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Editor Interviews

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Read all the editors' answers to Duotrope's interview question: Describe the ideal submission. Learn more.

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Here is a small sampling from our recent Editor Interviews. We have interviewed over 2,225 editors.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: A traditionally-plotted science-fiction, fantasy, mystery or thriller with LGBT+ protagonist and a strong romantic subplot with a happy ending. I don't publish bummer endings--especially not tragic romance.

A: It's a story that moves me, and maybe shows me something about human experience that is new and strange to me, or perhaps old and deeply familiar. And more practically, it follows our guidelines.

A: No bio. The email body says, "Hello, did you know that before we used toilet paper, Americans used corn husks? Truth! Thanks for reading my submission and have the best day." And then I open an attachment that is in 12-pt TNR font, and the piece blows me away in the first few lines -- I am immediately pulled in. The work is quick, concise, blunt, and makes a lasting impact after I've read. I cannot tell a theme -- much like music, I like everything.

A: Any collection that feels inevitable--could not have been organized any other way. Feels complete from start to finish.

A: 3-5 poems, written by a poet familiar and intimate with the work of the poets who we have previously described as being a monumental influence on our journal. Also, poems that make us hurt. Make us weep. Make us a bit sick to our stomachs. Poems that are raw and real and confident.

A: If you have read our submission guidelines, following them strictly goes a long way. But additional suggestions are:
- include an introduction of yourself and your submission when you email us
- format your submission consistently; a serif font is preferred with the font size 11 or 12, double spaced
- if you have art or illustrations you want included, please provide them as SEPARATE files and not within the document
- let us know why you want to publish with Small World City and how you see your work fitting in with our speculative literary magazine
- include your author's bio and photo in your email, NOT within the document
- ensure that your author's bio is less than 200 words, not including your list of publications. You have room to be quippy or fun if you want!
- and a necessary reiteration: mention if the work is a simultaneous submission

A: I’m generally not a fan of using nebulous, ornamental language to describe ideal submissions, but in service to succinctness, a work that is ideal is anything that makes us forget that we’re in a physical world, bound to five senses. An ideal poem, story, essay, or art piece transfers the mind to a place where the proscriptions of our physical world are much less imposing. Or it could explore our actual world, but focus on what the eye can’t see. The goal should be to make readers forget about the everyday—the mundane—even if only for a short while.

A: The ideal submission (for me) is a standard-formatted word document with a premise that sounds absolutely ridiculous to say out loud and vivacious, aggressive prose. And if we're talking completely ideal, there will be transgenderism.

A: An intimate moment written with care, creativity, and commitment.

Lynn Mundell, Founder, Editor of Centaur, 02 May 2024

A: Clear, meaningful, thought-provoking, embodied, and without judgement.

A: I want to laugh and be surprised.

A: One that makes me laugh, cry, rage at injustice, feel disgust at something grossly immoral, or reawakens the wonder and joy of my childhood.