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 1,600 editors.

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

A: Going though the mail. Submissions are either rejected, accepted or go into a stack for further discussion and thought by our editorial team.

A: As Little Blue Marble is currently a one-woman show, time management is a big part of our submission process. Typically, I only devote one day a week to editing, publishing, and reading the slush pile. The day starts with the next story up for publication, and any necessary copy edits. Then I put together a preview proof for the author, which involves getting it up onto the site and hunting for a good feature image to set the mood for the story. After the editing process is taken care of, stories waiting on acceptance get read. Unless the story is an immediate autoreject for guideline violations, I typically let each story sit with me for a while, because sometimes a story that didn't immediately resonate will grow on me. Stories like this often get more than one readthrough. Because I'm a writer myself, I dislike rejecting stories because I know how a rejection feels, so I've been occasionally guilty of putting off rejections. But the best part of my day is sending out an acceptance, because I know I've made an author happy.

A: Fun. I enjoy going through submissions and seeing what our student editors think and feel about the work presented, and I love reading pieces and seeing the different ways people have of viewing the world. It's also rigorous, in the sense that it's time consuming, but I like the challenge of working through all of it, and watching the direction and shape I can help create for our publication under the editorial umbrella I've been asked to assume.

A: After a short list of acceptance and rejection is formed. The emails are sent first to help those rejected. Next the acceptance emails are sent. Over the next few weeks art /photo works are sought out and paired with poems and fictions.

Mark Antony Rossi, Editor in Chief of Ariel Chart, 07 September 2018

A: I check my email and the online platform for any updates -- new submissions, revisions, referee reports. I read submissions carefully before deciding if they are ready to go to a referee, need revision before they go to a referee, or simply don't meet our needs at all. I spend most of March and September editing the issue: doing layout, checking quotes, determining the order of the articles, proofreading, and so on.

Janet Brennan Croft, Editor of Mythlore, 07 September 2018

A: n.a. (I am academic and o this editing work as part of my other academic activities)

Chirstoph Pieper, Editor-in-chief of Mnemosyne, 05 September 2018

A: As the managing editor, I'm keeping the work flow of preliminary round submissions evened out among our dozen or so readers; moving pieces up to genre editors; saving pieces for the editorial review board; communicating with accepted authors and also sending notes on meritorious pieces that didn't quite make it for us to those writers; as well as doing my own part in the preliminary round reading. Then there's production responsibilities, as well, along with promotional duties (particularly during competition season). I do little pieces of all of these things each day, while at the same time working my full-time job and being full-time in my family (with my wife and three kids). The Peauxdunque Review, for everyone on this editorial staff, is for the love of writing and words.

A: We call for submissions at least three times during the 20 days at the beginning of each month. All subs are evaluated by our editors together and all respondents are notified of results as soon after deadline as possible. Interviews begin immediately via exchange of emails and, simultaneously, mobile and desktop layouts are created and tested for the major browsers. Each artists see a "near-line" copy of the issue for final edits before it launches on the first day of the publication month. Approximately four times per month, we promote the issue and the artist across a large number of web and social media.

A: All submissions come into our electronic management system. I scan through the piece quickly to see that it fits our aims and scope and to work out which editorial committee member is best placed to be in charge of it. I then assign the submission to that person and they find two reviewers who review it blind. The process does require a lot of chasing and sometimes new reviewers need to be found as the original choices don't in the end file a review. I spend a while with each paper towards the end, making sure they are polished enough to merit publication.

A: I read most work as soon as I get it, then file it away. The mistakes I have made usually have occurred because I made a snap judgement upon first reading. Therefore, all work is now filed away and retrieved a few weeks before the deadline. So by the deadline, I will have read many submissions more than once and am ready to make my decisions...by then I also hopefully have an idea of the general shape of the issue and where at least some of the texts might fit.. Also, I often receive new texts at the deadline; I decide about these fairly quickly. Occasionally, I am so excited by a submission that I will accept it within hours of its arrival. Submissions written originally in Spanish take a little longer to evaluate. Then because we strive to be as bilingual as possible, we send some work out to be translated, with the writer's permission of course, and the resulting translation must be evaluated.

Lee Gould, Editor of La Presa, 21 August 2018

A: I get up in the morning and check the mail which I continue to do at various times throughout the day. Then I look at no more than five to seven stories a day. After I've sat with them for an hour or two after reading, I respond as necessary. I usually respond within a couple weeks. If I go beyond that, PLEASE check in via email. Something's gone awry, or the journal has become quickly famous and well-known and I'll have to hire associates to help me.

Rusty Barnes, Editor of Tough, 20 August 2018

A: Every day is interesting to read something new from some new author.