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Editor Interviews

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Read all the editors' answers to Duotrope's interview question: What additional evaluations, if any, does a piece go through before it is accepted? Learn more.

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Here is a small sampling from our recent Editor Interviews. We have interviewed over 2,100 editors.

Q: What additional evaluations, if any, does a piece go through before it is accepted?

A: There are some intangibles like how the writer interacts with us, how enthusiastic the writer seems, and if the writer is conversant with their work. This seems a strange thing to say, but sometimes a writer is not yet aware of what they are doing with their work and of their impulses for writing it, so though it may be well written and even excellent, it is not fully realized.

A: We read every submission separately then get together and make the call. Our judgements are based solely on the quality of the work.

Laurie Rosenblatt and Lisa Trudeau, Co-founders and Co-editor of LEON Literary Review, 23 January 2023

A: Grammar
Validity of premise
Similarity to other works

A: I do think about whether the recipe might harm anyone. Anything that could be followed in the real world and result in a kitchen accident has to be a pass-- fictional ingredients, or vagueness to the point of uselessness help. Instead of combining three ingredients that make an actual poison, give the author a purple vial, or a compound with a fictional name that can't be figured out. If your recipe relies on actual risk to humans, it's not going to be a good fit.

A: If the story and writing are strong, we will hold on to it and give it multiple reads before making a final decision.

A: Most of our admin work is put in changing the poems from their document to our webhost. It takes time, and also provides the opportunity for line edits. The webpage design is the only other time the piece is evaluated, if you want to call it that.

A: All of our stories have 2-3 editors weighing in on them. An initial editor, and a final say. If there is a large disagreement between the two and no rules are being broken, we will bring in a third editor to break the tie. This has only happened once or twice from the thousands of submissions that we've gone through at this point. After we agreed if a story was being accepted or not, it progressed. If there is no real editing needed, we accept it as is. If there are some minor edits that we'd like to see, we let the author know that we want to accept the story and have a few small requests (which can be changed or denied, and we go from there.) If major edits are needed, we usually work with the author and will take 1-2 revisions if the author is open to making changes and is amenable to the edits. At the end of any of these paths, if an agreement is met on the story, we accept, and contracts are sent!

A: Every accepted piece has been read by at least two editors.

A: We ask if it is a good creative match for the press. Poets should look at the books we've published previously.

A: Mature attitude

A: A story must be well crafted. We love flash fiction that's compressed, brief, and urgent and demonstrates our ideals of intrepid. Short stories must be compelling; tell us early what the narrator wants/what's at stake and keep up the tension. Our stories are emotional; each will make you think, laugh, tear up, or root for the narrator. We adore stories for BOLD readers.

Rhonda Schlumpberger, Editor in Chief of Intrepidus Ink, 13 December 2022

A: [I don't understand this question]