Leodegraunce publishes literary flash fiction of 200 words or less. Read the complete guidelines here.
SQF: What are the top three things you look for in a story and why?
JdP: Because Leodegraunce is a quality flash fiction site, the first thing I'm looking for is uniqueness. I don't want to publish flashes that are merely repeats of other stuff that's out there. The second thing I'm looking for is a powerful ending. The best flash fiction packs a punch by the end. The third thing I'm looking for is an error-free submission. The author can certainly make mistakes, but I don't want the submission crammed with mistakes.
SQF: What are the top three things that turn you off to a story and why?
JdP: I'm turned off by a submission that does not adhere to the guidelines. Fortunately, the authors who submit to Leodegraunce follow the rules. Otherwise, I'm pretty open. I have eclectic tastes, and as long as the author follows the guidelines, I'm open to reading what they submit.
SQF: What advice can you offer new authors hoping to publish their first story?
JdP: Follow the guidelines. Editors receive numerous submissions, and if you don't follow the guidelines, it's easy for an editor to reject your submission based solely on that. Your work has to be exceptionally good for an editor to let you slide on the guidelines. At Leodegraunce, I'm looking for 200 word or less flash fiction, for example. For me to accept a 210 word submission means the author's subject matter blew me away.
SQF: Do you provide comments when you reject a story?
JdP: No. Every author receives the same rejection letter. I find that providing comments does more harm than good. Some authors are not open to "comments." Also, I don't feel an editor must justify a rejection. The author is always free to submit their work elsewhere.
SQF: What do you consider to be the primary responsibilities of an editor?
JdP: You need to provide clear guidelines, and then your job is to review a submission based on those guidelines. Also, at Leodegraunce my associate editor determines if a flash fiction is a complete story, and he makes grammar and punctuation corrections. Our job is not to change the intent of the author's work. If we accept an author's work, we accept the subject matter as is.
SQF: What one question on this topic do you wish I'd asked that I didn't? And how would you answer it?
JdP: Should authors take rejections personally?
No. At Leodegraunce we received up to 75 submissions a month. When I reject a flash fiction, it has nothing to do with the author and everything to do with the submission. Take the rejection, put it aside, and submit your flash fiction elsewhere. It may very well work for another publication.
Thank you, Jolie. We all appreciate you taking time from your busy schedule to participate in this project.
NEXT POST: 4/30--Six Questions for Joseph Quintela, Editor, Short, Fast and Deadly