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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.
Here is a small sampling from our recent Editor Interviews. We have interviewed over 1,725 editors.
Q: What additional evaluations, if any, does a piece go through before it is accepted?
A: Does it fit into the current anthology? Does it fit into the magazine (if submitted to the magazine)? Does it contain gratuitous violence of sex scenes? Is the writer applying (consciously or not) the principles outlined in the book How Stories Really Work?
A: Plagiarism is not acceptable. We delete such articles.
A: Each piece is read and discussed by my staff of undergraduates. Any piece that they find promising is then read by me. Pieces that are on the bubble are then discussed further--either by myself and the Managing Editor, or with the entire staff.
A: Time is the most important. After the first reading, we set the piece aside and then come back to it over a few days. If it continues to spark, producing the same thrill as the first time we read it, then we know it's gold. So the longer your piece is under review, the better your chances. We almost never accept a piece without waiting at least a few days to check its shine this way.
A: Every piece that has been accepted has been read by at least three of our editors, sometimes four. The Editor-in-Chief reads every poem that crosses the transom and decides whether it moves on to editorial commentary. If so, the Assistant Editors read and comment on the poem to decide whether it makes the shortlist. Sometimes one of our Consulting Editors gives a poem a third-read if deemed necessary. Then the shortlist is read by the other Consulting Editor. Final deliberations are made by the Editor-in-Chief.
A: It is passed to an assistant editor for a quick perusal after I make my decision..... sort of a check and balance system within.
A: Our editors review submissions independently, then meet weekly to discuss what they have read.
A: As an editorial team, we get together and discuss every submission. Sometimes we will stage private readings to sound out the poetry and prose. Our Visual Art categories get projected on large screens, screens with large pixel counts and sometimes printed on photo paper to see it on different mediums. We try different things to see the work in a new way. That is, if it gets close to acceptance.
A: We take the stories we've accepted and print them all out. We then take them to the Canadian wilderness and place them each on a small pyre and light them. Whichever pieces produce a blue flame are the ones we keep. The rest are offered as a sacrifice to nature.
Then, we also consider how they'll fit with the other pieces in the issue. Even though stories aren't based around a theme, they often feel connected.
A: If it's publishable we also consider whether it contrasts well with recent publications. If we've published several dark stories we would now like something a bit lighter. if we've recently published some very short pieces, we'd now like something a little longer. We also like to publish seasonal pieces but we need these at least a week in advance.
A: We chose to confirm that the piece is appropriate for our mass audience and that our entries are an authentic piece of work.
A: Well you see we both read it again and we debate. Finally if there's still disagreement we have a drinking competition and the last one standing rules on the matter. Since one of us is British/Liverpudlian and the other British/Swiss, this process has been known to cause a certain amount of collateral damage and has created a substantial collection of traffic cones we're both quite proud of.