Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Six Questions for Jo-Anne Rosen, Publisher/Editor, Wordrunner echapbooks

Wordrunner echapbooks publishes four collections of fiction, poetry or memoir (personal narrative) per year, each featuring one or two authors, and an occasional anthology. Read the complete guidelines here.

JP: The echapbooks are available online and may also be downloaded as pdfs. Our online version includes hyperlinks to enrich the reading. Authors receive a token payment and there is no fee to submit.

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

JR: Polished writing throughout but especially in the opening lines, so we will want to read more. Polished means more than trimming the language. We want to read only what is essential to a story (or memoir piece or poem).

A strong, engaging voice with an original perspective that makes us want to read every word.

Substance. We prefer stories and poems that explore life's important issues. 

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

JR: Insufficient text (writers should read the guidelines). These are collections of a certain length. Submissions a few pages long are automatically rejected (with the exception of those submitted to the annual anthology).

Stories about animals. We want stories about people.

Hackneyed characters or images. Cliches. We don't want to feel we've read this before.

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.

JR: Character is more important. But also a story needs an arc or a spine and must clearly resolve at the end. This is not necessarily a function of plot. 

SQF: What advice can you offer new authors hoping to publish their first collection with Wordrunner echapbooks?

JR: Give us your best. Stories (or poems or memoir) should be linked in some way, thematically or through characters.  Do not submit one story only to a collection issue or less than required number of words.

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

JR: How to “kill one's darlings,” cut what's not needed, and make every sentence essential to the whole. 

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


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

NEXT POST: 5/10--Six Questions for Garry Somers, Editor, The Blotter

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