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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.
Here is a small sampling from our recent Editor Interviews. We have interviewed over 1,750 editors.
Q: What is a day in the life of an editor like for you?
A: I will read each submission, and with the help of my associate editor will select potential peer reviewers.
Those reviews will eventually be sent to the authors for information and possible revision.
I will then read once again each final submission, and suggest any final edits that seem appropriate.
A: Check emails, read submissions once. Make some notes. Reflect. Read again. Let the writer know if I have accepted their work or not. I always respond.
A: All submissions are personally reviewed by our Editor-in-Chief/Acquisitions Officer for completeness and appropriateness then checked for any history of previous publication including self- and internet publication (e.g. works "written" on the internet individually or collectively). The Editor-in-Chief then reads the entire manuscript. If recommended for publication, the Director of Publicity and Marketing reads it while the Editor-in-Chief interviews the writer over the phone. If both Editor-in-Chief and Director of Publicity and Marketing recommend publication, it then we do a market survey. If the market survey looks good, with the Editor-in-Chief and Director of Publicity and Marketing's approval, the work is presented to the senior staff as an intended acquisition. Typically, at this point the Owner of the publishing house reads all or selected parts of the work and talks with the prospective author one-on-one over the phone, doing a final determination of the writer's ability to transition to author, the quality-of-read and enduringness of the work, as well as to check that the work doesn't include gratuitous violence or sex. If approved by the senior staff, the work goes out to the editorial pool, and, if "championed" by one of our editors, a formal contract is drawn up and sent to the submitter.
A: Publishing 2x per year is pretty simple. If life had more time I would do 4x per year. When I put out a call for submissions I read and make decisions as they come in. When I close subs the work begins. Depending on how big the edition is will dictate time required. I do all the layout and related. Actually I do all the work.
I release the electronic version about a month before print. This allows the writer to review for errors and so I can have corrections prior to the print. When I am in layout mode I can put in 20-30 hours getting it right. The rest is really not as demanding as one might think. Good writing jumps out and is easy to select..
A: During our reading periods, our editors read through hundreds of pieces and view hundreds of art pieces. Our art, poetry, and prose editors work with one another to identify the strongest work from that submission period. Once acceptances and rejections are sent out, our poetry and prose editors create copyedits of each piece. They make any necessary changes in order to prepare the pieces for publication and send the completed drafts to the content creators for approval. The approved copyedits are then included in the final publication. Our media editor ensures that our social media is updated regularly, designs each issue, and communicates directly with our contributors. Turnpike is a daily and unpaid commitment, and our editors work hard to provide the best content possible for our supporters.
A: It has changed since the magazine started publishing again. When we first opened for submissions, we were deluged; without sufficient slush readers, my days were spent slogging through the slush pile. After several months, we got that process under control. At that point, I would only read the stories that were sent to me by the slush readers.
I'm sure my process is the same as any other editor. Two months before publication, there is an intense editing period which lasts roughly two to three weeks. This involves an email back and forth between myself and the writers. In the month before publication, the back and forth is between myself and the Art Director, Kermit Woodall (as laid out, the text has to be proofread to ensure that the best version appears in print). There is always communications between myself and Kermit and Publisher Steve Davidson to ensure that things are on track.
I have also done what I could to promote the magazine. I'm always happy to appear on podcasts (hint...hint...), be interviewed and appear at science fiction conventions. I was also one of the hosts of The Gernsback Machine: An Amazing Podcast (with Gisela McKay and Hugh Spencer). Look for our second season to start in a couple of months (http://listen.amazingstories.com/?p=home).
All in all, it's a full day's work, being a magazine editor.
A: Each editor (poetry and creative nonfiction) reads what comes into them in about a three week period. They vote and make comments, editorial suggestions, etc. After that, I take a look and what they've selected or what questions they may have. The majority of the time I'm in agreement, but I may have a question or a concern about their selection, which we then talk about.
A: It's too unglamorous to discuss.
A: The reading is done in the evenings, as most are working professionals, employed in varied sectors of economies of their respective countries.
We do this as a service.
Sundays for mutual edit consultations.
A: I read, I write, I edit and I post.
A: After coffee and waffles, I begin working on my current publication job. I stick to a rigid, deadline-driven production schedule. This usually takes me up to lunch--a green salad. After which, I answer emails and spend the rest of the day working on marketing projects. Then after an evening meal of stir-fried vegetables, I read submissions for a couple hours.
A: My editing day tends to be divided into slots, with each slot being preparatory work for a different publication - thus, in the mornings I might be reading submissions for various anthologies, while in the afternoons I might be working on magazine layouts. Accepted submissions are immediately entered into a master document which eventually becomes a book or magazine; rejected submissions are put into a separate file for contacting the authors later.