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 1,750 editors.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: A good piece of writing with ideas that engage with music in new ways.

A: Around 2000 words with rich descriptive language, realistic dialogue, morality and X factor.

A: A correctly formatted manuscript of enduring literary-quality read "with a twist" (something new to the work's genre) that changes the reader's world point-of-view, and can be read and re-read up to ten times without loss of interest. Additionally, a work that can be built on to produce both prequel(s) and sequel(s) for a successful series.

A: We love work that questions the concept of truth, and work that reinterprets what we think we know. We prize experimentation (physical, emotional, metaphysical, meta-emotional); we welcome the unanswerable. We want to see the dark and the light side of the moon—or we want to see it obliterated.

Kristine Langley Mahler, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of Split/Lip Press, 07 January 2020

A: single spaced
no weird indentation
well edited and reviewed
grammatically correct, as needed
consistency in form and style
correct use of you're, your, their, they're, there
use of and or & should be consistent

A: No more than 5 pages of astounding poetry that moves us, surprises us, makes us laugh or cry or swoon. We look for poems that exhibit a love of language, that speak to a wide human experience, and that blossom on the page into more than we ever expected. In short -- send us your best!

Jan Bottiglieri, Managing Editor of RHINO Poetry, 06 January 2020

A: We actually have an example of a proper submission on our website, that you are welcome to use for your own! You can find it by visiting the submission guidelines page on our site, or by following this link: https://turnpikemagazine.com/example-of-a-proper-submission/

A: The author submits the first 25 pages of a completed ms that doesn't need extensive editing, a one page synopsis, a grab, a writing cv of other publications, and suggestions for how they could help with the marketing.

Katie Isbester, Editor-in-Chief of Claret Press, 06 January 2020

A: My ideal submission is between 4,000 and 6,000 words long. It is a wondrous adventure with characters I haven't encountered before. It is funny. In addition, it uses the genre to say something about how we live today (partially because I write a lot of satire, so I put a high premium on social commentary, but mostly because all art should be a reflection of the way people live). My criterion for my own writing is to create something that will invoke in the reader surprise and delight. Surprise an delight me.

A: The ideal submission is one that abides our guidelines (does not exceed word or page count, etc), has everything correct (doesn't send us a revision later) before the closing date, says in their cover letter why they want to be included (makes a connection), let's us know IMMEDIATELY if they need to withdraw, helps promote us if we publish them.

A: (1) A submission letter that basically says "hi, here's my submission, here's my bio, kthxbai." Of course, with a more formal tone.
(2) The submission is in Times New Roman, 12 point font, etc. Basically, SMF.
(3) The submission is under 300 words. You'd be surprised how many people miss our word limit requirements.
(4) Finally, the piece is intriguing, wondrous, has staying power, and contains some element of the strange, surreal, supernatural, and speculative.

A: The grammar and spelling are impeccable, for one (it's truly shocking how many writers submit something with a total lack of attention to detail on this front). The ideal submission is also a story or poem that doesn't overtly pander to current trends of the "literary scene."

Genna Rivieccio, Editor-in-Chief of The Opiate, 28 December 2019