SQF: Why did you start this magazine?
Panoply: We felt a need to bring a wide range of voices and talents to the reading public, to focus on the writing, not the writer. We’ve been fortunate and are proud to have published writers in their debut to those who are highly accomplished and highly acclaimed. But we read 100% blind so that the writing takes center stage. Additionally, here in northwest Florida, there is a biennial publication which focuses its content on a local audience. We desired to bring the written form to and from a much wider audience.
SQF: What are the top three things you look for in a submission and why?
Panoply: Creativity, mastery of craft, insight/shining a light on the human condition and the natural world.
SQF: What most often turns you off to a submission?
- Ordinary/cliché – show us something we haven’t seen.
- Poor use of mechanics – poetry, and to a lesser degree, short prose, can be a revelation. That said, adhering to some constraints can illuminate!
- Failure to follow guidelines. – this happens far too often and bogs us down. As editors, we’re not alone in this.
SQF: Do you provide comments when you reject a submission?
Panoply: Generally, no, but we always encourage the submitter to submit again! Sometimes, it truly is just a matter of taste.
SQF: Based on your experience as an editor, what have you learned about writing?
Panoply: We’ve learned the value of careful editing, that it’s not only ok to take risks but incumbent on the writer to share his/her unique vision.
SQF: What one question on this topic do you wish I'd asked that I didn't? And how would you answer it?
QUESTION: Do you orient Panoply to anything specific – in form, style, subject matter, voice, etc?
ANSWER: No, we deliberately chose a wide array, hence the name Panoply. Aside from gratuitous violence, religious dogma, and promotion of a specific political agenda, Panoply has no constraints on thematic or style focus. Far-ranging points of view are welcome. We find a place for all ages, genders, and cultural voices. We take pride in welcoming writers from all ages, experience levels, geographies, and most especially, voices. It’s a big planet. We like to show as much of its beauty as we find.
We have a few editorial quirks. We read 100% blind, by choice. We publish no more than one piece per contributor, per issue. (In a few cases, we’ve asked a contributor to “reserve” a second piece for publication in an upcoming issue.) So far, we’ve informed all submitters of the status of their work after the Call for Submissions has closed. That can attenuate the process for those who submit early. We realize that since we accept simultaneous submissions, this policy and timetable leaves us vulnerable. We’ve had some lovely work accepted by other publications before we could notify the submitter of our intention to publish the piece. Well, we’re pleased when for our submitters’ good news. Fortunately, we receive so much lovely work that losing a few each issue still gives us plenty of great work to showcase.
We’re listed in Duotrope and in Poets & Writers magazine. We plan to nominate for the Pushcart Prize at the end of 2016.
Thank you, Andrea, Jeff and Ryn. We all appreciate you taking time from your busy schedule to participate in this project.