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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 2,100 editors.
Q: Describe the ideal submission.
A: The ideal submission is by a poet who has mastered their craft and knows who they are as a writer. The submission follows the guidelines and is humane, in that it does not disrespect any person or group of people. Beyond that. the book lifts off the page and follows the reader home. It is lyrically resonant and its narrative is intriguing.
A: I've often said that the books we publish are a bridge allowing access to the author's world, life experiences, and perspectives. There's nothing better than crossing into someone else's world and feeling your own world grow bigger and more meaningful because of it. So be sure that bridge has a solid foundation!
A: We enjoy work that approaches its subject from a surprising angle. If you're a formal poet, come on down. Non-traditional poetry and prose also engage us.
A: The ideal submission is based on direct experience of transformation - this may occur through personal practice, art, beauty, nature, in relationship, in community, or at an organizational level. Or you are deeply engaged in the work of protecting the Earth and her species, supporting Indigenous rights, justice and the rebalance of wealth, peacebuilding, water protection, intentional community, or mindfulness. You are consciously living your life in a way that supports your transformation and the transformation of those around you. Or, you are an expert in a field related to regenerative culture (food, water, local economy, living in community, etc). You have truly pioneered a new approach for embracing and coping with profound changes in the environment or economy. You have a well-thought-out critique of some aspect of the current status quo and can back up your claims with scholarship and citations.
OR you are a transformational artist, poet, musician, filmmaker. Your art causes your audience to rethink their relationship with Mother Earth, spirituality, or their way of life.
A: Ideal submissions are pieces that give me a vivid image. They let me see who is doing the cooking, why they're cooking, what they're cooking. Are they terrified, or heartsick? Grieving, desperate, or really excited about something awful they are about to do? It can be tricky to fit this into the format, and the pieces that make me gasp are the ones that deftly hint at what's going on and trust readers to piece together the context for the dish. I'm also looking for horror, primarily--although that's not a box. Fantasy, sci-fi, or dark fiction without any speculative elements are also great!
A: The ideal submission would in fact be a ROMANCE manuscript. Many of the submissions that we get have romantic or erotic elements but are not in fact romance stories. The romance genre has specific guidelines and criteria. Our readers know it! Authors should, too.
A: A short, but intriguing cover letter, with the work submitted as an attachment. Doc or docx works better than pdf in most cases. Thumbnail art already considered, if not provided by the artist.
A: The submission page is followed, and the story is submitted through our form on it or the contact page. The story is attached in a word document, is speculative fiction, has been edited (or at the very least already run through a grammar checker,) is in our word count range, and doesn't include anything on our "None of this, though" list.
A: We love submissions that follow our guidelines. Our guidelines are posted on our website and submission platform.
A: Work that not only delivers interesting information and perspectives on the botanical world but also does so with linguistic zest and styistic innovation.
A: Short Letter of Introduction
Prior Books or Publications
A: Articulate, insightful