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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.
Here is a small sampling from our recent Editor Interviews. We have interviewed over 1,825 editors.
Q: What do submitters most often get wrong about your submissions process?
A: We *only* publish work by current or past residents of upstate New York. Roughly 15% of the submissions we receive are from artists who have not read our guidelines and are not eligible for our publication. If you have questions about whether you qualify as a past or current upstate NYer, feel free to email us and ask.
A: Most people get it right. Because of our format, we're not a good fit for shape poetry, and long stories have to be EXCEPTIONALLY exceptional to make our pages.
A: They expect to hear back within a week. It is a long and slow process from submission to response to publication. Poetry editors I know do it for the love of the printed word and work long hours for little to no remuneration. I am a one person show, so please be patient. I read every couple months and work to publish you (if accepted) within one year of acceptance. They also expect feedback.I read hundreds of poems a year and cannot comment on them. I only comment on poems close to publication.
A: Emailing us submissions when we are closed. We are housed at George Mason University, so during the summer when we are closed, it is because we are not in our office, we are not reading, and we can't take submissions by mail.
A: Submitting writing that is longer than our word limit or writing that's unrelated to chronic illness.
A: Submitting articles that in no way relate to my publication's central topics.
A: By asking writers to "challenge" a genre, we're not asking for them to re-write the rules of a good literary analysis or prose. However, we want to see them question commonly used conventions or trends. For example, if everyone in academia is writing about Shakespeare and the intersection of music we want a unique thesis that brings ties in interest areas outside of what has already been reiterated. If a passion our author's is more common or trending that's okay! We favour genuine interest over feigned artistic edginess.
A: They try to submit infographics which we don't use, and press releases which are not unique so we could never use them. They don't read the stories already published to try to match them and they constantly try to get us to publish crappy sponsored posts.
A: They don't follow directions given on the website. Their lines are too long or they send in too many lines. They don't include the theme. They forget to give their place of residence. They submit past the deadline which is July 15 midnight every year.
A: They're established writers with full-length collections who have not read our mission statement or submission guidleines.
A: They flood us with poetry that is a bunch of words but does not elicit emotion.