Friday, April 30, 2010

Six Questions for Colin Meldrum, Editor, A cappella Zoo

"A cappella Zoo (ISSN: 1945-7480) is a print journal & ezine of magical realist & experimental writing from around the world. We're interested in shaking up traditional ideas and assumptions about truth and art, whether to challenge our intellects or just to play, but always to contribute to the on-going universal discussion on humanity." Read the complete guidelines here.


SQF: Why did you start this magazine?

CM: I've always wanted to piece together a publication like this. Perhaps it was all those years of critical analysis and creative writing workshops—I was no longer content with leisurely reading and needed the thrill of wading through slush piles to keep me literate. I love every bit of it. I love reading the submissions, good or bad, boring or boggling; I love debating their worth and appropriateness with my board members; I love designing the issues; I love knowing that I've provided an admirable vehicle for memorable work; and I love this quest I've embarked on to discover what magical realism and all its cousins can accomplish within communities of readers and writers.


SQF: What are the top three things you look for in a story and why?

CM: I look for something memorable:
My favorite stories are the ones that haunt me. I want to be jealous that I didn't write it first. I want to feel like this specific story was aching to be written.

I look for concrete imagery:
Props can do a lot for a story, especially with a healthy balance of mundane objects and odd curiosities. What do I remember from Eliza C. Walton's tiny little story, "Ambulance for the Selkie"? A kitten and a spinning red spongy ball. I look for that same concreteness in the form of figurative language that compares two physical things or characteristics that I haven't compared before, or figurative language that expresses more familiar comparisons with fresh emotion and language. Objects. Animals. Body Parts. Colors. Textures. Smells. Sounds. I like these Things.

I look for risks:
Balance between experiment and familiar ground, or between magic and restraint—these are difficult equilibriums to achieve, but the effect is beautiful and worth the work. We recognize that a lot of the surreal or bizarre elements of the stories that have wowed us have often been played with before in other literature, but I think I can still tell when an author has set out on an honest exploration of his or her own, and when the story itself has grown a limb and taken an extra step further. I love that feeling.


SQF: What are the top three reasons a story is rejected, other than not fitting into your answers to the above question and why?

CM: If a story uses cliches or stereotypes AND seems unaware of them, I'm turned off immediately. I'll repeat something from earlier here: yes, new stories, no matter how fresh, often contain a collage of ideas and images that taste familiar, but it's when an author is a master sculptor of these ideas, rather than a cut-n-paster, that a story becomes a more worthwhile read than the next one.

If I don't feel like either pondering or obsessing over the story afterwards, it probably won't even make it to the rest of the editorial board. A story that does not spark some intellectual, sensual, or emotional intrigue in the reader is simply not worth reading.

One of our most common types of rejections are "failed" experiments. We love experiments, but some don't amount to what we consider a "story." If we're just scratching our heads and can't find anything to anchor ourselves on, or if we're not convinced by the characters or what's at stake, or if we're pretty sure that there are plenty of better ways of accomplishing what an author has attempted, then chances are the story isn't ready for publication (or just isn't right for A cappella Zoo).


SQF: What is it about the characters in a story that makes them pop off the page and grab hold of you?

CM: Characters that grab a hold of me do normal things and strange things. The normal things they do are not always the things that I've paid attention to people doing before. Sometimes they're things that I didn't think anyone other than me ever did. These characters seem to be dishonest with themselves, or unpredictably honest with the reader, or both. These characters remind me of people I know while maintaining their autonomy as the potentially breathing, terrified, hungry, embarrassed people I could meet tomorrow on the street.


SQF: Will you publish a story an author posted on a personal blog?

CM: Yes. We're not really big on exclusivity, and we love to cater to our contributors' requests. More important than creating a pretty book of interesting stories and poems is getting those stories and poems into the hands of people who want to read them, whether in book form or by means of alternative venues. A story's simultaneous presence outside of our publication—whether past, present, or future—will only help connect those readers to the great writing they're after.


SQF: What one question on this topic do you wish I'd asked that I didn't? And how would you answer it?

CM: What do you read when you're not reading submissions?

I read a little of everything, not just the sort of literature that might be reminiscent of what A cappella Zoo publishes. I'm always in a lovable tug-o-war between reading books that friends and colleagues recommend and finding my own little gems. What I love most of all though, believe it or not, is following the work of past contributors to A cappella Zoo. I certainly don't forget them the minute the issue is in print. One of the best books I read in 2009 was by an author that we had published in our debut issue.

