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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 2,000 editors.

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

A: Blindly sending material that is clearly not in line with the editorial tastes of the publication.

A: They fail to follow the guidelines.

A: We are an annual magazine with one deadline on July 15. Please submit only once per year. If a single poem in a submission has been accepted elsewhere, then message us in Submittable to let us know, but don't use Submittable's Notes feature — only you see Notes, so send a Message.

A: Submitters will blindly submit to us without realizing that our journal is themed and we're quite strict on that.

A: They submit pieces that are way too long or short, are not sufficiently literary/stylistically polished, or are not our kind of content, e.g. religious conversion narratives or poorly told tales of terrible trauma.

James Bloom, Co-editor of Memoirist, 28 April 2022

A: The only thing that could go wrong is choosing a topic that is beyond the scope of our journal. We do not and will not publish any work that promotes in any way racism animal, cruelty, child abuse, or terrorism.

A: Not too much, but we do seek writing *inspired* by art, not writing where art happens to be an incidental detail.
Your protagonist might have a conversation with an artist, say, or make a remark about a photograph on a wall – the protagonist may even *be* the artist – but if the story/poem/essay doesn’t engage with art itself in any meaningful way, it’s probably not for us.

A: A lot of folks send us stories that are either far too long or far too short for our needs. Please read the submissions requirements closely.

A: Our submitters read Five South and are familiar with our submission windows, guidelines, and contests. This is a great way to build connection with any journal, and gives your work the best possible chance of acceptance.

A: Many get confused about how to submit in general. The website we use through our institution is not always the most user friendly. You have to make an account, log in, and submit that way, and then there's a series of hoops to get things up. We also allow submissions that go straight to our email ([email protected]). However you can get it to us is perfectly fine. Just don't forget to use APA 7th!

A: Instead of being unflinchingly supportive of the deep voice inside them yearning for expression, they send material that is within their comfort zone.

A: Forgetting or neglecting to include sufficient information about the artwork which inspired their poem – necessitating additional work in requesting or tracking down such details.