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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 2,050 editors.

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

A: All submissions are evaluated by a group of three to five readers initially. After that, I look at them myself. From there, the manuscripts are whittled down to the five finalists, which are passed along to our guest judges, who read blind and vote on a winner.

A: We run each submission through a light sensitivity screen and look for any indication that the author is not open to changes/alterations/edits, something we consider a sign of someone we might not be able to work with.

A: I'd say the usual things: zero tolerance for hate, racism, bigoted views. You have the freedom to feel how you feel, but I'm not at all interested in giving you a platform or a mouthpiece to express those views.

A: None.

A: Each piece is read by several readers. If their overall reaction is "yes" or "maybe," the piece is then read by the genre editor and associate editor, who are also free to select pieces with "no" votes from readers if something gets their attention. The genre & associate editor then run pieces they want to accept by the editor-in-chief before contacting writers to accept a piece and offer any edits. While we occasionally accept pieces in need of more thorough revision, we aim to accept writing we would be happy to publish as-is, then work with writers to make it even better.

A: Review and voting from our section editors.

A: There are 3 rounds every haiku has to go through.
First, each haiku has to meet the basic requirements for publication on Pure Haiku.
Second, each haiku is then subject to analysis - does it link to the current theme, is there contrast and/or juxtaposition, is there an ah-ha moment?
Thirdly, those submissions left at this point with 5 haiku are put on a short list for the featured haiku writers' slots.
Once the artist has selected their favourite poet from the short list and I've selected mine, I go through all the rest of the submissions and make the final choice for publication.
A more detailed explanation of this process can be found on the Selection Page.

Freya Pickard, Curator of Pure Haiku, 11 September 2022

A: We try to have a mix of genres, so if we have too many of a specific type of piece, we are less likely to accept it for the coming issue.

A: As I mentioned, we might go back and forth with different readers and editors if our opinions on a particular piece vary. We have to take the entire issue into account—have we already accepted something with a too similar theme or form? Now that we’re a paying market, we also have to manage how many acceptances we have in total.
This is all to say, if your work is ultimately declined, please try us again. We’ve accepted multiple writers who we previously declined, and we’re grateful they continued to trust us with their work.

A: We don't have any additional evaluations. We will publish someone who has never been published before if the story conceit and the writer's ability works for Oh Reader.

Gemma Peckham, Editor-in-Chief of Oh Reader, 04 September 2022

A: None. If I love it it gets published.

A: Once I do a first pass on all the submissions, I like to get an idea of how the ones that stand out to me fit together as a whole. Not only do the individual works need to be stellar, but they need to work in concert with each other to form a cohesive, impactful anthology. This part of the process lets me know whether there are gaps that need filling or places that need trimming.