Thank you, Colin. We all appreciate you taking time from your busy schedule to participate in this project.

NEXT POST: 5/3--Six Questions for Alison Ross, Editor, Clockwise Cat

Friday, April 23, 2010

Six Questions for David LaBounty, Editor, The First Line

The First Line, a quarterly print publication, provides the opening sentence for a story as a prompt. The four prompts are posted on the website at the beginning of the year, with the deadlines for submissions. Stories are accepted in all genres and must be from 300 to 3,000 words long. The editors also accept 500-800 critical essays about favorite first lines from a literary work. This is a paying market. Read the complete guidelines here.


SQF: What are the top three things you look for in a story and why?

DL: Apart from the obvious answers (good story, good writing, and a beat you can dance to), I would argue that a good editor doesn’t know what he or she is looking for until they see it.


SQF: What are the top three reasons a story is rejected, other than not fitting into your answers to question one and why?

DL: Messing with the first line. Call me Ishmael is not the same as “Call me, Ishmael.”

Not taking your craft seriously. Edit twice, submit once.

Not taking us seriously. We are fun to write for and fun to read, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t serious/passionate about what we do.


SQF: What common mistakes do you encounter that turn you off to a story?

DL: Repeating the first line at the end of the story.


SQF: Do you provide comments when you reject a story?

DL: I try. If someone is inspired by one of our sentences, the least I can do is be candid about their attempt. If the story is rejected for any of the reasons in question 2, I send out a form letter. If we liked a story but couldn’t use it, I’ll add a personal note. 


SQF: I read a comment by one editor who said she keeps a blacklist of authors who respond to a rejection in a less than professional manner. I'm sure you know what I mean. What do you want authors to know about the stories you reject and how authors should respond? Along this same idea, do you mind if authors reply with polite questions about the comments they receive?

DL: In the twelve years we’ve been doing this, I’ve only received two nasty notes. Both came after I rejected stories for the Spring 2009 issue, and both because I mistakenly transposed the authors’ names on their rejection notices. They were honest mistakes, and the writers had every right to be annoyed, but their vitriol was uncalled for. Mistakes happen. A polite note asking for clarification goes a lot farther than an angry screed. And yes, I certainly welcome questions about comments.


SQF: What one question on this topic do you wish I'd asked that I didn't? And how would you answer it?

DL: I would only add one more general piece of advice: Write what you want to read.

Thank you, David. We all appreciate you taking time from your busy schedule to participate in this project.

NEXT POST: 4/26--Six Questions for Andrew Bowen, Founder & Editor-in-Chief, Divine Dirt Quarterly

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Six Questions for Ty Drago, Editor, Allegory

Allegory publishes fiction, non-fiction, and book reviews in the science fiction, fantasy and horror genres. Read the complete guidelines here.


SQF: What are the top three things you look for in a story and why?

TD: First and foremost, I look for stories that connect with me on some emotional level. As I often tell writers: "If you make me laugh, you've got a good shot; if you make me cry, you're IN." Second, I like surprises. If you're going to submit a tale on a familiar theme (vampires, zombies, Nazis, alien invasion, etc.), you want it to have a twist or angle that I've never seen before. This requires a knowledge of the genre. Thirdly, I look for strong characters and mood. All the lofty and poetic description in the world can't take the place of strong characters dropped into the right setting.


SQF: What are the top three reasons a story is rejected, other than not fitting into your answers to question one and why?

TD: Number One: The story doesn't start where it starts. In fiction, and especially short fiction these days, it's vital to grab your reader from the first line. Too many stories open up by painting a picture. I call it the "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night Syndrome." Get to the plot from word one! Number Two: One Trick Ponies—that is: stories that have a unique idea, but that's pretty much all they have. If you have a good concept, explore it! Number Three: Jokes disguised as stories. I see a lot of these and turn them down every time. Sometimes they're cute, occasionally clever; but they aren't real fiction, in my opinion, and just don't work for me.


SQF: What other mistakes do you encounter that turn you off to a story?

TD: Proofread. Avoid technical errors in word choice, spelling or punctuation. It's unprofessional and can fatally taint what might otherwise be a publishable product. Every writer needs to learn how to edit themselves.


SQF: What is it about the characters in a story that makes them pop off the page and grab hold of you?

