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Editor Interviews

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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.

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Here is a small sampling from our recent Editor Interviews. We have interviewed over 2,100 editors.

Q: If you publish writing, how much of a piece do you read before making the decision to reject it?

A: Initially, I read several poems deeply to get an idea of what is going on with the manuscript and the writing, I then skip around and if I am intrigued or if the quality of the writing is excellent, I move to a deeper reading. I re-read and think about the book many times, and each time decide whether to keep it. It ultimately comes down to what I cannot let go after several readings.

A: At the absolute least, we have two readers give 15-20 minutes of attention (per reader) to each collection we consider. If they find merit there, the work gets additional eyes on it, and the second round readers spend longer per manuscript as well. We read from various parts of the book as well, so the first impression isn't everything! If you have only polished the first 1/3 of the book, we'll know and it won't work out for you.

Gabriel Cleveland, Managing Editor/Director of CavanKerry Press, 24 January 2023

A: We read every piece to the end.

Laurie Rosenblatt and Lisa Trudeau, Co-founders and Co-editor of LEON Literary Review, 23 January 2023

A: All of it.

A: I read every bit of a recipe. I often need to read them two or three times before deciding!

A: We ask for the first 50 pages, which is typically enough to know how we feel about a manuscript. The first page is important, and if it's heavy on exposition, dialogue, it is usually indicative of the rest of the work. Anything that includes racist or bigoted language, even if used for characterization purposes, is immediately rejected. We have no home for that in our house.

A: We make sure to read every submitted piece all the way through at least once before making a decision. Often we reread the entire piece multiple times.

A: It is RARE that we don't read a piece to completion before rejecting it. Usually, if this happens, it is from including a topic that we refuse to print that is in our "None of this, though" list or from it being unreadable from grammar barriers. We don't require any kind of MLA standard, dialogue especially can be vastly different between regions, it has to be readable, though.

A: I can usually tell within a few paragraphs or stanzas whether the work is right for Plant-Human Quarterly.

A: We take time to review the whole submission and manuscript.

A: I rely on my first readers and then I look at beginnings and endings

A: It's a mix of both approaches.

Dr. Ainehi Edoro, Editor-in-Chief of Brittle Paper, 15 December 2022