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 1,600 editors.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: Page breaks between pieces. A standard font - no need to "design" your submission.

A: The ideal submission is one that is free of any grammar errors. The submission should follow our guidelines. But most importantly, the submission should be original and connect to the human senses and emotions in a way we have never seen before. We want to read something new and exciting.

A: Beautiful and strange. No grammar, punctuation, or spelling errors. No typos.

A: This is difficult, because we hope that the ideal submission covers a wide range of abilities and themes in terms of content. Logistics wise, the ideal submission doesn't include one's name in the actual submission document (take a look at our general guidelines and specific guidelines for writing and visual art). Pretty much follow the guidelines, as we've had a few that didn't.

A: Our ideal submissions are clearly described in detail in our submission guidelines for each category.

A: A piece that is dark, gritty, and surprising; a piece with thoughtfully drawn characters; a piece that grows and evolves from the first line to the last; a piece with heart-pounding suspense or unsettling images that keep us up at night.

A: There's nothing more exciting than when I read a submission Monday morning and I'm still thinking about it the following week. Doesn't matter the genre or topic, as long as it's memorable, it's ideal.

A: The ideal submission changes me, I should not be the same person after reading or viewing. As Vonnegut said, the plausible mission of artists is to make people appreciate being alive at least a little bit. [When] asked if [he knew] of any artists who pulled that off. [he replied], 'The Beatles did'. But as Wilde said, I always pass on good advice. It is the only thing to do with it. It is never of any use to oneself.

A: There is no ideal submission. We totally dig Plato and we’ve read Michael Cunningham’s ‘The Hours.’ But we aren’t buying this idea of ‘the ideal.’ We just want well-written, interesting, and thoroughly-researched stories that showcase a creative flair and some personality. If you strive too hard for the ideal, there’s a good chance your writing will be flat and dry. And did we mention the Oxford Comma? Yah. Use that.

A: The ideal submission may arrive in various formats, genres, and styles. We are looking for truth, honesty, good writing, and clear thinking made visible. We get enough of them, we develop four anthologies of creative writing each year, encourage young writers of all ages to develop their craft, provide a publication opportunity in good taste for all writers, discover new, talented, and unpublished authors, and continue our pursuit of improved literacy. This is what we do and what needs to be done. Our publications increase our understanding of the world by reducing the darkness of ignorance with the light of hope. Sometimes, all it takes is one person doing one good thing to forever change another person’s life.

David Martin, Managing Editor of Fine Lines, 05 October 2018

A: The WaterSedge Poetry Chapbook Contest is open to all types of poetry.

A: Well thought out and developed and in adherence to our guidelines.