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Lit Mag Spotlight: The Summerset Review

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.

Submit to Review Board

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.

27 Responses to Lit Mag Spotlight: The Summerset Review

  1. Thank you for the interviews, information and your gift to Sandy victims. Have a wonderful New Year at Summerset!

  2. Great interview, can’t wait to see more of the Review. Hopefully I’ll have something that fits that I can submit.

  3. Frozen woods surround my cabin–a wonderful day to explore your magazine. I look forward to the next couple of hours with you. I add my thanks for your gift to Sandy victims.

  4. Good advice to not only read a couple issues, but mention how our submissions would be similar to other pieces they’ve chosen before.

    The Winter 2013 issue has a gorgeous cover!


  5. It is wonderful that after a withdrawal, you pursued the resubmission of what you considered great writing. That says a lot about the quality you want in your publication and the effort you will make to achieve it.

  6. Michael, you’re making us blush! We’re glad to see you’re enjoying our blog and our services. Sandy or no Sandy, we’ll be here to share our knowledge for as long as we can. Keep writing!

  7. Two things impress me here: the offer to the Hurricane Sandy victims, and the attitude towards writers – no slush pile, and the willingness to work with the author on a piece. Thanks for that.

  8. This post about Summerset Review puts them in such a favorable light. Thank you for bringing them to my attention. Looking for them online now!

  9. This blog, in a miasma of blogs, is an oasis of literary tips and helpful hints to us who are still involved in refining our craft. My congratulations to your continued support to writers everywhere. It is a Pharos Lighthouse of Alexandria to those devastated by Hurricane Sandy and other ill-affected areas.

  10. The Summerset Review giving aspiring authors a chance like most magazines do not is encouraging.

    The retracted story is intriguing. I would love to read it.That must be some story. I cannot image many magazines that would be still willing to publish it years later.

    It is refreshing to know that the rather cynical attitude I hate in myself is being knocked about at the moment. I thank you for that. I hope a copy comes my way, but if not, I am checking out The Summerset Review.

  11. This is the first I’ve heard of The Summerset Review, but you’ve certainly peaked my interest. I love to write which is why I blog. Whether I win this giveaway or not, I plan to take a closer look at this magazine.

  12. I appreciate your note about not soliciting and treating every work fairly. It gives aspiring authors hope that they can over come the “be published to get published” circle!

    Also–kudos on your generosity toward Sandy victims!!!!!!!

  13. Thank you for the wonderful post on The Summerset Review, and for the information on submitting our works to the magazine. I’m reading it online right now, and it looks great! ~ Julie :)

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