An Inside Perspective: What Our Editors Look For

Posted by Jenna Colozza, Media Specialist and Fiction Reader for Issue 4.1

Today marks one week until Gandy Dancer’s Fall submission deadline on October 1. One of the unique qualities of Gandy Dancer is its ever-changing staff—each issue has a whole new crew of readers and editors, all with different perspectives on the literature and art they love. I spoke with Issue 4.1’s genre editors to find out what they look for in a piece of writing. Read on for an inside perspective on what the Gandy editors hope to read and publish this season:

Sarah HopkinsSarah Hopkins, Fiction Editor, hopes for stories with sharp focus. She says, “For fiction, we are looking for pieces that are engaging, immersive, and character driven. We like to read pieces that have a sense of time and place, pieces that try something new and succeed. A short fiction submission should have an organic voice and precise language. Make us laugh, make us cry, but most importantly, make us interested.”

EvanFrom our Poetry Editor, Evan Goldstein: “As for poetry, we would like to feature original, finished poetry, detailed in its nature and broad in its reach, with vivid imagery, and themes based in the particular and personal experience, but expanding beyond as well. We’re looking for poetry that is unafraid, searching, evocative or narrative—poetry that speaks loudly or whispers, speaks clearly or in many voices, and does all with sincerity. We encourage you to send us experimental, non-traditional poetry, to push the limits of the form or break it up completely, but we could never turn down a good villanelle or pantoum—as long as form is not more than an extension of content.”

Erin Duffy4.1’s Creative Nonfiction Editor, Erin Duffy, says, “What I look for in a CNF essay is honesty, personality, and above all, freshness. A truly successful CNF piece takes the everyday and infuses it with evocative language and originality. We look for writing that is able to transcend the page and leave a lasting impact on the reader’s heart or mind. As the saying goes, life is stranger than fiction.”

HermanOur Art Editor, Alex Herman, says, We’re looking for art that’s not only original and pleasing to the eyes, but also evokes a deeper thinking from the reader. Photography is, of course, always popular, but we also love (pictures of) other art media like paintings, sketches, and sculptures. SUNY’s artistic talent is limitless, and we try to reflect as much in Gandy Dancer.”

There you have it—an inside look on the minds of our editors. Well be awaiting your submissions!

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