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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 1,550 editors.
Q: If you publish writing, how much of a piece do you read before making the decision to reject it?
A: This really depends on the piece. Sometimes I can tell right away that a piece isn’t going to hit for me, and I’ve been working on allowing myself to acknowledge that, but if I have any indication at all that a piece could work for us, I read it through.
A: We strive to read every piece through to the end in the hopes that even an unlikely submission might surprise us in the end. If a piece is wildly outside our interests, we try to let the contributor know as soon as possible.
A: I always read the query letter and at least 20 pages.
A: I always read the whole piece to the end, even if I don't think much of it.
A: We read everything we receive to the very end, regardless of how we may/may not feel a few lines/stanzas/minutes into the piece.
A: Alas, some pieces are so bad or inappropriate for BhB we don't read every word. However, more than one staff member must come to that conclusion before we reject. And we always tell the submitter why.
A: It really depends on the piece! There are some pieces where I can tell within a paragraph or two that a specific piece isn't right--maybe it isn't speculative at all--but I encourage the person to submit again because they are a strong writer. There are other times when I've held a piece because I really couldn't tell, and it depended on the other pieces I've accepted. It was that close! I've had that happen to my own writing, too--had it held and not heard, and not heard, and almost made it, and then right at the end gotten a very nice rejection. So, because of that, I always read everything to the end no matter what my gut says at the beginning.
A: I don't read every piece to the end. I feel nine times out of ten that the first page is a good indicator to writing ability. Occasionally I have accepted a piece which doesn't seem to begin until the second page and am willing to edit and tweak until it begins in an enticing way.
A: I do not read every piece to the end. Some submissions are just so obviously not a right fit that a full read-through isn't necessary.
A: 15 days
A: We read it all.
A: If it is a long piece, we usually know after reading around 40 per cent of it. We read poems in full.