Consider the emotions you want to convey to them through your writing. Most importantly, don't get hung up on the details; just do your best to write and we will provide the best feedback we can.
A: We want to get to know the person you are writing about, and see them at work on something specific. We reject pieces where the subject is like a distant blurry snapshot, we reject essays that are more about the author than about the person they're remembering.
Oh. And read what we’ve published. Scroll through our site, or use our search page to find topics that interest you. Now that we’ve been publishing for three years we’ve got life tips from the dead on a wide variety of topics.
A: Read what we've published so far. Read our mission statement, but more than anything, just don't "phone it in." Make sure it is coming from a true place. As Jorie Graham puts it; hold the work up to your own pulse, when it matches, it is ready. I would say also to come as you are. We don't accept or decline based on your achievements, we accept or decline based on something much deeper and hard to define, your heart. Where have you come from and where are you going, to quote Joyce Carol Oates, that's what we want to know. Show us that- the journey and the struggle. The survival.
A: Please review our query guidelines and follow them closely. It makes it much easier for us to review queries if all the information we need is available to us. Also, please make sure you've polished and edited your work a few times. While we do our best to provide feedback on queries we reject, your likelihood of acceptance is much higher if you provide a manuscript that is clean and smooth.