"So Much of Philadelphia is a Flavor and Attitude." A Chat With Trish Rodriguez, Editor of Philadelphia Stories
Editor of Philly-based lit mag takes us inside her magazine
Another editor interview is in the books, friends!
Today I had the pleasure of speaking with Trish Rodriguez, Editor of Philadelphia Stories. As of two weeks ago, Philly is the city I call home. So I was especially delighted to hear about Philly’s literary scene. Perhaps just as importantly, Trish revealed that the true trademark of this town is not the cheese steak but rather a roast pork sandwich with spiced provolone cheese. Who knew!
But to the magazine: Philadelphia Stories publishes flash fiction, fiction, nonfiction, art and poetry. They are open year-round, with contests running throughout the year. Submissions slow down in July and August, so if you submit then you should expect a longer wait time.
Regular submissions are open only to writers who live or who have lived in Pennsylvania, Delaware or New Jersey. However, contest submissions are open to writers from anywhere in the U.S. Submissions do not need to have Philadelphia as a subject. (So no need to use that roast pork sandwich as a plot device, unless your characters are genuinely hungry.)
In terms of what type of fiction she seeks, Trish prefers character-driven work where a change occurs, either within the character or in the reader’s understanding of the character. Please no meandering pieces with aimless people drifting from one place to another. And please no excessively flowery prose. She wants urgent stories with high stakes, a natural storytelling voice, and meaning that deepens from start to finish.
Submissions are read anonymously. There’s no need to stress about your cover letter or publishing credentials. If you’ve submitted before and not been accepted, you are welcome to try again.
In addition to the magazine, Philadelphia Stories publishes PS Junior each spring for writers 18 and younger. They also host three conferences—Push to Publish, LitLife Poetry Festival, and Writers at Work Conference. Additionally they list local resources on the site for writers looking to connect and learn with others through retreats and workshops.
It was such a treat to speak with Trish. Thank you to all who came out. Your faces bring me joy! And thank you to Trish for taking the time.
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Reminder: I will be speaking to Ashley Wagner of Ligeia Magazine this Friday, November 12th at 11 am est. I hope to see you there!