Ashley Moore, one of our fiction editors, wrote a guest post for Aerogramme Writers’ Studio about our fiction submissions and what sets a story apart from the rest of the pile. Here is an excerpt from the beginning of the article:
A round of fiction submissions really is a beautiful beast: dense, overwhelming, intoxicating, and at its very best, delightful. At SAND journal, [we] make our way through at least 600 unsolicited stories each submissions period and are only able to publish around 8–12 of those. That means passionate pleas for our favorites and tough decisions once we’ve narrowed our selection down. But how does a writer get their work into the final rounds of editing? And how can a piece stand out among hundreds – or even thousands – of other stories?
USE A FRESH ANGLE AND VOICE
Many writers would be surprised how often editors read different versions of the seemingly same stories about f(l)ailing romances, being a child of divorce, the banality of the suburbs, and “magical women.” It’s not that the writing’s bad. In fact, it’s often impressive. And it’s not that writers shouldn’t be exploring these topics—except for magical women, who use their beauty, elegance, intelligence, or even alcohol tolerance to somehow save the lives of troubled men. Both men and women can save themselves, without white horses or ego-stroking love interests. It would be much more refreshing to read the other insightful ways that women and men can be portrayed.