One Chance to Make a First Impression

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An editor’s first look at a writer’s work is in the query letter. Steph Auteri, writing in Ploughshares, explains how writers can improve their introductions, and why it matters when they try to publish.

The best way to make an editor’s life easier is to make their decision to publish or not publish a no-brainer. A lot of this comes from showing a familiarity with their publication and with their audience. And to do this, you need to do your homework.


Ian MacAllen's fiction has appeared in 45th Parallel Magazine, Little Fiction, Vol 1. Brooklyn, Joyland Magazine, and elsewhere and nonfiction has appeared in Chicago Review of Books, The Negatives, Electric Literature, Fiction Advocate, and elsewhere. He is the Deputy Editor of The Rumpus, holds an MA in English from Rutgers University, tweets @IanMacAllen and is online at IanMacAllen.com. More from this author →