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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 1,725 editors.
Q: If you publish writing, how much of a piece do you read before making the decision to reject it?
A: It's just like reading a new book. If the writing is good, it will keep me reading to the end. Once I realize that I am not engaged by the writing, I stop.
A: I can generally tell within the first few paragraphs, though some stories require me to read to the end to see if the author has been able to pull off an overall effect.
A: We tend to tell relativity quickly if a piece is for us or not. I imagine the commitment to a submission is pretty universal. The longer a journal is around, the quicker a piece falls in- or out-of-line with the publication's creative vision.
A: We go through submissions carefully because it is our duty to be answerable to our readers.
A: Our goal is to make it to the final line of every story. There's something in every piece to be admired and enjoyed, but a full read-through is always ideal. On the flip side, if it hasn't snagged our attention on the first page, it's probably missing a little something something necessary for acceptance. And if your story is a prose poem in disguise, we're definitely not reading the whole thing. #sorrynotsorry
A: In general, all pieces get a fairly thorough reading from all or some of our staff. Because I am constantly training new readers, I don't encourage them to pass on a piece without fully reading it.
A: We read every piece to the end. We usually can tell whether it has potential within the first pages, but we give it the benefit of the doubt, also because for poetry and shorter pieces we like to be able to tell an author which piece spoke to us, even if the total submission was rejected.
A: We can generally tell in the first few pages, but read to the end of every piece (except for the novel and novella submissions). Sometimes the ending makes it all make sense!
A: We read every piece to the end, and multiple times.
A: I read beginning middle and end of submissions and then pretty much know if we would like to publish it or not.
A: At Jelly Bucket, we have three teams of readers (one team for each genre) that are responsible for reading each submission we receive to the end. The readers then vote whether or not that piece should be considered seriously for publication. Any pieces approved by the readers are then read entirely by the Editor-in-chief, who will make the final decisions of what pieces will appear in the finished journal.
A: Every submission is read at least twice: once by the guest editor and at least once by a staff editor. If the staff editor believes the story deserves to be read by the entire staff, four or five editors may read it before it's rejected.