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 1,650 editors.

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

A: Unless there are some flagrant issues, yes, we all read through to the end and leave comments in a spreadsheet to discuss the work as a whole.

Mauve Perle Tahat, Executive Editor, Founder of TERSE. Journal, 09 April 2019

A: We read all submissions to the end

A: It depends... If a piece if great we read it in its entirety before accepting it. Unfortunately , less excellent material is usually apparently so after a page or two...

Peg Boyers, Executive Editor of Salmagundi, 26 March 2019

A: We attempt to read each piece through to the end. A few are simply too painful to an editor's eye to get that far. If it's not right for us, but shows promise, it's not unusual to offer some editorial advice with the rejection.

A: We are different. I will sometimes read a page or even a half of a page and if it hasn't gripped me or interested me I'll pass on it. The other two editors are generally more forgiving and will give something more of a chance.

A: I read the whole piece. I ask for short pieces, so it's not a problem to read them in their entirety before making a decision.

Tamara Sellman RPSGT CCSH, Editor, curator, producer of Vitamin ZZZ, 16 March 2019

A: It can be said whether we’ll keep a piece or not by just the first few lines too, but there’s always a wish to be proved wrong, which makes us read every piece until the end.

A: I read the whole thing. You can't make suggestions for improvement if you don't.

A: Because of our word limit -2500 words - I generally read the whole piece. I can be derailed by badly proofread pieces. I am agnostic about the Oxford comma, but batches of misspelled words, run on sentences that don’t reflect actual dialogue or character development, meandering tangents, internal “editorializing” by the writer - these are some of the things that cause me to stop reading. I am not offended by much, but gratuitous violence wastes my time.
Sometimes, we will get a piece- like religious poetry or political tracts - which just don’t mesh with how we see our journal, but are otherwise well done. I will try to suggest other places where that work will fit better.

A: The first two or three paragraphs is usually enough to make a decision upon. A writer of literature is easily spotted.

A: We can generally tell within two pages whether a piece will be a fit, but we try out best to read the entirety of everything we consider.

A: If the first page or two aren't doing it for us, we tend not to read on. Our logic is that Salt Hill readers also won't continue reading if the piece hasn't managed to captivate them by then. As writers ourselves, we're always reminded when reading through submissions how important those first few paragraphs are. - Myriam

Ariel Chu, Rainie Oet, Myriam Lacroix, Ally Young, Editor in Chief of Salt Hill, 27 February 2019