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In this month’s Lit Mag Spotlight, we’re chatting with The Summerset Review! Following Hurricane Sandy, which devastated many homes and businesses, Summerset offered to send free issues to the victims of the disaster. This literary journal not only gives back to the writing community, but to the global community—and for that, we thank them! They’re also celebrating their tenth anniversary! Let’s give them a round of applause and a much-deserved congratulations. Enjoy the interview!
CONTEST: Leave a comment on this blog post by December 27 to enter to win two free print issues and some handsome Summerset Review bookmarks! This contest is now closed. Congratulations to Sue, our winner. Thank you to all who participated!
Give us the lowdown on your journal’s mission.
Our primary goal is to make a lasting impact on readers of our journal by publishing work that will cause them to whisper to themselves, “Wow, this is good.” By doing so, we hope to ultimately get more people in our world reading contemporary literature.
Describe your ideal submission in 15 words or less.
Thoughtful, airy, unpretentious, beckoning to be read and adored multiple times.
Tell us about a piece you recently published that got the staff really excited. Why did you love it? Why did it strike a chord? Can readers find it online?
A short story was submitted to us years ago and was quickly followed up with a withdrawal by the author. Apparently, she changed her mind and did not wish the piece to be published anywhere. We wrote her and said please reconsider, it is a lovely story. Recently she resubmitted it exclusively to us, without changing it and thanking us for the encouragement. We’re very grateful she entrusted us with the work. Rather than say exactly what the story was about and reference it by name, I think this little “backstory” is enough to show that authors should take risks and profusely speak from the heart, even in fiction.
Regarding submissions: What’s the most common turn-off that you encounter (in terms of craft)?
For prose, careless, repeated use of the same word.
What’s the most common oversight (in terms of submission guidelines)?
Exceeding the prose maximum word count, which we think is already generous at 8,000 words for a journal that is primarily online.
Why is your journal awesome?
We treat each submission fairly, regardless of author. We have no slush pile. We very rarely solicit. We’re willing to make a good piece great if it takes some blood and sweat working with an author, as opposed to simply publishing a good piece requiring very little editing.
Where can readers find your submission guidelines?
What else would you like to say?
Writers can increase their chances of getting published at The Summerset Review when they critically read two or more issues of our journal, and it wouldn’t hurt to cite what you liked (or didn’t like) about specific content when making your submission. Though we treat each submission objectively, we’ve found submissions were noticeably more compatible when authors clearly proved to us they read our journal and thought we might like their work because of this.
Follow The Summerset Review on Twitter!
CONTEST: Leave a comment on this blog post by December 27 to enter to win two free issues and Summerset Review bookmarks. This contest is now closed.