I hear you have strong feelings about Pushcart Nominations. Is that true?
Yes and no. First, congratulations on the recognition. We are sure you deserve it. Having said that, it doesn’t influence what we’ll think of your writing so mentioning it then becomes kind of unnecessary?
Can I send you my 7,000 word story?
Not unless we’ve published you before.
Can I send you my 7 word story?
They would have to be the most profound seven words ever written.
Are you impressed by MFA credentials?
No. But we do think MFA programs can be a great opportunity for writers to focus on their craft. Of course, we’ve been in graduate school so we do know what really goes on in MFA programs.
Should I mention previous publications in my cover letter?
Yes, but only to a certain extent. We like to know where potential contributors are publishing but we’re as open to new writers as experienced writers. We prefer your writing to speak for itself, and sometimes, we see cover letters where writers list all 73 publications where their work appears. That is not ideal. It is nice that you have a story/poem/other creative thing in Aunt Sophie’s Back Porch Review but it is generally more useful to list those publications in venues we may have heard of. Additionally, you only need to list 3-5 publications. We’ll get the gist.
Should I describe my creative work in my cover letter?
Absolutely not. Let your writing speak for itself. When you tell us, for example, that your story is “a compelling tale of love, life and loss” (true story), we get sad. We don’t want to be sad.
I hear you have strong feelings about creative works involving cats. Is that true?
Yes. One editor, in particular, cannot form a rational opinion about creative works involving cats. She’s in therapy for this issue. In the meantime, err on the side of caution.
Do you want to read entries from my private diary?
Not unless there are juicy details about shiny people who live in Hollywood. Even then, probably not.
Will you provide feedback on my writing?
Once in a great while, we will provide feedback on selected works that we think show promise. This does not happen often because we are a small operation and we receive a great many submissions each week. In a perfect world, we would offer feedback on everything we read because editorial feedback can be invaluable in the creative process. Sadly, we do not live in a perfect world.
Why are you so opinionated?
Excess fluoride consumption.
Duotrope claims you accept 25% of all submissions. Is that true?
That statistic is inaccurate but we do get a great deal of excellent writing and apparently, most of those writers are on Duotrope. We also don’t think that boasting a 1% acceptance rate makes you special. You might get a lot of bad writing. You might be very picky. You might get 2,000 submissions a month. Many factors go into acceptance rates. In the summer, for example, our acceptance rate is close to 0% because we’re looking for writing that can compare to the majestic beauty of where we live.
How do you feel about your contributors?
We love them and unbiasedly think we have the sharpest contributors around. They make a hell of a posse. Seriously. Check them out.
Any other questions?