TD: They need to be PEOPLE! Not plot devices. Not caricatures. Make me feel something for them. Make me cheer when they succeed and grieve when they fail. Nothing turns me off faster than two-dimensional characters who seem to phone in their dialogue and wrap their responses to the goings-on around them with cliches and pithy remarks.


SQF: I read a comment by one editor who said she keeps a blacklist of authors who respond to a rejection in a less than professional manner. I'm sure you know what I mean. What do you want authors to know about the stories you reject and how authors should respond? Along this same idea, do you mind if authors reply with polite questions about the comments they receive?

TD: I'm a writer first and an editor second. For this reason, I respect ANY author with the drive to complete a story and the guts to submit it. Every rejection letter contains some comment or critique about the story that's meant to advise, not criticize. For the most part, the writers I work with who respond to rejection letters do so with professionalism. I appreciate that. Never argue with a rejection letter. This is the most subjective business in the world, and one editor's opinion may be wholly different from another's. Also, don't offer a rewrite. If we want such a resubmission, which is rare, we'll ask for it.


SQF: What one question on this topic do you wish I'd asked that I didn't? And how would you answer it?

TD: Actually, I think you've covered it pretty well. This is an excellent idea. Congratulations!


Thank you, Ty. We all appreciate you taking time from your busy schedule to participate in this project.

NEXT POST: 4/23--Six Questions for David LaBounty, Editor, The First Line

Monday, April 19, 2010

Six Questions for Frances Badgett, Fiction Editor, Contrary Magazine

Contrary Magazine publishes commentary, fiction, poetry, and reviews. The editors "hope our magazine expresses contrarities that otherwise might go unexpressed." Learn more here.


SQF: What are the top three things you look for in a story and why?

FB: I have a preference for stories that challenge and blur the traditional categories of fiction, poetry and commentary. As this is part of our mission at Contrary, I look at that quality first. Second, I look for mastery: of language, of character, of story. I like to sense there is a strong mind creating this story. Third, I look for flow. I want the story to move well, though by that I don't necessarily mean a fast read. I mean a story that maintains the reader's interest from start to finish. My job as an editor is to sift and select for our readership and give them the most exceptional work we receive.


SQF: What are the top three reasons a story is rejected, other than not fitting into your answers to question one and why?

FB: A story that pushes 5000 words without being utterly compelling will not make my short list. A story that has endemic flaws, such as clumsy action or poor language choices won't make the list. So many stories that we receive use abstraction to veil the writer's inability to convey image, character, landscape. My editor Jeff and I will debate the merits of a really good story that contains some little flaws and see if there are fixes for it. If at that point, there's no logical way to stitch the story back together, we let it go. Those are often difficult, because there are often worthy elements working within the story, but, ultimately, too many missteps to actually publish it.


SQF: What other mistakes do you encounter that turn you off to a story?

FB: A false, pat, or otherwise bad ending to an otherwise great story will make me return to the story with a lot of skepticism the second time through. If the ending can be fixed, we send it back for surgery. But often the bad ending is an endemic rather than symptomatic problem. Anything purely of a genre, say, noir, has to be very fresh to keep me interested.


SQF: What is it about the characters in a story that makes them pop off the page and grab hold of you?

FB: I would say it depends on the story. The best of realistic stories place you in the skin of the protagonist and create a very real constellation of characters for the reader. But some of the fiction we receive is a little less conventional than that...utterly unknowable voices, or characters who are very distant from the reader in some respect. Those can be great elements within a story. It goes back to having a strong presence behind the story, a capable creator writing the story.


SQF: I read a comment by one editor who said she keeps a blacklist of authors who respond to a rejection in a less than professional manner. I'm sure you know what I mean. What do you want authors to know about the stories you reject and how authors should respond? Along this same idea, do you mind if authors reply with polite questions about the comments they receive?

FB: I think mutual respect is critical in the exchange between editors and authors. I don't mind if authors respond with questions about their stories. As someone who has submitted stories, I would personally never risk upsetting an editor, but nor would I ever be one for blacklists. As a writer, I know that submitting a story and getting rejected can be personally challenging.


SQF: What one question on this topic do you wish I'd asked that I didn't? And how would you answer it?

FB: So many editors out there are also writers. I'd love to know how editors relate to their roles as writers? I feel the experience of being a writer deepens my respect and empathy for the writers who submit work to us. I feel a real connection to them both as colleagues and as authors. I wonder if others feel the same.

