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: Answer emails, scanning lists of new submissions, working on the books we publish in the morning before going to my day job. More of the same in the evening.

A: We read submissions throughout the submission period. Once the deadline has passed, however, we divide the submissions amongst our team to make decisions. Then, we send out the acceptances (along with a contract) and rejections. We get to work right away with reading, editing and proofreading the pieces. Then we lay out the journal for publication.

A: I check our gmail account for submissions about three times a week. I usually read submissions during my office hours at the college or at home on the weekends. As time allows, I print submissions, remove the authors' names, and put them in packets for my student editorial board members to read and evaluate. I ask them to score each piece: 4 (Excellent), 3 (Good), 2 (Fair), 1 (Poor). They're tough readers; the 4s and some of the 3s get published.

A: We started the magazine soon after we graduated high school, so all of our staff is currently in college and are living in different places around the United States. Because of this, we all have insanely busy schedules. We all keep up with classes and other clubs and activities, which takes up most of my day. Usually I check on new submissions, and we try our best to get back to people in a timely manner when they submit. Then we look over submissions and make comments on them so the entire staff can see it, and this process is expedited when we feel its time to publish another edition soon. I'm in charge of social media, so I'm checking our platforms often. I also read over poetry and some prose.

A: If I described my day I'd be describing a million other things that don't have to do with the magazine--or even publishing--at all. The same as many other editors of little magazines, this job is not my full time job. I want to add "unfortunately" to that sentence, because the truth is that I love this work. I love it more than any of the other work I do! When I'm doing the other jobs that I get paid for, I'm also thinking about this job, and waiting to get back to it. There is such an excitement in finding a gem of a story that I approach my submission pile with energy.

A: Our project publishes continually, usually 20-30 pieces per month, to insure high readership/viewership for every published work. As Associate Editor, I take up the slack for all the others. A weekly schedule (very flexible) for me looks like this:
Monday: 8:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m. Coordination with and correspondence with Contributing Editors
Tuesday: 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Project prep in Trello
1:00 p.m.- 6:00 p.m. Read submissions or contact submitters
Wednesday: 8:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m. Prepare drafts in Wordpress
Thursday: 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Special Edition prep in Trello
1:00 p.m.- 6:00 p.m. Marketing
Friday: 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Trello E-magazine preparation or Miscellaneous Administration
1:00 p.m.- 6:00 p.m. Prepare drafts or publish in Wordpress

A: My typical day involves reading and responding to emails, reading contest submissions and submissions from literary agents, phone and in-person meetings and consultations with others at the press, and occasionally in-person meetings and events with outside consultants, press board members, and authors. In a perfect world, I would spend all of my workday reading, but this is rarely the case and I find myself spending some nights and weekends trying to squeeze in all of the reading.

Robin Miura, Senior Editor of Blair, 24 October 2018

A: Two Cities is a labor of love for two people who have full-time jobs and struggle to make room for all the wonderful pieces we read! A typical day of Two Cities work involves sitting down to the backlog of submissions and going through as many as possible, followed by a Skype chat with my co-editor as we discuss the front runners and start thinking about the overall shape and thematic notes of the next issue. We let the pieces that we're accepting dictate the direction and shape of the issue.

A: It's crazy. I try to review around 30 submissions a day, and of those, I'll select maybe 10 for a packet to send to the entire staff. Wednesday nights we meet to discuss the work, then afterwards we might go out for a beer, and the following morning I send around a new packet and it all starts over.

A: Awe-inspiring appreciation.

A: Usually I wake up around 7 and walk the dog. Zeke is a Bedlington Terrier. If you haven’t seen a Beddy, they look like little sheep - so people often stop me and talk to me to ask why I’m walking a sheep. That can be frustrating at 7am. Next I tend to get ready for the day, go to my paying job, and sneak in checking my Occulta Thesauri email whenever I can. Sometimes I take what I call ‘online lunches’ where I sit at my desk with a day-old, warm, half-bottle of flat diet soda while editing stories. After work I usually lounge in my bathtub editing stories. Then I watch X-Files ré-runs or the latest episode of SVU while editing stories in bed. Then I walk the dog again and fall asleep. Sometimes I dream about finding and editing stories. When my alarm goes off in the morning, i eagerly check my Occulta Thesauri email for new stories - and I get up and do it all over again. It’s a pretty glamorous life.

A: I read until my eyes cross. Then, I walk my two security dogs (well-trained Pomeranians). I read until my eyes cross. Then, I call it a day.

David Martin, Managing Editor of Fine Lines, 05 October 2018