My copy of the 47.1 issue of Puerto del Sol arrived in the mail today, and I couldn’t be happier. This is my first issue as managing editor, and if I say so myself, it’s gorgeous. If you haven’t already, order your copy now – I hope you’ll enjoy the new work and fresh voices as much I and the other editors have.
Our 47.2 issue, featuring a special section on Utopias, is coming down the pipe, but I’d like to take a moment and reflect on what I’ve learned from putting the current issue together.
1. You can’t accept everything you want to. It’s tough, but we get so many submissions with great concepts, wonderful writing, and compelling characters, narrowing it down to the final few that we accept for the journal is a tough job. Pieces that I loved I’ve had to, regretfully, decline, simply because hard decisions had to be made or else our issue would have topped our target page count (and we’re already a little over).
2. Know when to take a break. I’ve learned that, after reading a certain number of pages on the screen, it gets harder and harder to give a submission a fair shake. I’ve learned to be sensitive to this, and if I start getting fatigued I do something else, even if just for 10-15 minutes, to clear my head and get back into a good reading space.
3. Treat other people’s writing like you would want yours to be treated. This is maybe a broader way of looking at number 2, but I always try to remember that there’s a person behind the piece that I’m reading and that they’ve worked on it at least as hard as I work on my own writing. In practical terms, that means being understanding and kind in rejections, listening to input during the editing process, being timely with responses, and not being afraid to apologize after a mistake.
4. Use spreadsheets. For everything. If something can get lost, forgotten, or misplaced, it probably will. Put everything on a spreadsheet so you at least know that you had it at one time and can start thinking of logical places to look – even with files, with numerous staff working from remote locations, important documents can get saved in strange places.
5. Have fun. Even when deadlines are bearing down (or flying by), files are missing, and it seems like the issue will never be done, the work I’m doing is amazing. I get to see brand new writing, meet other writers, and have a hand in putting out a book-length collection of great new literature that inspires and entertain me, and I hope you too.
Thanks for reading, submitting, subscribing, donating, and everything else you do to make this journal possible. And keep on writing! Our next reading period opens in September, and I can’t wait to see what you’ve got.