The all-fiction issue of The Antioch Review is out. Editor Robert Fogarty comments on the subtitle “Difficult Choices” – about the range of difficult choices faced by the submissions (aka slush) readers. Their choice, which often involves “the dreaded ‘r’ word” becomes what Fogarty refers to as the Key Question: “Should we publish this story or should we encourage to writer to send on another, better story?” Better than saying the story is rejected, I like Fogarty’s perspective of encouragement, which promotes the concept a writers community – a reason why so many people got into publishing lit mags in the first place.
Being responsive to their writers, Fogarty says they must make a “firm and quick judgement about a story” – but there is no doubt they are also good at what they do, with a number of their fiction writers having received awards and placement in “best of” collections. “I expect,” Fogarty writes, “that several of the writers included in this issue will in the future make a ‘best’ list.” That kind of comment makes it no difficult choice at all to pick up this mag and give it a look see!