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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 1,550 editors.
Q: What is a day in the life of an editor like for you?
A: I worked as poetry editor before becoming Editor in Chief so I read every piece in my genre then, but now I've given agency to my genre editors to reject work that they don’t think is a fit, so most of what comes to me is already on the table with at least a “yes” or “maybe” vote. I then give my opinion if I need to break a tie or tip the scale one way or the other.
A: Our all-volunteer staff makes time to run our journal amid all their other obligations. Once we sit down to work, we might read through three to five pieces in a sitting. Those pieces will either be pushed on to another reader or declined. If two readers come to agreement about a submission, it will be accepted as soon as possible. Sometimes acceptance will be contingent on revisions.
A: Much as you'd expect - lots of emails to contributors, lots of proof-reading, some writing, some emails to referees, some correspondence with printers, posting complimentary copies ... There isn't really a typical day. I am also responsible for layout, illustrations and getting the page numbers right (an issue normally has 64 page; it may have more but the pages must be a multiple of 4), and that takes up quite a lot of time, especially when I'm doing final edits.
A: Imagine a human staring at poems on a computer screen, reading them aloud (maybe in a coffee shop, maybe at home, maybe on a phone). If this is your image, then you're behind the scene.
A: Carleen Tibbetts usually does the first pass on poetry, and then I look over those submissions and send out responses accordingly. Occasionally we disagree on something and need to discuss a submission further, but usually our perspectives are well-aligned. I am the only prose reader for Dream Pop, so all of the prose subs that make it into each issue are chosen by me.
A: Ms. arrive I skim, I pass on the appropriate staff. I pay bills (our distributor is our biggest cost after initial printing cost). I walk the dog. I work on my own writing, which I hasten to say BhB does NOT publish.
A: During the reading period, it's a lot of reading and categorizing. There's a lot of emailing back and forth. Contracting people, looking for a cover artist. I make a ton of spreadsheets. Then it moves into locking down the pieces, organizing the pieces, editing the pieces. More contracts. Working out the payments. Website updates. Marketing and communications. It is a beast.
A: I tend to drift between intense reading submission periods and editing the stories within the blog and finding images.
Replying to emails is becoming an increasingly lengthy task as is saving the attachments ready to read.
I read submissions on my kindle from a cloud app. I place a definite 'R' or 'A' in the file name if I am 100 per cent sure of a submission or attach an 'M' for maybe if the story needs a second reading or if it's lengthy and I'm running out of time. Once I make a decision the story is then placed in a folder along with the bio. I will follow the writer on social media and notify them of the decision.
A: It's nothing fancy. I have a Gmail folder dedicated to unread submissions. I read through them from oldest to newest. If there's no reason to reject the story outright (excessive gore, extremely offensive subject matter, not at all horror), I mark my decision and forward the work to my other editors (usually two, sometimes three), and they will read the submission and let me know their decision. Our submission wait time is generally long (can be as long as six months at times) and this is why. We count the votes and that's what decides who is accepted into the journal. My vote is sometimes the tiebreaker, but, more often than not, we're working with three editors so there isn't any need for that.
A: 15 days
A: It’s pretty basic.