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Read all the editors' answers to Duotrope's interview question: Describe the ideal submission. Learn more.
Here is a small sampling from our recent Editor Interviews. We have interviewed over 1,775 editors.
Q: Describe the ideal submission.
A: Language that has been heard and relished. Daring and colour to the writing, its openness and potential for surprising encounter with the reader. In contact with modernist and innovative forms. We welcome work with environmental slant, Blackbox Manifold is an online forum with a slant towards innovative poetry that has prose, narrative, or sequences in its sights. That said, we don’t hold allegiance to any one poetry school or group, and we’re happy to receive submissions from established and emerging poets alike. Our aim is to present new juxtapositions of voice while using the Web’s fluid solidity to cast around for as wide and varied a readership as possible.
A: As long as it either gives you a laugh or a hard-on, it’s all gravy baby!
A: The ideal submission has been edited before submission so it isn't riddled with typos. It's a story set in a future where everything isn't bleak and robots, backed with science fiction where exploration and interaction with the world around any character reflects some unique observation or exploration of a part of human nature. Or, it's a vividly painted world that has the same affect when reading it as you get when you look up at the perfect starry night sky. That sense of wonder and awe. If your story can evoke wonder, that puts you light-hours ahead of the competition.
If the story is reminiscent of Edmond Hamilton, or James Blish, or one of the golden age writers, that's a plus too
A: Our ideal submission features bold, fresh language and a setting that might step outside the everyday. It has been worked on intensively to bring out a clear, original throughline (even if this is implied through experimental form, rather than proceeding traditionally). It makes us glad to be alive.
A: Fresh, vibrant work, presented professionally. That’s exciting!
A: The ideal submission will follow our submission guidelines and excite all of the editors. We don't know what we are looking for until we see it. The ideal submission is so exciting we swear out loud.
A: For us, the ideal submission is a piece on which the passion and the genuine interest of the creator are reflected, a piece that one reads or sees and feels that it has a life of its own. And perhaps, a piece that inspires something to the audience so that they are, too, encouraged to experiment with and explore the intricacies of thought.
A: I've found that sometimes people don't really pay attention to the theme or guidelines for our anthologies when they submit to us, and that's sort of upsetting. So, I guess I really like a submission that acknowledges our theme, or parts of the submission guidelines. It makes me feel they care enough to consider the theme before submitting, and know what's expected of them in the submission process.
A: Our ideal submission would be about 3500 words, would be well written, and would have some focus in philosophy, economics, political theory, or ethics while build around the framework of a character situation and story. The genre and age range are irrelevant to us. In fact, we love publishing in genre's (like Western, romance, children, etc) that aren't traditionally seen as areas ripe for ethics. We are happy to publish AI, sci-fi, and "near-future" things as well, but we get a ton of those kinds of submissions already.
A: Of poetry: a set of four to six poems of various length on the announced theme (but not slavishly or superficially).
Of fiction: a set of two or three short stories of any form of up to 8000 words on the announced theme.
Of art: a set of three to six images of 2-D art on the announced theme.
While we do publish individual poems or stories or art works, we prefer presenting a range of an author's work so that readers may better understand that writer's (or artist's) voice, range, technique, etc.
A: Thoughtful, new approaches to Poe's work that use the Mabbott or Harrison editions of his fiction and poetry. Scholarly due diligence is expected.
A: The idea submission for The Big Brick Review captures an author’s experience and explores it with strong prose—thoughtfully, cleverly, humorously. It has a study thematic thread and ‘closes the loop’ in its final paragraphs. It explores without preaching.