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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 2,225 editors.

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

A: There are some pieces that we can both tell aren't right and are right within a few lines of reading- but that's rare. Generally we read all of our pieces through multiple times before making a final decision.

A: For submissions longer than 2,000 words, we make our decision within the first two pages whether it's a Yes, Maybe or No. Submissions within the 2,000 words mark, we read the entire piece if it fits our submission guidelines and then decide. Those that go into the Maybe pile gets read by either the editor-in-chief or deputy editor for a second opinion, and this time is usually read completely before a final decision. Of course, no author will be emailed an acceptance without being read completely.

A: Poetry is always read in full. Short fiction and essays are read in full too, but with the key exception of work that appears not to have been edited. If there is an immediately evident (within the first two pages) abundance of mechanical errors, it is unlikely that the entire work will be read before a rejection is sent.

A: We always read the full piece. Even if we suspect it won't be a good fit, the person took the time to send it in, and they deserve to have the full thing read.

A: I read a piece to the end, even if I am thinking it may not be right for Centaur. I often will read several times. Sometimes I will read something aloud. I am also thinking about the other pieces I have lined up for that issue. Sometimes I will accept a piece for a future issue if I think I would like more variety in the topic or tone of the writing.

Lynn Mundell, Founder, Editor of Centaur, 02 May 2024

A: I read every piece.

A: Short work we will usually read all the way through. Longer novellas (submitted to Hobby Horse), we tend to stall out once we're sure it's not a fit.

A: Generally I read it all. It's rare that it's so bad I skip. I know this is editorial masochism from other editors, but I'm a writer myself and feel an obligation to other writers.

A: This depends. If some of our basic tenets have been ignored, we reject almost immediately. If there are grammar problems in the cover letter, we don't read it at all. Otherwise, we try to give each story three pages to capture our hearts before rejecting them.

A: We read from start to finish with few exceptions.

A: We read as much of a manuscript as holds our interest. This may be a few pages or the whole manuscript. We sometimes have to reject excellent manuscripts because of our schedules or previous commitments.

A: Honestly, if we don't dig a piece after a few minutes we do not muck about. We do however read each piece in a submission, as one piece might not have sung for one of the readers, and another might.