Friday, November 2, 2012

Six Questions for Jennifer Patterson & Taylor Adams, Editors, Visceral Uterus


Visceral Uterus publishes literary fiction to 1,000 words (but will read works that go a little over) and poetry. Read the complete guidelines here.

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

VU: Metaphorical (and sometimes literal) guts. We’re hungry for transgressive fiction, gritty realism and relatable angst. We like to think of writing as a purging of negativity as well as fee-free therapy. Give us the dirt of the psyche, the blood-stains of the soul. Give us honesty. Punch us in the heart. We want to be a place where people can share their darker sides with no shame, where secrets can crawl out from the dark and be welcomed by other misfits. 


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

VU: It may seem picky, but a cover letter that doesn’t acknowledge us by name colours a bias on the whole submission. We refer to writers by name and would appreciate the same treatment. Spelling or grammatical errors are a big turn-off, but we are quick to forgive the occasional typo. Smut with no emotional context is likely to send you right to the rejection pile. 


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

VU: Always. We try to be as specific as possible when explaining a rejection, and if we see potential we’ll encourage you to submit again. We’re writers too and can’t stomach the cliche "It wasn’t quite what we were looking for" vagueness.


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

VU; Sure, why not.


SQF: 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?

VU: We love to keep communication going with writers. Everyone’s a person here and everyone’s chasing their individual dream. We welcome feedback and will even look over revised submissions if the writers wish to share.


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

VU: What we’re afraid of, because it reminds people we’re not only editors, but humans! : ) Jennifer’s afraid of losing her ability to climax. I’m terrified of waking up to find that I’m not a real person. 

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

NEXT POST: 11/6--Six Questions for Laura Shovan, Editor, Little Patuxent Review

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