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 1,650 editors.

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

A: On our website you will see we disclose: your social media presence is important to us. Not in how popular you are, but if you are publishing suspect posts on there it will get you an immediate rejection.

Mauve Perle Tahat, Executive Editor, Founder of TERSE. Journal, 09 April 2019

A: There are three of us here at the office. Rarely do we consult our board of auxiliary editors , but on occasion , we do so.

Peg Boyers, Executive Editor of Salmagundi, 26 March 2019

A: It's a painful fact of life that we get more submissions than we can publish. Our final evaluation is a side-by-side comparison of submissions with an eye to length and space available. At this point, we also consider how each piece fits with the other pieces accepted or recently published pieces.

A: Primarily we want the piece to fit the theme and to be "literature", by which I mean the piece deals with the emotions and struggles that make us human and is well-crafted.

A: I'm always looking ahead at future themes and patterns among the submissions already received. A piece might be more favorably reviewed if it covers a topic that isn't already done with frequency. Some topics that are "tired" (pun intended) include insomnia and general dream narratives. I won't publish submissions that are actually meant as bedtime stories for children (literally). Fresh topics include all other sleep disorders, sleep clinic experiences, working in sleep medicine, daytime fatigue and sleepiness, lucid dreaming, mental health topics related to sleep troubles, the civil/human right to sleep (for the homeless, in particulr), sleeping substances (legal, illegal, prescribed, over the counter, folk medicine), drowsy driving, sleep deprivation related to workplace and school scheduling, sleep for new parents, sleep for babies, sleep for the elderly, sleep fairy tales... as you can see, I'm open to a wide interpretation of the concept of biological sleep! The more creative and unexpected, the better.

Tamara Sellman RPSGT CCSH, Editor, curator, producer of Vitamin ZZZ, 16 March 2019

A: Because there’s only limited space — we publish 10 poets, 2-3 prose writers and an artist (we’re planning to introduce book reviews soon too) — there comes a bit of mess while we go for final selections. For prose, Kat decides which will be the final pieces, while I do that for poetry, but as it is, no work is done alone; all the editors are always in touch regarding specific pieces.
For me, the pieces that win the final places are the ones that just stay with us for quite a while, just more than the others do.

A: I just read it.

A: I have a major say in what we publish, but I get the advice our founder, Patricia Florio. Our contest judges are always writers I respect, so I turn to them for advice as well. I never reject or accept anything on the first reading, unless it strays too far from our guidelines. For example, we have. 2500 word limit. If the piece is 10,000 words, i will skim it. If it’s good, I will suggest the writer either submit again, either with a revision closer to our word count or an entirely different piece.

A: The initial reading is enough to make a decision of either acceptance or rejection.

A: Our selection process is usually a two-part procedure: a first group of readers passes their top stories to the genre editors, who narrow the list down to their favorites. Readers and editors then vote on which pieces get accepted for publication. - Ariel

Ariel Chu, Rainie Oet, Myriam Lacroix, Ally Young, Editor in Chief of Salt Hill, 27 February 2019

A: Most pieces are initially evaluated by a single first reader. About 20% of randomly selected stories are initially evaluated by a small team of first readers who discuss the piece. Any story that comes out of the first read with an equivocal or positive vote goes to a second reader and/or section editor(s), and then to the associate editor and editor in chief. At the minimum, an accepted piece has been read by three of us. I compile my notes with those of the readers and editors and use them in the first round of developmental edits with the author.

Katelyn Keating, editor in chief of CRAFT, 24 February 2019

A: For the Drabblecast we evaluate if the story will work well in audio as well. A fantastic story will still get passed on if it's really married to the page and doesn't work as well when read out loud. Other than that, no.

Norm Sherman, Chief Editor of Drabblecast, 24 February 2019