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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 1,875 editors.
Q: If you publish writing, how much of a piece do you read before making the decision to reject it?
A: Opening paragraphs are key to reading on.
A: We read the entire piece twice, but can generally tell if flash fiction is a good fit for our magazine within the first paragraph.
A: Everything is read, sometimes more than once before selection. It is not our policy to reject.
A: 100% of the article if it is sent to us on spec and 100% if it is sent after we assign it.
A: At minimum, two editors read every piece through to the end.
A: I can tell pretty quickly, actually—within the first few paragraphs.
A: Usually, I can tell within the first paragraph or two. That said, I do read every piece to the end.
A: The standard process entails a 3x3 rule I created for us. I read every submission at least three times (sometimes more) on three different days. There have been several instances where a submission went from the 'decline' pile to the 'acceptance' pile by the third day. In other instances, we may read a submission once and automatically accept it.
A: Flash fiction is short fiction, so we will read the whole piece when considering it.
A: It varies. Most pieces get a full read through. Those that are thick with problems early, or are blatantly not what we want, get sent back without being finished.
A: That depends! We have multiple editors read and rate each piece in four categories: mechanics, truth, purpose, and voice. It takes a little longer to judge the latter three, but if a piece's mechanics are way off, it's not hard to tell from the first few paragraphs. Basically, proofread, and we'll give you the benefit of the doubt until we get to the end.
A: Like most literary journals, we receive a lot of blanket submissions from people who don’t necessarily understand what we publish. If submissions don’t fit SAND’s aesthetic, we will reject those without reading the full submission. In general, we’re looking for subversive poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and art from an array of fresh perspectives, so those submissions always receive a full and careful evaluation.