It’s Layla, the Editor in Chief of 1932 Quarterly, and I’m here to answer some frequently asked questions for everyone who has been interested in how exactly the general literary journal process works.
How many people are involved in 1932 Quarterly?
There are roughly 25-30 associate editors. Then we have the Editor-in-Chief (me), the General Managing Editor, a Managing Editor of Prose, and two Managing Editors of Poetry. We have a Website Coordinator, a Managing Editor of Design, and a design team of roughly 4 associate design editors. We also have various other people who help solicit submissions and marketing, we work closely with other creative endeavors as well. So we are operating with a team of about 40 people.
Where are good places to go to find literary journals that are currently accepting submissions?
DUOTROPE.COM!!! Seriously, Duotrope.com is the best. It is very helpful. Also, I’m currently a member of about five facebook groups for writers as well as a member of two different email groups. Here, people will post about which literary journals are accepting submissions. Once you start to get your foot in the door of this literary realm, it becomes very easy to find literary journals that fit your style.
How does the editing process work?
Editing works similarly in most places, but this is what we do at 1932. The poetry editors get a packet with all the poems in them and the prose editors get a packet with all the prose in them. There is no indication of the identity of the author on any of these pieces. They are then asked to read them and rate them on a scale of 1-10. They can write as many or as little comments as they want on the pieces. We then take the average of all the rankings and we have a big meeting where we discuss all the pieces and people defend why -or why not- a piece should be accepted.
What happens if the editors want to change my work, but I do not want to change it?
Unless it is a grammatical error in a some prose, we will never ask you to change your work. If you’re accepted, we will give you the opportunity to revise it before publication, but we will never ask you to change your work. We accept work as is, so if there is something we don’t like about it, we won’t try to change it to fit our style or preference. There will never be a conflict of the writers creative license vs. our personal preference. I can say this is true for nearly every literary journal to which I’ve submitted as well.
How Many Submissions do you normally get?
Well, we’ve only had one reading period thus far, but we got over 200 submissions. I’ll keep you posted once this reading period begins!
How is 1932 Quarterly funded?
I pay for 1932 Quarterly out of my own pocket. Which seems intense, I know. Shortly we will be allowed to apply for grants, but currently I pay for everything. The price of shipping and some small things are offset by the revenue from copies we’ve sold, so it’s not all bad.
How frequently do people get accepted when they submit to literary journals?
I can only speak for myself, but for every 5-7 poems I submit, only 1 gets accepted. Unless I have a really good month, like in November I got three acceptances in 2 days. So it is discouraging but it is totally worth it.
Can you make a living having your work published in literary journals?
If you want to be homeless, sure. I’ve had quite a few poems published, but I’ve only gotten paid three times for a poem that was published. One check was for $30.00, the other check was $250.00 and another check was $3.00. Most writers do this as a point of personal fulfillment so the fiscal aspect does not matter. So it’s nearly impossible to use this as a source of income, however writing your own chapbook or self publishing is an entirely different story.
Some Extra Pointers:
-Always read previously published pieces for each journal to which you’re planning to apply, to see if you fit what they’re looking for. Most journals have a very specific vision, so check out an older issue to see if you’d make a good fit.
-Making a Submittable.com account is the best thing you could possibly do. It keeps track of most of your submissions and it makes submitting super easy.
-It takes months to hear back from most journals so don’t think they forgot about you, you will always hear back, unless otherwise noted. So don’t worry!
-Don’t get discouraged. Rejections suck, but the acceptances make it worth it.
I hope this answered some of your questions, and if you have any more questions feel free to comment on our facebook page and ask. We still have a week left until our spring deadline so submit, submit, submit!