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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 1,700 editors.
Q: If you publish writing, how much of a piece do you read before making the decision to reject it?
A: All of it- sometimes multiple times.
A: I can generally tell if the piece isn't right within the first few lines but I still read the piece to the end. I read every piece several times before making any decision. I'm the only editor, so it's important for me to be as open minded as possible. I have a vision but I want to always learn and grow and never be stuck with just one idea of how I think a poem should be/feel.
A: At least two of our readers or editors will read every piece. That said, the decision is often made (subconsciously) within the first three pages. Rarely does a work that starts off on the wrong foot ever redeem itself.
A: Yes, I read the piece to the end.
A: I can tell if a piece is good and if a writer is mature enough to work with after the first couple lines. Nevertheless, we always read everything to the end.
A: We read and discuss, often in depth, every poem that fits the submission guidelines.
A: I can generally tell if a piece isn't a good fit for us in the first few paragraphs, but I read every piece to the end before making a final decision. Choosing stories for publication is very subjective; it's a gut feeling for me. Because Corvid Queen is all online and has rolling submissions and publications, I'm not constrained by having to layout pieces for pieces or select pieces for a themed issue. I try not to publish too many takes on the same source material close together, but overall I have a lot of freedom to consider each submitted piece on its own.
A: All of it!
A: If a piece shows bad craft, bad use of language, or if the piece is obviously written by someone who does not read other writers (an amazing number) I might skim through the rest to be doubly sure I'm correct in choosing not to finish reading all of it. The most difficult decisions centre around writing which is competent but just isn't as good as other submissions competing for the limited space on offer, perhaps because the subject matter isn't interesting enough, the voice not individual enough or the piece does not fit with the majority of other pieces already accepted and shaping a particular issue. I have to read those pieces all the way through, sometimes several times, before deciding if they are to be rejected.
A: All submitted work is read in-full (which is not to say we don't form opinions about the work much earlier on in our reading of it). Writers and artists take the time to submit their work to us, and out of respect for them and their process(es), we give their work full consideration.
A: We publish shorter work of 75-1500 words. We read the whole piece and then decide to ask for edits or other stories if we like the style but not the content.
A: We read each and every piece—start to finish. We have at least three readers reviewing every submission received by NNER.