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Editor Interviews

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Read all the editors' answers to Duotrope's interview question: What is a day in the life of an editor like for you? Learn more.

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Here is a small sampling from our recent Editor Interviews. We have interviewed over 1,925 editors.

Q: What is a day in the life of an editor like for you?

A: We read and read a lot. Haha, Most of the time, it's taking breaks and re-reading stories looking for possible edits and re-works. We are trying to make sure our ideas align with the author and that we are helping them achieve the story they want the world to see. So yes, I read constantly over and over till I feel that I understand the story and where it is going.

A: it's all about the spreadsheet and staying organised. we have three reading teams that handle incoming submissions on a rota basis, reading daily and making their recommendations in the spreadsheet. our readers are empowered to accept and decline work unilaterally, but most of the time the process is fairly collaborative, with multiple readers weighing in on each submission. sledgehammer is well known for its quick turnaround times, and we work extremely hard to make our decisions efficiently. our rota system keeps our reading teams fresh and ensures a diversity of readers are making decisions on incoming pieces.

A: So. Many. Emails. I probably respond to over 30-40 emails a day, from submissions to volunteers to writers to marketing.

A: Being an editor of a one-woman literary magazine is a lot of work. Right now it’s even more so because I’m in the middle of a Halloween countdown of poetry which means I publish someone every day leading up to Halloween on top of my regular poetry publishing. So every day I’m soliciting work for that countdown and getting poems on Instagram and my website and promote them on Twitter. Then I do my own writing, too.

A: For me personally, I do a lot of things besides editing. I created HerStry and built everything myself from the website to the marketing material. So I often do web updates or make new graphics. I also do most of the planning of our online events, so a good amount of my time is spent doing that. I also take on private editorial clients. So I tend to dedicate my Fridays to reading submissions to HerStry.

Julia Nusbaum, Editor-in-Chief/Founder of HerStry, 04 September 2021

A: A submission comes through our publication's email and I will examine the piece. This usually takes a few days while I decide whether the piece is a good fit for our publication. Once I decide, I will email the creator with either a rejection email or an acceptance email. Acceptance emails may include possible edits we ask of our creators. Acceptance emails will also contain a publication date.

A: You'd have to ask our editor. For me as the founder, I love everything about publishing Holmes. It's a joy.

A: Firstly, I skim through submissions to decide if it's an absolute "no." If it is, I'll just prepare a rejection letter, and if it isn't I'll pass it onto a team of two editors. I usually don't read more than 4 submissions in a row, especially if I am giving feedback. That way I come to each piece fresh. I also keep track of which pieces are worthy of consideration by making notes of the titles. Choosing the finalists is more complex.

A: Well, very little of it involves reading submissions, except during September. Daily tasks mostly revolve around developmental edits, design, production, or marketing, depending on where we are in the calendar. I don't really multi-task; we publish 2-4 titles per year, some in the spring and some in the fall, so e.g. March is spent almost entirely on driving pre-orders for the book that goes to press in April.

A: HeartWood produces two issues per year; Genre Editors read for two months per issue, so they are reviewing submissions for four months of the year. Their final recommendations are reviewed by the Managing Editor, who accepts or declines all active submissions, and the issue is prepared over the following 6-8 weeks.

Jessica Spruill Waggoner, Managing Editor of HeartWood, 19 August 2021

A: The Dirty Spoon is an unpaid volunteer show and publication, so Jon Ammons (our editor in chief and co-host) and I usually work on submissions, reviewing pitches, and updating our platforms on the weekends in our spare time. You'll find me sipping coffee and reading submissions or sending back edits to an author on Sundays. It takes about two weeks to review new pitches (and say yes/no to those pitches), another week or so to get through new full manuscript submissions, and about two weeks to finalize finished submissions and produce the show and digital issue each month. We try to work 1-2 months in advance.

A: I run the contest. I have a first reader and my judges are famous writers and I select 4 each quarter to do the final judging (or 4 illustrator judges for the final selections) So I can't answer the question.