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Read all the editors' answers to Duotrope's interview question: If you publish writing, how much of a piece do you read before making the decision to reject it? Learn more.
Here is a small sampling from our recent Editor Interviews. We have interviewed over 1,900 editors.
Q: If you publish writing, how much of a piece do you read before making the decision to reject it?
A: This is a great question! Good writing pulls me into the piece, and when I realize that I'm half way through, I know it's worth a more critical read. This is a piece that will be pushed forward in the editorial process, and evaluated further by the section editors. Writers who fail to submit according to guidelines, or whose thesis or narrative thread is not obvious on the first page are likely going to be pushed to bottom of the pile. We prioritize the pieces that grab us--make us feel something--are a fresh voice we don't often hear from--and when we hit our limit for publication, other pieces just don't make the cut. Best advice for any submission: Grab the reader's heart and head in the first sentence, paragraph, page!
A: Every piece submitted to us is read and considered by multiple readers, including at least two genre editors. We read all submissions to the end, just in case there's an unearthed gem that might emerge with a little editing.
A: We read every submission all the way through (and if the piece is held for our final consideration collective, we give notes on it as well). I usually know within a page or two if I'm going to like a piece or not, but I have been surprised before.
A: We tend to read to the end.
A: If a piece does not interest me, then I will likely not need to read through its entirety.
A: We publish poems, and we read every single mark on the page.
A: All submissions are read to completion unless a submission rubs us the wrong way morally or is typed in Comic Sans.
A: We try to read all of the content of each piece, but work filled with spelling and grammatical errors might be given up on easier than others.
A: We try to read to the end of every piece, but if it's clearly outside our stated interests or mission, we'll stop before reaching the end.
A: We read each submission in its entirety! As Editor-in-Chief, I read submissions more than once as well. Everyone’s writing style is different. Yes, there are some submissions that seem disjointed or have grammatical errors, but I’d prefer to read an entire piece before making a judgment call.
A: We can generally tell within the first few paragraphs (flash) or the first page or two (short stories)
A: Opening paragraphs are key to reading on.