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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 2,100 editors.

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

A: Be sure your work is authentic to your voice. and that the reader will understand what is at stake when they read it.

A: We value authentic work that allows us to connect to the author, so speak from your heart!
Also, we don't have many guidelines, but each of them that we do have is there for a reason, so please triple-check the guidelines to make sure you're not, for instance, leaving your identifying information all over your manuscript. We have every right to decline your submission outright if you fail to follow the guidelines, but we really don't want to have to do that if we can help it!

Gabriel Cleveland, Managing Editor/Director of CavanKerry Press, 24 January 2023

A: Well, we hope you'll read LEON before submitting. And please send us the work that you love.

Laurie Rosenblatt and Lisa Trudeau, Co-founders and Co-editor of LEON Literary Review, 23 January 2023

A: Avoid 'preaching'
Avoid phrases like 'we must' and 'it is imperative that we...'
Speak from your heart and based on your experience
Avoid projecting your experience onto others
Do not propose solutions to 'save the world'
acknowledge your bias
acknowledge your privilege, especially if you are white and well-to-do.
uplift others
do not promote your product or service
we accept no sponsored content

A: Take a look at the cookbook! It is all free to read online, no paywalls or signups needed. Pieces that aren't in the form of a recipe will unfortunately always be rejected (there's some leeway here, see "Cherry-Grief Soup" for an example of a less-strictly formatted piece), as will regular recipes that aren't telling a story. If you've got a dark tale that can be woven through a recipe, we'd love to see it when we're open!

A: What are we looking for? Strong protagonists who the reader can connect with, a central plot that revolves around a love interest, an emotionally satisfying ending that (yes) results in a happy-ever-after, and superb writing. Our stories should reflect the diverse society that we live in.

A: Read through our tags! Not enough people bear this in mind. One of our goals for the year is to further streamline the tags to make accessing our, say, 'experimental,' or 'visual art' pages in particular. The best advice for submitting almost anywhere is to read the publication itself. We are flexible when it comes to promoting work we think it 'good' (???) even if it doesn't always fit with our organising principle, pomoclassicism. But if you read through and get a sense of the type of work we gravitate towards, it will be easier to decide if we are the right publication for your work. Sometimes we have to turn away viable literary writing because it does not fit within our mission in social or literary terms.

A: Don't panic. We're pretty friendly! If we don't take your story, we may share a bit as to why and never do so in an insulting manner. Some things don't work for our readership, some don't work for our editors, and some pieces need just a little work, and we're willing to reconsider with edits. We're truly open to all forms of speculative fiction. We do tend to print darker work as the original intent of the website was horror before we grew to all forms of speculative fiction but we do feel that a good story is worth being told and we love to take a look at it all!

A: We look for pieces, written and visual, that are finished and polished--if you love it and are proud of it, we can tell. We love works that cause us to sit and ruminate about our connections to something beyond us.

A: Please read an issue of Plant-Human Quarterly to see the kind of work we publish. For instance, we rarely print work in which plants talk (or think) like humans, though there have been notable exceptions, and it's those exceptions you might want to read.

A: Read the poets & books we've already published.

A: Put us there