Editor’s Page

Fall 2013

Dear Readers,

We are grateful to all of you who responded to our survey. So many of your responses were positive (“I feel at home at Persimmon Tree!”), we were full of smiles.

You asked about submission choices, about diversity and about reading the publication in other forms. Let me take these topics one by one:

Submissions: Our editing team has six members. I am the first reader; I sort the pieces into levels of possible acceptance, send them out to the editors for their ideas, and then choose from among their responses. What are we looking for? Well told stories that have a narrative arc, whether fiction or nonfiction. (Both forms need a beginning, middle and end.) Content that is interesting, important, unusual, or surprising. We look for pieces that can be shaped or tightened, if necessary, without destroying the author’s voice. We have a policy of not repeating authors whom we have published in the previous three or four years because we want to be open to a wide range of emerging writers. And we continue to be committed to encouraging the voices of women over 60.

Diversity: We work on making our readership and authorship more diverse all the time. It is a challenging task since we rely so much on submissions. We can choose artists and poets; we think we have found varied voices for those categories and we hope to find many more. Any suggestions from readers would be grand.

Reading in a variety of forms: At the moment you can read Persimmon Tree on your computer – but you know that – or can access it on an iPad or any phone that will let you access your e-mail. You can print out articles from your computer one at a time the same way you can print a Word document. Our tech expert has made a number of suggestions of ways to print the whole issue; we will sort out the best way to do this presently.

We asked you a question about ads in the survey; let me assure you that we were only talking about finding new ways to flag the ads in Arts Mart.

I want to end with one of the many wonderful comments from a reader who understands what we are about: she said that Persimmon Tree gives us “the unique perspective of the wise woman!”

Thank you all.


Sue Leonard


For 45 years, Sue Leonard taught every variety of history except American mostly at independent high schools for girls — with a brief stint in a poverty program school for pregnant teens in Bedford Stuyvesant. In the mid-nineties she and her late husband John Leonard were co-editors of the Books and Arts section of the Nation Magazine. Once retired, Sue filled up her days with reading, needlework, family, friends and long walks.