Dear Friends, Readers, and Submitters:
Thank you for supporting West Branch this year! We’ve now completed our reading for the year—and responded to every single submission in our queue. For those of you who keep track of such things, we received 5,018 submissions during the 2018-19 reading year, of which we accepted … forty-seven.
If you’re one of the twenty-three Duotrope users who thinks we haven’t responded to your submission, I can only say: we have. As per our guidelines, “Our usual response time is ten weeks or less—often much less—but if we find your material interesting you may wait longer to hear from us. Please DO query if more than four months have passed since your submission, via e-mail at email@example.com.” Again, we INVITE you to query us if we seem to be keeping your work longer than four months. And of course you can check the status of your submission at any time via our on-line submission manager. It remains a point of pride here at West Branch that, barring some catastrophic accident, all submissions get a first reading within fourteen days of appearing in our queue.
A note about the submission manager, in response to a few inquiries/complaints this year: we use CLMP’s Submission Manager program. Several of you have suggested we switch to Submittable, a very fine and flexible program. But Submittable is very expensive, whereas CLMP’s Submission Manager is free. While I respect journals that have chosen Submittable—even those that have chosen to pass on the costs of Submittable to authors—it is very much West Branch’s commitment and intent to remain a fee-free enterprise, as far as the submission queue goes.
I want to take this opportunity to thank our two Stadler Fellows, Leslie Sainz and Jan Verberkmoes. Stadler Fellows serve on the journal staff as associate poetry editors, and it has been my enormous pleasure and privilege to work with Jan and Leslie this year. We will miss you! In August we welcome our new Stadler Fellows, Noah Baldino and Maggie Millner.
Of course, I also want to think our dedicated cadre of associate fiction and nonfiction editors: Joy Baglio, Carrie Messenger, Matt Pitt, Bill Riley, Hasanthika Sirisena, Shubha Sunder, and Can Terwilliger. We simply couldn’t work through our prose queue without them.
We open our next submission year on August 1, 2019. Please send us your finest work! We’re especially looking for quality creative nonfiction that tests the boundaries of genre and approach.
Best wishes for the summer,
G.C. Waldrep, Editor