When I started out in the writing industry in summer 2010, it wasn’t long before I encountered Matt online and I’m SO glad I did. We worked together on short fiction and nonfiction pieces for Pure Slush and it changed how I wrote for the better. I even printed off his advice and taped it into the front of my notebook because his blunt and ballsy approach was so specific and useful – working with him was like a mini MFA. Six years on, having worked with Matt on ‘Wild: a collection’ (Pure Slush Books, 2012) I now have two narrative nonfiction books out and a third in the works, as well as hundreds of published short stories, nonfiction pieces, and articles. If you are serious about improving and clarifying your writing, and understand that your work is not YOU, I recommend Matt. He’s your writing’s fierce best friend.
Matt Potter makes beautiful books. This is one of the many reasons I’ve submitted to his anthologies and asked him if he would consider publishing my collection of stories ‘Rattle of Want’ and the new edition of my suspense novel, ‘What Came Before’. He said “yes” and the experience has been more than congenial. He is a fair and thorough editor. While insisting on clarity and active, precise language, he’s willing to discuss his suggestions and listens to mine. He follows through, responding to questions and requests with speed and keeps all communication on a friendly, but professional level. I’m pleased and proud to have him publish my work.
I can’t remember now how I found out about Matt, but I do remember his editorial insights when I started submitting work for Pure Slush, and they were fresh, things I hadn’t seen until he noticed them – and they made the stories much stronger.
I was still quite new to flash fiction then, so when a novella competition launched, it felt very brave to even consider making a piece for it. I knew I needed an editor to make the journey with and keep an eye on the big picture, and Matt’s expertise and great delivery as a publisher and excellent antipodean credentials (relevant for the text!) led me to choose him.
I was nervous that the piece might come across as a whingefest, and it didn’t, in part because Matt gave me clear strategies to reduce that risk, along with lots of incisive comments, thoughts and really good ideas. He brought that essential external perspective that the manuscript needed.
He also had a broader impression of me as a writer and my strengths, and pointed out that I could be doing much more with dialogue and making some pieces more “in your face.” He was right – and I’ve used his advice in subsequent writing too.
I really appreciated Matt’s professional, thoughtful approach, his clear process – his ongoing encouragement and input, both technical rigor and motivational – were just what I needed. The time difference with GMT made it a really efficient partnership too. And of course, he delivered on time which is vital when there’s an external deadline. Stellar.
And Reader, the novella went on to make the final four. So, that worked then!
I’ve published several stories and a serial novella with Matt Potter. I could sit here and invent a few superlatives concerning editing skill and book design, but what counts is his ability to mine for that vein of gold in your writing and get it to the reader – a rare talent. So many editors and publishers exist these days because it’s an easy thing to hang a shingle out on the net. We are all pioneers on the cusp of a profound shift in how the written word will be and Matt is one of those people to know. He is the real deal. You can expect a first rate job.
I began working with Matt Potter in April 2011. Since then he has published sixteen of my stories and overseen other projects including my novella Wingy Unbound. Clearly I have a close relationship with him which continues to be fulfilling. Matt is a careful, exacting editor. He gives writers enormous support, yet does not hesitate to question, to suggest, to point out areas where a story is not at its best. I am convinced that my writing has improved in the intervening five years, and that is due in large part to the terrific teachers and editors I have encountered. Matt Potter is among the most important. Some editors are difficult to work with; Matt shines. I hope to continue to collaborate with Matt for many years and recommend his projects and his skills to all.
… and more amazing quotes to come!