Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Six Questions for Dixon Palmer, Editor, Short-Story.Me

Short-Story.Me publishes short stories to 2,000 words and flash fiction to 850 words in a variety of genre. Read the complete guidelines here -- http://www.short-story.me/submission-guidelines.html.

SQF: Why did you start this magazine?

DP: I believe the short story is a wonderful writing form and should be celebrated as much as possible. I thought it would be a good idea to try and bring good stories to a wide and captive readership.

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

DP: The three most important aspects of a story for me are:
  • The story must be free from spelling, grammatical and syntax errors.
  • The story must be engaging within the genre the author claims to represent.
  • I look for a crisp, sharp, focussed writing style, free – as much as possible – from the passive tense and adverbs. If a writer needs to use adverbs then the verbs are not strong enough. The writer should pin emotion to the page in a way that affects me, in a language that is stripped to the bone. That’s why we call them short stories.

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

  • Sloppy writing. Where a writer hasn’t thoroughly checked that the work is free from basic errors. 
  • Where the passive tense and cheap clichés are used. Again, a lazy writing style inconsistent with quality.
  • Flowery writing and using words just for the sake of using words to try and impress.

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

DP: No. It would just take too long, and we are not an editorial service.

SQF: What is the best part of being an editor?

DP: For me it’s reading a good story and promoting that story for the writer.

SQF: Based on your experience as an editor, what have you learned about writing?

DP: There are a few good writers out there. There are a lot of writers that could be good with more practice and dedication. I think good writers are like good musicians or athletes. They need to work hard at their craft.

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

DP: Would you please send me 3 samples of what you consider to be good stories?

I would have sent you the stories. It would give your readers a good idea of the diversity of editorial opinions.

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

NEXT POST: 9/07--Six Questions for Lindsay Dubler, Editor-in-Chief, The Abstract Quill

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