In this series, The Art of Landing talks to literary magazine editors from around the world, picking their brains to see what they like and don’t like in submissions, how/if they work with authors, and their advice for publishing in literary journals. If you edit a lit mag, and would like to be a part of this series, please be in touch!
What makes a submission stand out to you?
At Split Lip we’re really looking for voice-driven work from writers with a POV. We like energy, humor, and a little experimentation.
What factors do you take into consideration when choosing to accept or reject a piece?
If we like a piece, our editors will debate whether it fits into our publication schedule, whether we have something else like it in an upcoming issue, how many edits we want to suggest, and/or whether the author will be amenable to edits. Our debates are often heated and lengthy. We want to make sure everyone gets a fair shot and don’t take the decision-making process lightly.
How often do you work with a writer to edit an accepted piece?
Fairly often! Sometimes edits are extensive, involving structural changes, and sometimes edits are small (line edits, title changes, etc.) We edit almost every piece we accept in some way, but we always ask permission of the author to ensure everyone is happy with the final product.
Split Lip charges (as many presses do these days) a submission fee. Why did the magazine decide to do so?
We are open for submissions year-round, and we alternate paid submission months with fee-free submission months, so writers have at least six months per year to submit to us for free. We currently have a $3 Tip Jar submission option and a $5 Expedited submission option that ensures response within two weeks. We implemented these submission fees for two reasons: 1. Submittable costs us over $700 per year and 2. We are extremely committed to paying our contributors a fair rate for their work.
How often (if at all) do you hear from writers who find the fee prohibitive?
We are always happy to waive fees if the cost is prohibitive, but we don’t hear from writers that often now that we have six months of fee-free submissions.
How is the money from the fees put to use?
We use a portion to pay for Submittable, web hosting fees, and the cost of attending AWP each year. The rest is for contributor payments. Split Lip contributors now receive $50 for web publication or $5/per page (minimum of $20) for print.
What advice do you have for writers just beginning the process of getting their work out there?
Write, write, write! Revise, revise, revise! We see many first drafts come through our slush pile and while we often see potential, we wish the writer would have put the piece away in the proverbial drawer for a few weeks or months. It sounds so simple, but have patience, do the work, and the rest will come.
Bio: Kaitlyn Andrews-Rice (@thelegitkar) received her MFA in Creative Writing from American University, where she served as Editor-in-Chief for Folio. She is a graduate of UCLA’s Professional Program in Screenwriting, and her fiction appears in or is forthcoming in Booth, Copper Nickel, and Indiana Review. Find her roaming the beaches north of Boston with her husband, son, and pug. Or online here.