Submitting for publication is daunting:
I get a bit frustrated when the journals I respect publish their editors' work.
I know not everyone agrees, but I find something wrong with the practice. And so I am dismayed that American Letters & Commentary published Eric Darton's work. Good writer though he may be, Darton is the fiction editor; must have been a tough choice for him to choose his new work. Not only did they print his work, they printed it in a "special features" section. Very special. I actually don't see a problem with publishing your colleagues' work or your friends' work; nothing wrong with taking care of each other. However, when they publish their own work in their journal that accepts unsolicited submissions you have to wonder what the editors are saying about themselves, their place in the community, and their readers/writers.
Editorial ethics aside, I really do like their product and the majority of the work in the 2004 issue is engaging (esp the artwork.) Mark Irwin's "Joy" and the four poems by Fanny Howe getting most of my attention. Amy Newman's "To Assume an Expression of Disappointment: His Face Fell" is wonderful, too.
Finally, I am getting to the book reviews...I am writing four...I am a bit behind...wouldn't you say(?)