At Little Patuxent Review, we value all our submissions and do not take it for granted that poets and writers are willing to entrust their work and themselves to us. The process of going from a batch of submissions to a final journal is naturally then a very difficult one, both for the time involved and for the gut-wrenching decisions choosing one piece over another. Our readers are the unsung heroes of this process. In this next Q&A, we ask Dan Crawley, an LPR fiction reader, about his experiences as a reader. And thank you, Dan, for all your work and service to LPR and the Maryland literary community.
Dan Crawley’s stories have appeared or are forthcoming in a number of journals and anthologies, including New World Writing, Jellyfish Review, CHEAP POP, New Flash Fiction Review, and North American Review. He is a recipient of an Arizona Commission on the Arts creative writing fellowship and teaches fiction workshops and literature courses at various colleges and universities throughout Arizona.
Q: Why did you decide to become a reader for Little Patuxent Review?
A: Lisa Lynn Biggar, Little Patuxent Review’s Fiction Editor, was kind enough to invite me to come aboard as a reader for the Winter 2017 issue. She knows my work, and I’m glad she thought I could assist in selecting stories. And I’ve enjoyed every minute of reading such diverse and remarkable stories.
Q: Based on your experience with LPR, do you have any advice for fiction writers who are submitting to journals?
A: Many journals (print and online) accept simultaneous submissions, so it is tempting to “carpet-bomb” a story out to multiple journals that you’ve never heard of before. I think if you want to raise your percentage of acceptances, know the kind of writing a journal is looking for before submitting. Once you have studied the stories in a current issue (and back issues) of a journal, you’ll have a good idea if your story may be a good fit. Also, glaring grammar issues can thwart any chance of publication. First readers and editors do appreciate serious and professional writers.