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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 1,550 editors.
Q: What additional evaluations, if any, does a piece go through before it is accepted?
A: A piece MUST be relevant to the theme we are reading for that season.
A: As Editor, it is stated in the Terms and Conditions, that I will proof-read and spell-check pieces, and will if I make any major changes refer those back to the author for approval. If I am simply correcting the spelling of a word, I won't need to, but sometimes it's obvious that something has been missed out, and although I can guess what it is, it is always best to check with the author - sometimes I have been known to have guessed wrong!
A: Mandy: We have a grading system which we use to determine if the piece is ready for publication or needs development or a flat out rejection. We hate rejecting, so we really prefer you send us your best work.
A: Does it fit our mission statement? Is there depth to it? What are the themes working within the piece? Is it fully told/shown or does the artist need to dig deeper?
A: We read as individuals, we evaluate (discuss and review) as a team. That evaluation involves the entire editorial board—we don’t have multiple stages of review we move a piece through.
A: Our editors and assistant editors read each submission and vote on it. Work that has positive votes gets sent to the "editorial table" where it's discussed. Then, we decide what to take. If an editor feels that a piece is an obvious take, it'll get sent directly to me right away. In this way, we try not to lose it to another journal.
A: We read and reread. At least three editors are in on every editorial decision, often many more of us.
A: No additional evaluation, if it's accepted it is accepted.
A: Once each query is reviewed by our acquisitions editor, the editorial team meets briefly to see if it is something we are all interested in working on. We also evaluate our current work flow to see if we are able to fit it into our production schedule. If so, we will accept it. If not, we will reject it.
A: All three editors read and vote on everything. Usually, we talk about the work we accept. We'll get on the phone, someone will read it out loud, and then we'll lavish it with praise. It's such a nice feeling to be excited about a piece!
A: The piece must be approved by the entire editorial board. Those decision-making meetings are full of tears and libation.
A: Speaking for fiction: Our editors can vote "yes," "no," or "maybe." A piece needs two "yes" votes to be published; one "yes" and additional "maybes" succeed only if the managing editor approves. Multiple editors will always read your submission, and the managing editor will always read any submission given a "maybe" or above by even one person. This means you have at least two chances to make it out of the slush. Premium submissions work a little differently (premium cost more but offers a one-week response); for premiums, the piece vaults over the slush pile and straight into the managing editor's lap, which means he's the only one who reads it.
Poetry selection follows a similar model: the editor and managing poetry editor read through submissions and select roughly ten poems each quarter. Additionally, all premium submissions are read by the managing poetry editor.