Speed Dating


We usually get some questions about speed dating, so here’s a quick explanation: speed dating is where you sit down with a literary magazine editor to receive immediate feedback on a poem, flash fiction piece, or the first few pages of a short story or essay. So first of all, bring some hardcopies of whatever it is you think you’d like to work with. There will be one speed dating ticket in your packet, and others will be available at the conference for $5 a pop. Each session lasts 8 minutes.

You’ll be matched up with an appropriate editor for your genre, so poems will be read by poetry editors, essays by nonfiction editors, etc. You can NOT select the market you want to speed date with, however, so no matter how much you absolutely want/need to speed date with a particular lit mag, or editor, it just doesn’t work like that — it’s not logistically possible, end of story. We will have lots of different lit mags and presses available, and lots of different editors, so we think that whoever you’re matched up with, you’ll get good, honest, useful, (and immediate) feedback.

Please note that speed dating necessarily involves a lot of “writer-herding” in and out of the room, which can include some shouting, and some whistle-blowing, and some confusion. It’s not for everybody, but the majority of attendees seem to enjoy it. So…we pre-appreciate your patience and assistance with making sure speed dating goes as smoothly as possible!


  1. Michael says:

    I am looking over your “speed dating” section and I see that you mention first few pages for short stories or essays. Would there be people there to read for novels as well?


  2. davehousley says:

    Hi Michael –

    Novels are tricky. We’ll certainly have people there who are novelists, and presses that publish novels. I think the question is how much you’d get out of somebody reading a few pages and then commenting, since it’s (obviously) such a different thing that a very short story. This is something we’ve struggled with before, so I guess I’d say that we could have people there to review what you’ve got, but if you have a story, you might get more out of that. I hope that’s a good enough answer. We want to try to make this work for everybody, but don’t want for it to be one of those “pitch” things (not that there’s anything wrong with that — we’re just doing a different thing).


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