Thank you, Frances. We all appreciate you taking time from your busy schedule to participate in this project.

NEXT POST: 4/21--Six Questions for Ty Drago, Editor, Allegory

Friday, April 16, 2010

Six Questions for Lynn Alexander, Editor of Full of Crow, Fashion For Collapse, and Blink Ink

Full of Crow publishes poetry, fiction, flash, interviews, reviews, audio, opinion, articles, ebooks, chapbooks, and art. You can find out more at: www.fullofcrow.com. Fashion For Collapse is an eclectic mix of web and print content, and can be found at www.fashionforcollapse.com. Blink Ink publishes short fiction, “blinks”, in the fifty word range. You can find out about Blink Ink at www.blink-ink.com.


SQF: What are the top three things you look for in a story and why?

LA: The top three things that I look for in a story are difficult to come up with, because I will probably get a story tomorrow that I love that defies my “prefab” notions.

Maybe that is what I look for, something that catches me off guard with elements of the unexpected or experimental. I like stories that use language in interesting ways, with ideas expressed with both beauty and economy—which is not easy to do. I like stories that catch my attention and keep me reading until the end because I want to—not because I have to.


SQF: What are the top three reasons a story is rejected, other than not fitting into your answers to question one and why?

LA: Thinking back, the majority were not proof-read, or worked on as long as they could have been. They did not seem finished, or polished, or they were sent out into the world prematurely before the timer had buzzed. I don’t mind some minor errors or typo mistakes, but I don’t like to overhaul. I feel strongly that submitted work should be finished, not “workshopped” through the submission process. I know that many editors out there will ask for major changes, some practically rewrite the story themselves. I don’t like that practice personally because from the start it presumes a level of authority that many editors simply cannot claim, or should not claim as the work of a writer should be his or her own. Sometimes what one editor calls a mistake is actually an artistic decision and that needs to be respected. If that isn’t your thing, ok, just pass. But pressuring a writer to make changes presents a dilemma for the writer seeking inclusion. What if I don’t like the changes, or I am dealing with arrogance, or a relationship hangs in the balance? I say keep it in the workshops.

Again, rejection often has to do with a writer’s ability to hold a reader’s attention with purposeful content. If I just cannot get through a story, even when I take a break and go back, I won’t accept it.

Another reason that comes up a lot is the failure to read the submission guidelines. We have the right to our process, and you have the freedom to decide if you want to accept the terms and submit.

One previous respondent mentioned the slow turnaround time for editors, and I hear where he is coming from but those guidelines are key. One thing that made me decide to delay notification is the fact that despite guidelines stating “no simultaneous submissions or previously published work” we get it anyway. The delay gives the author some time to fess up to the fact that they submitted the same story to ten other places and one has picked it up already.

I am no longer apologetic about the turn around time. If I will choose fifteen stories over the span of three months for a quarterly issue, how can I fill an issue right away? Is that fair to people who submit later? I think it is fair to confirm and then select from the pool of submissions when the deadline hits and then notify at that time. The most a person would wait is the quarter, and I think that is not about jerking people around but about the frequency.


SQF: What other mistakes do you encounter that turn you off to a story?

LA: I am turned off by overused cliché themes and characters, unless it is done in jest. I am turned off by stories that are hilariously pompous. I am turned off by stories that are blatantly stolen from existing stories or concepts. I mean, most of us read and we know that “The Bell Jar” has been done before. 



SQF: What is it about the characters in a story that makes them pop off the page and grab hold of you?

LA: Most characters don’t, but in a strong story they don’t have to. I know that a character resonates when I remember them or whole parts of dialogue.


SQF: I read a comment by one editor who said she keeps a blacklist of authors who respond to a rejection in a less than professional manner. I'm sure you know what I mean. What do you want authors to know about the stories you reject and how authors should respond? Along this same idea, do you mind if authors reply with polite questions about the comments they receive?

LA: Well there are authors who keep lists of rude editors as well, and a fair amount of trash can come from either side. I suppose some people are also just prone to retaliation. I am not. I am not sure where things break down, each situation is different.  It also depends on perspective: I work for the writers, the writers work for the readers. If I can do something to make that interaction more positive, I would want that feedback. I don’t want to take writers for granted.

I think it is important for an author to respect the decisions made, even if they don’t agree or understand it. Sometimes it comes down to space, or other limits, or just subjective taste. Sometimes an author is incredulous: How could they NOT publish it? How can they have stories like (insert story they deem inferior) and NOT take mine? Sometimes an author will complain that it is a clique issue with small press, and that can be true.

