Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Six Questions for Susan Solomon, Editor, Sleet Magazine

Sleet Magazine publishes fiction, flash fiction, poetry, interviews, and irregulars (cross-genre works). Read the complete guidelines here.

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

SS: We look for heart and we look for craft, and this applies to all genres. We always hope for politeness, but that is an extra.

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

  • We reject work that glorifies violence. 
  • We always reject “mass marketing” type emails from people who are sending their work to every publication under the sun and pay no attention to something as simple as which genres we accept.
  • We reject stories that are really not stories. 

SQF: Which of the following statements is true and why? Plot is more important than character. Character is more important than plot. Plot and character are equally important. 

SS: I do not think in those terms. One of my favorite short stories of all times, Charles Baxter's "The Old Fascist in Retirement" didn't even have a plot. But bad dialogue will absolutely kill a story. Dialogue must exist for a reason.

SQF: What advice can you offer new authors hoping to publish their first submission in Sleet Magazine?

SS: Just send us good work; it’s that simple. Don’t worry about explaining your work in a cover letter.

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

SS: People want to be heard, including me. And I’ve learned how drastically subjective this whole process is! Sometimes we fight it out amongst ourselves. It makes me realize that my work is just part of the big mix like everyone else’s and can be loved or hated or overlooked, or a million other verbs. And please, I want to shout it from the hills that no one should take rejections personally.

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

NEXT POST: 3/22--Six Questions for Todd Pederson, Poetry Editor, Sleet Magazine


  1. Great interview. It's always a great opportunity to hear things from an editor's point of view.

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  3. Thanks, Angeline. Glad you liked it.