In the September 2012 issue of Writer’s Digest magazine, Glimmer Train literary journal is among the handpicked venues spotlighted in the Standout Markets column. In this special online exclusive, we share more Q&A with the editor who makes this market tick.
Glimmer Train: Q&A with Susan Burmeister-Brown, co-editor
What’s the key to successful submissions?
It’s important to review our writing guidelines before submitting. We have different categories open at different times. For instance, in February, May, August and November, we hold the Short Story Award for New Writers. It is open only to those writers whose fiction has not appeared in a print publication with a circulation over 5,000. In January and July, we have the Very Short Fiction Award, which has a word count limit of 3,000.
What’s the story behind your name, Glimmer Train?
[My sister and co-founder] Linda and I had sat down one afternoon over pizza and beer, wondering what we might name the magazine, and we started talking about life, and how crazy it was that we were embarking on such an adventure. We’d certainly never anticipated it, though in retrospect we could see that there had been glimmers of it. And despite not knowing where, exactly, we were going or how we’d get there, we were going full steam ahead.
What are some topics or themes you’re actively seeking in short fiction?
I think we’re seeing a resurgence in the search for meaning. There was a profound shift in the work submitted to us in the months after 9/11, and now another great shift as the world seems to have gone into full shimmy—economically and politically. The stories push a little deeper, and we like that.
What are some common mistakes do you see in submitted work?
There can be a bit of unrealistic dialogue, or sometimes there’s a wordy description that isn’t helping to flesh out the story or move it forward. Reading the story aloud can help a writer spot those things.
Complete submission guidelines:http://www.glimmertrain.com/writguid1.html
For the complete inside story on how to break into this and other standout markets, don’t miss the September 2012 issue of WD.