Friday, August 1, 2014

Six Questions for Glen Phillips, Publisher, Front Porch Review

Front Porch Review publishes literary short fiction, poetry, essays and visual arts. Read the complete guidelines here.

SQF: Why did you start this magazine?

Glen Phillips: Forum for seniors who still have one or two sparks of creativity and a graspable reading experience for those who are advanced in wisdom and grace.

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


Fiction: A protagonist who struggles to satisfy a universal need (truth, justice, atonement, etc.) and learns something significant about himself and humanity in the process. Why: such an individual is someone a general audience can empathize with.

Poetry: straightforward language, poetic imagery, comprehensible messages as found in the works of Mary Oliver and Pablo Neruda. Why: our readers do not want to stumble over flights of fancy.

Visual arts: photos of ordinary people doing the ordinary are the favorite, then animals, then Nature. We also accept photos of paintings and sculpture. All photos are evaluated in terms of composition, perspective, coloration, and meaning.

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

GP: Fiction: protagonist without an emotional/psychological issue, lack of tension or conflict, no thematic message, over-used themes. Poetry: clichés, trite expressions, banal visuals, lame poetic language, overabundance of adjectives and adverbs

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

GP: Yes. We find that by doing so repeat submitters are more likely to have material approved.

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

GP: Successful authors capture and hold the reader’s attention through real-world dialog and situations. Beyond that, they encourage the reader to care about the story’s resolution. But above all, the author realizes that he or she is writing for someone other than himself; thus, the best writers are those who have the best sense of their audience.

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

GP: Do you accept memoirs?

No. As the old saying goes, “Your sex life is boring. Mine is exciting.”

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

NEXT POST: 8/8--Six Questions for Diana Smith Bolton, Founding Editor, District Lit


  1. The link goes to Front Porch Journal, which is an entirely different publication! Front Porch Review can be found at

  2. Thanks for the correction, Marne. The link has been updated.