Feedback from readers

Maya Popa’s article “Two More Weeks to Submit! The Question of Extended Deadlines” (May/June 2018) is very timely, as I’ve noticed a marked increase in contest-deadline extensions in recent years. As both a writer and an editor of a literary press, I think it’s unethical for contests that charge entry fees to extend deadlines. If organizations expect submitters to follow their guidelines, then the organizations must also adhere to them, in all respects—including submission deadlines. There might be extenuating circumstances that would make a brief deadline extension necessary due to technical or logistical issues—a mass power outage, submission platform failure, etc. Outside of such instances, however, I believe that sponsoring organizations have a duty to uphold their own deadlines. To that end, my press, Orison Books, has recently added the following statement to its general guidelines: “Orison Books undertakes never to extend contest deadlines, except in the case of technical problems or other events that would prevent submitters from entering the contest by the original deadline.”

Luke Hankins
Editor, Orison Books
Asheville, North Carolina


Top tweets, Facebook posts, and other social media ephemera

The reaction to Leesa Cross-Smith’s essay “Some Room to Breathe: In Praise of Quiet Books” (May/June 2018) from some of our 207,000 Twitter followers was anything but quiet. One reader tweeted that it was “the perfect essay to read on a rainy spring day.” Another expressed gratitude: “Thanks for championing the quiet stories.” 

Our top post on Instagram in April featured a quote from Michele Filgate’s interview with Leslie Jamison, “The Infinite World” (May/June 2018), in which the author of The Recovering said, “One of the hard things about writing is that you have to show up, but you don’t know what you’re showing up for.” One of our nearly four thousand followers replied, “I thought it was just me.”


Checking in with recent contributors

Poet Danez Smith, whose essay about the Millay Colony appeared in “The Writers Retreats Where Big Books Are Born” (March/April 2018), won the inaugural Four Quartets Prize for “summer, somewhere,” from Don’t Call Us Dead (Graywolf Press, 2017). Sponsored by the Poetry Society of America and the T. S. Eliot Foundation, the new prize of $20,000 will be given annually for a complete and unified sequence of poems. 


Three of the most popular posts from

1. “Which Story Will You Tell? A Q&A With Alexander Chee” (4/17/2018) by Amy Gall
2. “2018 MFA Index: A Guide to More Than 200 Programs” (September/October 2017)
3. “A Thing Meant to Be: The Work of a Book Editor” (4/11/2018) by Rebecca Saletan