Hello, let’s take some time today to meet Mid-American Review’s fiction editor, Lydia Munnell!

Lydia is a native of rural western Pennsylvania who has spent the last several years on the east side of Cleveland coordinating the after school program at Lake Erie Ink, a non-profit writing space for youth. While in Cleveland, she was DJ of a folk radio program, Revival and previously did freelance writing for Cleveland Scene Magazine.

A submission is giving you major thrills: Why? What qualities does it have?

The submissions that really command my attention right away and the ones that I enthusiastically support have a strong sense of voice right off the bat. I’m not one to demand a necessarily thrilling first sentence or to be thrown into the middle of teeth-gnashing action, but there’s got to be something about the voice that feels like it needs to be read. Maybe it’s some kind of desperation, regardless of circumstance. The speaker should need to tell this story for me to need to read it. I’m also partial to stories that try things, that do something unique with form, that confidently take risks.

What is the best piece of advice another writer has ever given you?

To take my time, to take time off between undergrad and the MFA, to remember that writers are writers because they are actually writing.

Tell us one strange thing about yourself that involves writing and/or editing.

I’m always trying to set up a workspace, a desk, an organized surface. But in the end, I end up opening up my laptop in my bed and doing all of my writing there.

What is your favorite piece that MAR has published recently (in your genre or otherwise)?

This is difficult, but I’m going with “Inaccurate (self)Portraits of Water by the Artist Victor Vaughn” by Travis Vick. When I came on staff last year, it was one of the first pieces I got to really support, and I love what Travis does with fragments and form.