F126. Pinning Editors Down: Lit Mag Fiction Editors Define What Works

Room M100 J, Mezzanine Level
Friday, April 10, 2015
9:00 am to 10:15 am


Many literary magazines claim to seek "the best" writing, so it can be difficult—short of reading them all—to know where to submit. In a discussion for both writers and editors, editors of fiction from Ecotone, Gulf Coast, Passages North, the Southern Review and the Common will define their editorial aesthetic. Using examples of published work, they'll discuss how and how quickly they recognize a successful story, and what they believe compelling fiction does in the hearts and minds of readers.



Beth Staples is associate editor at Ecotone and Lookout Books at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where she also teaches classes in editing and publishing. From 2007-2012, she worked as managing editor for Hayden's Ferry Review. She has an MFA in fiction from Arizona State University.

Aja Gabel’s fiction can be found in New England Review, Kenyon Review, BOMB, and Glimmer Train. She is a fiction editor at Gulf Coast and was a 2012-2013 fellow in fiction at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown.

Emily Nemens has served as co-editor and prose editor of the Southern Review since 2013. Her writing has appeared in the Gettysburg Review, Eleven Eleven, Esquire, and in the chapbook Butcher Papers. In 2014, Nemens was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and was a featured editor in Writer's Digest.

Jennifer Acker is editor in chief of The Common, based at Amherst College. Her fiction and essays have appeared in magazines such as Slate, n+1GuernicaThe Millions, and Ploughshares. She teaches creative writing and editing at Amherst and New York University, Abu Dhabi.

Timston Johnston was the managing editor of Passages North from 2009-2014 and the fiction editor since 2014.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center