You might want to blog about this. The Missouri Review Editor's Prize just ended, and they managed to say the last line (quoted below) with a straight face...Strange, considering we had that intern in the comments section a little while ago saying that Speer particularly looks for first-time authors. (I've quoted that comment after the Missouri Review comment below). Cheers and love the blog!
From the Missouri Review:
"We received over 2500 manuscripts this year, and the overall quality was extraordinarily good, making our decision a difficult one. This is of course a good thing: selecting winners of a contest should never be easy, and it certainly wasn’t for us. We’re very thankful to all the writers who entered this year. TMR is only as good as the work we publish, and we are grateful that so many writers sent us their very best work. We were particularly thrilled to find out, after we accepted her work, that “Unintended” will be Yuko Sakata’s first published story!"
From an intern about this matter:
"I've interned at the Missouri Review and I can say this: 3) as much as you probably won't believe this, TMR is sort of embarrassingly proud when they get a writer's first publication. so they aren't only trying to publish writers who know them. they are actively hunting out new writers because they get off on it."