An Interview with Wes Smith, Nonfiction Editor


What do you most enjoy about editing creative nonfiction submissions for Tributaries?

I enjoy reading and learning about people. When I get to read their work and help them make it the best version of their work that it can be.

What do you look for in nonfiction submissions? Is there a particular kind of work you’re more interested in receiving?

I look for something that is interesting and different. I love things that are about different cultures and unusual circumstances. I like work that is well written and takes the reader to unexpected places.

Is there a book or website you would recommend for new writers interested in submitting for the first time?

I love Poets and Writers or They have many resources for writers that include contests, journals, help guides, and much more.

Who are some of your favorite authors and why?

One of my favorite poets is Brian Turner. His military poetry is amazing and inspiring. My favorite fiction writer is David Eddings. He has some amazing series that I have read and reread. His attention to detail and world-building skills are fantastic.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

It would be immortality. If I could live forever, then I would have the time to do everything I want to do.


Wes Smith is an Army combat veteran and currently working on two poetry projects; “High Open” which is a collection of poems based on his military experience and “Behind Enemy Lines” which is poetry inspired by his life and family history. Wes received his BA in English from Indiana University East in 2016 and his MA in English for IU East in 2018. He just accepted an offer to attend the University of Massachusetts, Boston’s MFA program for poetry in the fall of 2018.

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