My name is Samantha, and I’m one of the fiction readers at the Minnesota Review. I am also an undergraduate Professional Writing major here at Virginia Tech.
I’m going to tell you what I want to see in a submission. Since I’m only one member out of nine, please don’t feel like you have to cater to me. The truth is, I’m going to read whatever you submit, even if it’s not something I’m interested in. It all depends on how well you tell a story.
No matter what genre your submission is, I want the first paragraph to wow me. I want a strong first sentence. This is your work, and you need to be confident. If you present me with a submission that has a weak opening, I’m already going to be disinterested. Short stories shouldn’t take pages to get to the main storyline, and the shorter your story is, the more powerful each sentence needs to be.
When I finish a story, I want to still feel an attachment to it; I want to feel for the characters. A well-written work will give me reason to. Give me concrete details about the characters and their surroundings. However, I don’t want clichéd details; I want originality. Dig deeper than the obvious.
A sense of humor is great, but not required. I love reading stories with sarcastic or humorous undertones, but it’s very difficult to be funny on paper.
I look forward to reading your submissions, and thank you to everyone who has submitted so far.