Posts Tagged ‘ Editing ’

Wild Transition Underway

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

After a weekend spent going through the backlog of Wild Violet entries, I just completed putting together the rundown for the Spring 2010 issue, which will begin both Volume IX and the redesign.

Appropriately enough, the theme will be “transitions,” as will be reflected in many of the pieces I’ve selected. In addition to some familiar names, like Margaret Karmazin and R.S. Carlson, the issue will include many new voices, as well as reports from two film festivals by Rada Djurica.

While there is plenty of work still ahead, I’m looking forward to getting started with the issue graphics and design, one of the most enjoyable aspects of the issue publication process. While the graphics will be handled a little differently from now on (such as having only one image for longer pieces), I’ve had such a great response from our readers that I can assure everyone they will remain a staple of the magazine.

So now, the transition work officially begins!

The Truth about Cover Letters

Sunday, February 14th, 2010

On this Valentine’s Day weekend, I’m spending some time going through Wild Violet submissions before a night out with my husband. Predictably, the majority of them are not right for our journal, which makes the ones that do work shine all the brighter.

While many magazines do request (or even require) cover letters, let me give it to you straight: the cover letter will not get you published. No matter how many publishing credits you have, or degrees (with honors!), or awards and accolades, unless your writing works for the publication in question, you’re heading for a letter that begins, “Thank you for sending your work…”

In fact, I must admit, I don’t even read cover letters until after I’ve made a determination on the submission. I do this for two reasons: my overflowing mailbox takes enough time to sort through without reading anything extra; unless I’ve accepted a work, the biography doesn’t really matter. For this reason, Wild Violet has published both new writers and ones with impressive pedigrees. Some cover letters include explanations about the work and the process behind it. While that might be interesting to include on a bio page later, the work has to stand on its own.

That said, amateurish or rude cover letters will irk me when I finally read them and can sway me if I’m on the fence. Ultimately, though, for me, it’s always the work that matters.

Editors: How much do cover letters matter to you?
Writers: What do you typically include in your cover letters and why?