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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 2,125 editors.

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

A: We read to the very end!

A: This is a tricky question, because every manuscript is different. Sometimes a “maybe” manuscript requires MORE reading—ie, more than a single read through! But our general rule of thumb is that if the first ten pages don’t resonate with us, it’s probably not the manuscript for us.

A: We can generally tell if we want to continue right away, but we give the work some extra time to marinate. We have specific minimum counts depending on the type of work, whether to a certain chapter, a certain number of short stories or poems, etc.

A: Everything that is sent is ready fully.

Andrew Taylor, Editor of M58, 25 May 2023

A: I can't speak for every judge who works on our contest but I personally can usually tell if a manuscript is right for the press within a few poems. That said, we have very clear systems to govern how much of a manuscript MUST get read in each stage of our contests. In most cases the desire to read more than that prescribed percentage is a strong indicator a given submission should continue on to the next round

A: We read every piece to the end unless we can tell very obviously early on that it isn't a great fit. Both editors read every piece.

A: I'll start off by saying that every submission is read by at least 3 editors before a decision is made on it. Exactly how much of each piece each editor reads depends on the individual. For me personally, I read until I'm sure that I don't want to publish the piece. Sometimes that happens in the first few pages, although it's pretty rare for me to stop reading before page 3--usually only if there are obvious, major flaws and issues. In any given submission period, I probably read 40-50% of fiction submissions the whole way through, and read to at least the halfway point for most of the rest.

A: Our Editorial Team goes through the entire piece (poem or article), evaluates it on the parameters mentioned above, before deciding on whether to accept it or not.
Sometimes the works are good but there are some syntactical or grammatical errors that spoil the piece. In such cases we request the contributors to revise and re-submit.

A: Read every piece to the end, unless it is unbearable to do so.

A: We read each submission entirely

A: We receive a lot more poetry than prose, and most of these poems are pretty short. A shorter poem is easy to read through even if it starts off poorly, so, with that being said, most written submissions are read in their entirety. However, we have received some longer submissions (both poetry and prose) with red flags at the beginning that I personally have not completed reading. Red flags that could cause me to not finish reading a work include very clearly not following our theme or instances of racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. Any written submission over our word limit (2,500) will not be read.

A: We read your entire piece before making any type of judgment on it. Every piece is read and discussed by at least two editors, and some pieces are read and discussed by three or more editors.