I just spent three hours in an editorial board meeting, weeding through over nine hundred submissions. Invariably, the ones that made it into the journal had three things in common:

  1. Simple writing style. Not simplistic or juvenile, but rather displaying the ability to put everyday words together in ways that were digestible, thoughtful, and unique.
  2. Strong narrative voice. Whether written in first, second, or third point of view (and we had all three show up frequently), keeping a consistent and colorful narrative voice always boosted a work into the next editing round.
  3. A subtle takeaway. Theme is difficult to get right, because it either gets lost in the plot (or lack thereof) or sticks out awkwardly and often condescendingly. A fine balance between the two is optimal.

4 thoughts on “12/10/15

  1. I’ll take note of this when I submit to magazines.

    I’ve been told that one of my poems lost its narrative core because of the odd and surprising imagery I attended to. Quoting them.

    1. Hmm. As far as I could tell, this would only be a problem if you were not using odd or surprising imagery consistently. Or maybe you were just too innovative for them 😉 Magazines tend to get stuck in a rut every so often. I’d be interested in looking over your poem and giving you some feedback, if you’d be willing to share.

      1. I did understand it, though. I was so focussed on “assonating” the words that the story didn’t flow.

        Sure! Where should I send it? An e-mail address?

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