- What drives Ducts magazine? What are your plans for its future?
Well, it just so happens we’re in the middle of an exciting time for Ducts. We just redesigned our website to further drive our passion for personal narrative. It’s a tumultuous time in our world right now, and we believe that strong writing that connects diverse viewpoints is more vital than ever.
2. What do you look for in a story you accept for publication?
We have multiple content areas that we accept submissions for, including fiction, essays, memoir, poetry, and humor. (Go here for details.) Generally though, our content editors are looking for pieces that take a personal, unique approach to narrative and language. We’re looking for passionate material from diverse corners of the world (we publish US and global writers).
3. What would you like to see more of in the submissions to your magazine, and what would you like to see less?
Really, the biggest thing we want to see is a strong narrative—one that takes us on a complete journey, from start to finish, and moves us. And also send us your quality work—spellcheck, read it through, and make sure it coheres.
4. What tips would you give unpublished writers who are trying to get their first story published in a magazine?
Quality is key. It’s really good work that drives interest and makes readers (and us) want to share your work far and wide. Do that, and you will find a home for your piece.
5. Please link us to three of your favorite pieces at the Duct magazine.
I can actually give you 5! They are the feature pieces in our latest June issue, and they have each been set to art and a jazz “playlist” by guest arts editor Tierney Malone. Just go to ducts.org and you’ll see them all on our home page.
6. Where are most of your contributors from? What sort of voices have you published so far?
Our contributors are from all over the world, although the majority tend to be from the US. And the voices we’ve published run the gamut—from new to experienced writers, from multiple genders, ages, races, and backgrounds. We’ve been around since 1999 and have published 39 issues—that adds up to a lot of viewpoints over time!
7. Do you sometimes work with writers to help shape their story?
That depends on how the content editor feels about the material. If she’s excited about the content, she might choose to work with the writer or make some suggestions for submitting a redraft. If the subject and the voice are right, it’s an option—but generally, we’re hoping to provide a home for work that speaks for itself without major editing.
8. You’re a writer yourself. How does that affect your reading as an editor?
I think it makes me appreciate the work and commitment that writers bring to their submissions, and to treat those submissions with respect and careful consideration.
9. What is your comment on the future of literary magazines?
I think the future is bright—although I may certainly be biased. With social media and a world that is more connected than ever, narratives posted online and published in literary magazines have a better chance than ever of reaching the audience that will embrace them—and perhaps even audiences who will be provoked by them! It’s a good time both to be a writer and a publisher.
Do you read or write short stories, and submit them to magazines and journals? Do you have questions for Mary Cool? Finished a flash or short story piece and published it? Tell us all about it in the comments!
Mary Cool is a writer, editor, and artist living in Brooklyn, New York. She is Editor-in-Chief of Ducts magazine at Ducts.org, and co-host of a literary reading series, Trumpet Fiction.
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