But instead of jumping to the victim role, submit it elsewhere. Find the right home, and move on. Or try again, we all have hits and misses. Check out the publication and get a sense of the work.

I can’t speak for anyone else, but I would encourage anyone who submits or who might be thinking about it to write and ask as much as they need to and hold me accountable if I don’t hold up my end of the deal in all this. 



SQF: What one question on this topic do you wish I'd asked that I didn't? And how would you answer it?

LA: I think these were good questions, and I hope the answers that we have been providing are helpful. I wish you had asked “What makes an editor an editor”—not because I want to tackle that but because I would like to see how editors answer that question. Right now with the ease of the internet, anyone can be an editor—which is not necessarily a bad thing—but it is something we could explore. Is there a criteria, is there a skill set that we expect? There are all kinds of things we could think about.


Thank you, Lynn. We all appreciate you taking time from your busy schedule to participate in this project.

LA: Thank you, Jim. I appreciate this opportunity to share my views on some of these topics, and if anyone wants to discuss these questions or their own they can feel free to correspond with me at any time.

NEXT POST: 4/19--Six Questions for Frances Badgett, Fiction Editor, Contrary Magazine

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Six Questions for Mark Stratton, Editor-in-Chief, Cats with Thumbs

Cats with Thumbs accepts poetry that speaks to the heart, mind and soul, and short fiction (to 2000 words) with beginnings, middles, ends, and solid, believable characters. Read the complete guidelines here.


SQF: What are the top three things you look for in a story and why?

MS:
  1. Voice
  2. Internal consistency
  3. Does it make me think
Like a song, a poem speaks to me in its voice first, content second. Which tells me that poetry about everything from rusted cars to broken hearts to politics is fair game for both my reading and publication purposes.

Anything that is written has to make sense inside itself. In other words, internal consistency or continuity matters. Consistency in language, in approach, in viewpoint and voice are all important to me.

The last should be self-explanatory


SQF: What are the top three reasons a story is rejected, other than not fitting into your answers to question one and why?

MS:
  1. Being fairly new to the editor business, what I can say thus far is not following the simple directions on the Guidelines page. That's one strike right there. I've gotten fiction submissions that exceed the word count guidelines. That's a no-no.
  2. First off, I have to like the poem or story. I want to publish the piece, not the person. Doesn't matter who they are if the piece is boring, mundane, or I don't care for it. There's enough incest in the Lit Mag world. That's why for the first issue, I solicited people whose work I like. To sort of set the tone.
  3. Not fitting the aesthetic of Cats with Thumbs--which is purposefully ambiguous.


SQF: What common mistakes do you encounter that turn you off to a story?

MS: Trying to blow smoke up my ass in the cover letter. Don't get cute, don't get chummy, don't be clever. Tell me the who, the what and possibly a bio. Anything beyond that strikes me as a used car salesman.


SQF: Do you provide comments when you reject a story?

MS: I plan on trying to be kinder than 'I'm sorry but we can't use any of your submitted poems/stories at this time.' What that will turn out to be only time will tell, as this is still early days.


SQF: I read a comment by one editor who said she keeps a blacklist of authors who respond to a rejection in a less than professional manner. I'm sure you know what I mean. What do you want authors to know about the stories you reject and how authors should respond? Along this same idea, do you mind if authors reply with polite questions about the comments they receive?

MS: Being polite and/or considerate is always helpful. In the same way that I expect the professionalism of notification of a submission being accepted elsewhere, I would hope to be as professional in return.

But remember, acceptance or rejection in many cases is purely subjective. So, what may work for Cats with Thumbs may not work for other publications. And vice-versa.


SQF: What one question on this topic do you wish I'd asked that I didn't? And how would you answer it?

MS: What are your Desert Island Albums? Limit of 5...

To which I would have answered:

    •    Born to Run - Bruce Springsteen
    •    Abbey Road - The Beatles
    •    Ellington Uptown - Duke Ellington
    •    Neptune City - Nicole Atkins
    •    My Favorite Things - John Coltrane

I know it's off-topic...but everyone should know!


Thank you, Mark. We all appreciate you taking time from your busy schedule to participate in this project.

MS: Thanks for asking and keep up the great work!

