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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 2,000 editors.

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

A: We judge a text by its merit alone without any additional evaluation (as determined least subjectively by the infinitely complex and vague aesthetic criteria of the editors).

A: Once a piece grabs us we read through it multiple times. If we love it we'll compare it to other pieces already accepted in the current issue. If it is too similar we'll (sadly) have to pass.

A: Most pieces are read multiple times, often by two or more readers, before they are accepted. We also sometimes attempt to typeset the poem if the formatting looks like it might be problematic for our 5.5 x 8.5 inch magazine. If we think we can print such a poem with minor formatting changes, we will include that in our acceptance letter and give the poet the chance to accept or decline. There have been some great poems that we knew we simply couldn't do justice to, so we had to send it back.

A: Most pieces we publish are heavily line edited for fluidity of prose style, even if they were already compositionally sound.

James Bloom, Co-editor of Memoirist, 28 April 2022

A: Each piece is reviewed by the editor-in-chief to determine if it fits the journal. If so then it is sent to the section editor who assigns a review committee to evaluate the submission. The review committee meets together and deliberates on which stories and poems are accepted. The committee may recommend certain minor light changes for editorial style but they do not change the piece in any major way. That is the domain of the writer. Every writer will get confirmation that their piece has been received, that piece has been sent to the proper committee, and then will receive regular updates on the status of this submission. We make every effort to accept as many papers as possible.

A: Our only other consideration is making sure a single issue hangs together – we want a good mix of pieces and not, say, an entire issue of haikus inspired by van Gogh.
If we like a piece enough and it simply doesn’t fit the upcoming issue, we will of course consider re-allocating it to a future issue instead (if doing so also suits the writer).

A: We have a two step process. My Assistant Editor, Leah Ning, and I read through all the submissions, then put between 10-12 aside as Holds. From there, they go to our Selection Committee which typically consists of our Host and Night Shift Radio's Content Director. They make the final decisions on what we publish as audiobooks, which are print only, and which we reject. If Leah and I disagree entirely, we can push back, of course, but we usually don't.

A: We consider how much editing the piece needs, in addition to our submission guidelines.

A: Aside from the review process and the evaluation forms that our reviewers use, sometimes we may need a tie breaker. In that case, the article will go to a third (or sometimes even fourth) reviewer to decide whether or not we want to accept. For submissions that are methodologically complex (usually some of our quantitative submissions) we will send to two content reviewers, and one reviewer that we ask to only look at the methodology section and ensure everything is done correctly there. Some on our review board are extremely well versed in certain content areas, but not so much the research aspects and that is fine. We have a good mix of content experts and methodology experts to rely on.

A: Sometimes a piece is given consideration over several consumptions and it might take weeks to mull over the truth of it. It's very specific to the submission's dynamics.

A: Nothing in particular.

A: Nothing else. I simply read and select.