Editor Interviews

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Read all the editors' answers to Duotrope's interview question: What do submitters most often get wrong about your submissions process? Learn more.

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Here is a small sampling from our recent Editor Interviews. We have interviewed over 1,625 editors.

Q: What do submitters most often get wrong about your submissions process?

A: Some submissions are too long. Others are confessional without enlightening us about the subject(s). We really like a story that has a sense of place, and sometimes that aspect is entirely neglected.

A: If a story does not have page numbers or a word count listed on the story's first page or in the cover letter, I'm probably going to pass on it.
Most incorrect interpretation of the topic? Writers who put a negative spin on "Dark Skies" as scary places, when we are trying to change the culture through storytelling to encourage people to embrace the dark.
Also heaven = heavens hasn't been a thing since the 1300's.

A: For the final submission, we far too often see that the English prose has not been revised by a native speaker, the illustrations are low-quality and cannot be printed, and the references are not correctly formatted. This all leads to many back-and-forth with the authors, and creates considerable delays in the publication process.

Koen Vermeir, Editor-in-chief of Centaurus, 06 January 2019

A: They don't pay attention to the monthly themes or the genres we accept. Sometimes we get a great story in but we can't use it because it doesn't fit anywhere.

Lisa Godfrees, Editor of Havok, 28 December 2018

A: Sometimes, a submitter will skip the cover letter. While we usually still look at submissions without a cover letter, we enter the process with a bias against it. To ignore a simple request from our submission guidelines shows disrespect for the people receiving your submission.

Alanna Rusnak, Editor-in-chief of Blank Spaces, 27 December 2018

A: The most common misconception is that Ex Ex Lit is the dumpster for any bad piece of writing beyond description.
Another common problem is that some authors think that Ex Ex Lit is entitled to post anything they deem experimental.

A: I think sometimes our aesthetic gets weirdly translated into the idea that we're the go-to venue for super trippy stuff. I'm not saying we won't publish a piece that conjures a drug or alcohol-induced haze, but we can only publish so many of those before things get stale. So, maybe send us your other piece too.

A: We're not an "anti-men" blog.

A: I don't have a lot of detailed instructions to miss, as long as the stories get to me, I'm good, but I do have some submitters disappointed when they miss this step:
"do not reply to your own submission for queries"
I just use GMail for reading subs, so when writers do this, it only pushes their submission to the bottom of the queue, and then it takes even longer to get to it than it would have. I always feel bad when it happens, but I can't change the way GMail sorts messages. :/

A: We most often reject manuscripts because they don't have a faith element. Inspirational/faith-based fiction is about more than just having your characters attend parochial school or do good deeds. We require a message of faith in any manuscript we acquire.

Eden Plantz, Executive Editor of Anaiah Press, 11 December 2018

A: Submissions are rolling, but we read the majority of the subs in August, September, and October.

SJ Sindu, Managing Editor of Shift, 11 December 2018

A: We routinely have to reject authors attempting to write about subjects and/or communities that they have no direct connection to, which we consider exploitative and wholly contrary to our mission. People also continually place writing in the text of an email instead of an attachment as requested