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 1,850 editors.

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

A: We also consider how well the poem suits our format visually - whether there's a strong visual motif that we can use for the cover to highlight a specific moment or the overall atmosphere of the poem.

A: None.

A: The quality of the writing and the overall composition of the manuscript are paramount. We also may consider how the book will fit within our list, but that's secondary to the writing.

A: This depends on the story. If a piece really captures my imagination and needs work, I'll contact the author and workshop it. Developmental editing is one of my favorite things to do.

Kristen Simental, Editor-in-Chief of Five South, 16 November 2020

A: Me sleeping on it.

A: Open Arts Forum tries to maintain a collaborative environment m. To that end, every member can “Feature” their favourite work. It goes without saying that featuring your own work is bad form, and will be noticed.
This featured work is monitored by the editors when looking for new material to publish.

A: At Red Rover Magazine, we have a two-fold evaluation process. One, is if the work is of polished, high quality. The second, is if the author or artist engages with our mission of exploring emotion through the act of creation.

A: Just me. That's the strength and weakness of Rat's Ass Review. Nothing gets published because it got four tepid yes votes and three strong no votes (or even four vehement yes votes and three weak no votes). It gets one vote.
I will, on occasion, accept a poem contingent on an author agreeing to some sort of editorial interference from me. In those cases I will send the poem back with my suggestions and ask if they are OK. And, of course I will fuss with spelling and punctuation, again with the OK of the author. But any of this tinkering will be done after I have made the decision that the poem is, or could be, acceptible for publication. And in no case will I make changes to an author's work without the author's permission.

A: It’s really a gut reaction—we either know it’s for us, or it isn’t. Sometimes if we love the work but something may need fine-tuning—like the ending, or the opening sentence, or something like that—we will discuss it with the writer before we even make an offer to make sure they’re willing to work with us. A couple of times we’ve worked with something extensively because we loved it, but that’s the exception, not the rule. Most of what we take requires very little work. We really look for something that’s highly polished, and we have turned down pieces we loved because they’d require too much effort. On a couple of occasions we’ve asked the writer for a rewrite, but that’s also rare. We have to really love it to ask for that.

A: Every paper is double-blind peer-reviewed. If the referees ask for major revisions, then it is very possible that the revised paper will undergo one more peer review.

A: We discuss it with our staff and consider its timeliness, how well-written the pitch or submission is, and whether an editor wants to claim it in order to walk it through our editing process. In that way, our magazine is personal to the tastes of our staff--which also means that every piece has an advocate. It also means it can be hard to explain exactly what we're looking for, but certainly reading an interview like this will give writers a better idea. (Or even reading the magazine! ;-))

Liz Charlotte Grant, Contributing Editor of The Curator, 09 November 2020

A: Just the standard evaluations any publisher has to make: is this book right for our community of readers, etc.

Gregory Wolfe, Publisher & Editor of Slant, 05 November 2020