Publication news and an interview with Dariel Suarez


We’re so proud of Dariel Suarez (Fiction 2012) who currently serves as the Head of Faculty & Curriculum at Grubstreet.  His short story “Mudface” was published in the Winter 2017 issue of The North American Review, and the opening story in his collection, titled “The Man From the Zoo,” is forthcoming in The Massachusetts Review.  In addition, Dariel’s collection A Kind of Solitude was a finalist for the Autumn House full-length fiction manuscript contest and the New American Press Fiction Prize!  Hearty congrats, Dariel!

We were lucky enough to have a chance to pick Dariel’s brain about literary magazines and the submissions process:

What are a few of your favorite literary journals and what do you like about them?  How do you decide where to send your work?

I love literary journals that publish culturally diverse and international works. Some good places include Prairie Schooner, The Massachusetts Review, Granta, AGNI, Michigan Quarterly Review, Guernica, and Hayden’s Ferry Review

I usually send my stories to my favorite journals first, in tiers. I wait about 3 months before doing another round of submissions if the story hasn’t been picked up, and so on. I use resources like Poets & Writers, and to browse through journals, note submission periods, dates for contests, themed issues, etc. 

There seem to be a lot of new journals popping up.  Why do you think people are founding new ones when there are already so many out there?

With the internet and social media, there are many new ways to publish nowadays. There also seems to be a demand for historically underrepresented voices, and with some of the more traditional literary journals perhaps taking longer to catch up, people have just been launching new journals instead. I think it’s good to have a broad range of options, particularly for writers who are just beginning to submit work and need to build their publication credits. The first few publications I had were with really small online and print magazines, and this prepared me to successfully submit work to more established places later on. I’m not saying this is the way every writer should do it, but having the options certainly helped me.

Do you have any advice for other writers who are submitting work?

Read the submission guidelines! Always. Editors will appreciate it if you properly follow instructions. Make sure to write a succinct and friendly cover letter. Most importantly, revise whatever piece you’re submitting until you don’t know how else to improve it. Share it with a couple of trusted readers for feedback if you can before you send it out. Finally, research publications so that you can submit your work to places where it might be a good fit. 

Who’s actually reading literary magazines?  Are people subscribing to them and reading them on the regular?  Are you?

I think writers, agents, and editors are definitely reading literary magazines. I have two shelves in one of my bookcases filled with lit mags. I’ve subscribed to a few in the past, and every time I submit to a contest, it includes a year’s subscription to the publication. I also occasionally buy an individual issue if I really like the magazine and/or the writers being featured. I always encourage my students to familiarize themselves with contemporary publications, so that they can enter into an intellectual, critical, and artistic conversation with what’s being published.

What’s a good short story that you’ve read this summer?

 “Spiderweb” by Mariana Enríquez. It’s in her wonderful collection Things We Lost In The Fire

Thank you, Dariel!  We wish you the best with your writing!

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