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 1,725 editors.

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

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.

Gill James, editor-in-chief of CafeLit, 02 October 2019

A: We chose to confirm that the piece is appropriate for our mass audience and that our entries are an authentic piece of work.

K. China Myers, Senior Editor of Duende, 29 September 2019

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.

A: There often has to be some edits before a piece is completely accepted, so our publication schedule is rather slow compared to other journals. As long as everyone stays patient, though, I think everyone is happy.

A: We won’t decline for poor spelling or grammar but will require revisions. We like to encourage writers.

William Gensburger, Editor and Publisher of Books 'N Pieces, 19 September 2019

A: Thorough grammar and spell check, plus editing if needed.

A: Each story is read by two different people before acceptance. This helps to temper personal preference and find the best stories we are submitted. Once its selected, if it needs any significant edits, we send those edits before announcing the short list of acceptances so we can make sure that the author is willing to work with us on changes. We aren't draconian about our edits. After all, it is the author's story, not ours. But if we are suggesting an edit to a secfion, then something needs to be done to address the underlying issue. Our suggestions might not be right for the author, but the reason we made the edits is still there. Authors willing to work with us to improve their final product are always something we're after.

A: I evaluate base on relevance, artistic/literary strength and the overall message/theme of the submitted work.

A: Obviously there are contract negotiations, and sometimes that can pertain to the manuscript itself i.e. we submit the offer on the basis that 'x' be changed to 'y'. But generally speaking we take on the book as it is and then allow the editorial process to produce the best possible version of the manuscript.

A: Editors read the material accepted by each other and discuss how it will fit in the upcoming issue. This allows a full-range of perspectives on what we publish to prevent bias.