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An Interview with Camma Duhamell, Fiction Editor

By Camma Duhamell

1. What kinds of fiction submissions are you hoping to see this year?
For me, the best fiction submissions are ones that build realistic characters that readers can empathize with. There isn’t much space for extensive worldbuilding in short fiction submissions, but I appreciate works that can evoke humor and strong emotion. There should also be a clear purpose for telling the story and some form of personal transformation by the end.
2. What is your favorite part of helping writers edit their work?
My favorite part of helping writers edit their work is fixing organizational issues so that the whole piece becomes more cohesive. I think there’s truth to saying that editors can help writers turn their already great work into masterpieces. The benefit of being an editor is looking at a piece with fresh eyes and fixing the structural issues that writers can’t see. I think it’s an honor to help writers realize their full creative potential.
3. What creative work (book, movie, song, piece of art. etc.) have you explored lately that spoke to you?
Last semester, I took ENG-L 260 Intro to the Advanced Study of Literature with Professor Jean Harper and we read Nickel Boys, a novel that explores the devastation that black boys experienced at the hands of corrupt reform school staff in Jim Crow America. This is a type of literature I probably would not have sought out if it wasn’t required for class, but Colson Whitehead’s prose is some of the most moving writing I’ve ever read. The twists are masterful and the author moved me to empathize deeply with the characters’ plight.
4. Who is your favorite author and why are they your favorite?
Oscar Wilde. I thought about this for a long time because I think that in order to say that an author is your favorite, you generally should have read more than one of their works. However, The Picture of Dorian Gray is by far my favorite book of all time, and my love for this novel makes me want to read more of the author’s works. I think Aesthetics is an interesting branch of philosophy and this novel is full of decadent prose for the sake of the love of literature and art.
5. If you could have any superpower, what would you choose and why?
If I could have a superpower, I would want to fly. There’s lots of cool options, but as someone who’s pretty claustrophobic and stir crazy from staying home during the pandemic, the freedom of exploring the world from above sounds too good to pass up.

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