As I look for new places to submit my work, the Six Questions For … blog is helpful. Every week Jim Harrington posts an interview with the editor(s) of a literary journal. The last question is always, “What one question on this topic do you wish I’d asked that I didn’t? And how would you answer it?”. The first four questions are usually:
- Why did you start this magazine?
- What are the top three things you look for in a submission and why?
- What most often turns you off to a submission?
- What do you look for in the opening stanza(s) of a submission?
The fifth question is usually something specific to the journal. The answer to the third question is almost always, “Not following (or not even reading) the submission guidelines.” By the time I’ve read the interview, the submission guidelines, and a few sample items, if on the Website, I’m clear how suitable the journal is for my work. Then I go back to the submission guidelines and find when submission period is and enter it into my calendar.