NEXT POST: 4/16--Six Questions for Lynn Alexander, Editor of Full of Crow, Fashion For Collapse, and Blink Ink Online.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Six Questions for Lauren Becker, Managing Editor, Corium Magazine

Corium Magazine publishes short fiction (1000-4000 words), very short fiction (to 1000 words), poetry (no more than 50 lines), and artwork. The editors want "stories and poems with substance and connection," with "words that touch on nerves and stay with us." Read the complete guidelines here.


SQF: What are the top three things you look for in a story and why?

LB: First, I'd like to acknowledge the others at Corium (Heather Fowler, Poetry Editor and Greg Gerke, who edits Very Short Fiction) without whom the journal would certainly be a disaster!

Top three things I look for in a story:

1. The tagline for Corium is "[e]voke and awaken us." I look for stories that make me feel something while I read and make me want to read them again when I finish. 

2. I want to be pulled in immediately. Though we're new [Editor's note: Issue One went live in March], we have been fortunate to have received a higher influx of submissions than expected; if I don't find the first few sentences compelling, I usually move on to the next.

3. It's not a problem at all if a story is not the first addressing a theme that I've ever seen. Death, love, loss—we are all touched by these things and stories related to them are therefore ripe for the telling. Make it original. Take risks.  Let your experience make it yours. I don't just look for well-written stories. I also look for the writer's personal investment.  


SQF: What are the top three reasons a story is rejected, other than not fitting into your answers to question one and why?

LB: The only thing I can add to my first response is that we don't accept stories that demonstrate that the writer did not read the substantive submissions guidelines. I'm far from being the only editor who can tell when someone is submitting their work everywhere, with the hope that the numbers game will work in their favor. Not having produced an issue as of yet, I realize it's a little more difficult to gauge what kind of stories we like, but I think we articulated the general description of our mission quite clearly. And, of course, we do not accept work with typos, grammatical errors or other evidence that the writer did not show care in editing their submission.


SQF: What other mistakes do you encounter that turn you off to a story?

LB: I am very turned off by work that fails to assume an intelligent reader. Also, though detail and description are great in moderation, they can be rather distracting in excess.


SQF: What is it about the characters in a story that make them pop off the page and grab hold of you?

LB: I am moved by the relatability of a character. This is not to say that the character resembles me, or even that s/he is likable. Rather, I need characters to be interesting and multi-dimentional. I need to care about the outcome.  


SQF: I read a comment by one editor who said she keeps a blacklist of authors who respond to a rejection in a less than professional manner. I'm sure you know what I mean. What do you want authors to know about the stories you reject and how authors should respond? Along this same idea, do you mind if authors reply with polite questions about the comments they receive?

LB: I can honestly say that in my experience with Corium, and in my former role as fiction editor at Dogzplot, I have not received any disrespectful or spiteful responses to rejections. I'm sure my streak of luck will change and, yes, at that point, I think it will be virtually impossible to disregard prior bad behavior. My advice to disappointed writers? Complain to a friend, write in your journal, eat some cookies ... do anything but write a negative response to the editor, which will (quite clearly) be to your disservice in submitting to that journal again.

As a writer, even with form rejections, I appreciate the inclusion of my name and the name of my submission. I feel it demonstrates humanity and respect for the writer's effort and takes very little time. As an editor, if the work is well-written and I am able to pinpoint some areas in which it didn't work for me, I try to provide some feedback. On occasion, I recommend other markets for which the submission might be better suited. One of the nicest things that has happened for me as an editor was receiving a thank you note from a writer who let me know that he had never received such a response in his 10 years of submitting. As welcome as it may be to receive constructive feedback as a writer, it is likewise heartening to receive appreciation for your work as an editor.

If I did not provide feedback in my response, it is because I didn't have any that I believed would be useful or I did not have time to evaluate your story in such detail as to be able to provide more information than I did. As such, I don't tend to follow up on those requests.


SQF: What one question on this topic do you wish I'd asked that I didn't? And how would you answer it?

LB: What have you learned as an editor that is useful to you as a writer?

Editors put a lot of time into running journals. Most of us are unpaid and do the work for the love of showcasing great writing, and that knowledge has  provided me with a greater understanding and respect for those editors who consider my own writing. I don't take rejections as personally. Editors have different tastes. If it's good writing, it will find a good home. 


Thank you, Lauren. We all appreciate you taking time from your busy schedule to participate in this project.

NEXT POST: 4/5--Six Questions for CL Bledsoe, Editor, Ghoti