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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: For fiction--tell the story you want to tell, but do it in a distinctive narrative voice. How it sounds should be just as important as what it says.
For poetry--accessible language that is image driven. Free verse is great, but don't lose the musical quality of language. It may not rhyme, but the rhythm, tempo and cadence should drive the language. Don't just write prose broken into lines.
A: Please read the submission guidelines for each publication.
A: Poached Hare has a strong preference for modern styles and voices. Say it new. Use the whole page. We love formal experimentation and wish we got more of it. While we love the Romantic-shake and respect the confessional mode, Poached Hare is looking for work crafted in its own, contemporary mould.
A: Please go through our articles and you will know what we publish and what we don't.
A: Please review our submission requirements carefully. We try to manage expectations as closely as we can. Also, because we work on a short timeline, we look for work that's finished and polished.
A: Your work has to speak for itself. We don't read bios until after we've read/viewed the piece, and they never make us change our minds. Many magazines tell you to read previous issues. We'd love for you to do that, since we believe in what we publish, but we also are completely open to whatever you submit--we don't check it against what we've published to see if it conforms to an arbitrary standard. If we laugh, cry, whatever--then it has a good chance. Finally, the work has to be something only you can create. Even when it's about common themes--love, death, sickness, addiction--it has to stay away from generalities to work.
A: Read our issue 01 zine to get a sense of our style, tone, and topics we cover. It would also be helpful to follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, where I often repost work I like and share things relevant to SICK and our interests.
A: We love work that makes us uncomfortable and encourage you to send us the pieces that you aren't sure will fit in anywhere else. We have a weak spot for anything atmospheric, gothic, nautical, moonlit, eerie, and surrounded in fog, but we are interested in what makes these things so appealing-- where are the lanterns in the dark or is it the darkness itself? We are ok with violence and as long as it suits the need of the work (and we do respect trigger warnings), but we are not looking for shock factor or gratuitous gore or pornography. Dehumanization, objectification, and over-sexualization for entertainment's sake will be flat out rejected, as well as discriminatory and non-inclusive works.
A: Believe in your work and follow the submission guidelines!
A: Always query first to ensure our submission guidelines haven't changed, and let us know the genre, page count of what you plan to submit and of course a cover letter with bio/curriculum
A: Don't be afraid to submit! Jelly Bucket welcomes your content! Though we may decided not to publish your work, it is important to get your material out there. Never be afraid to submit to our publication or any other. The worst that can happen is that you get rejected, and who knows--you may just find yourself with a published piece.
A: Follow the guidelines! We have tried to clarify the language but are still seeing contributors disregard our instructions, which makes our work much more difficult. Then give us work that shows off your passion and your craft.