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 1,725 editors.

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

A: Once we have accepted a mss for publication, the process begins..... we first go through the mss for punctuation and grammer. and redundancies. We get rid of too many similar simple happenings like picking up a cup of coffee. pouring a cup of coffer; putting the mug down etc. etc. Too many of these bores the reader so we revamp to ensure they are not over evident in the mss. A day in the life? Can't describe it as all the days have a feel of their own..

A: At Jelly Bucket, we have three teams of readers--a team for fiction submissions, a team for nonfiction submissions, and a team for poetry submissions. Every submission received is read by each member of the team of the respective genre. Text-as-art submissions are handled directly by our Editor-in-chief and a specialist. The members of the reading teams will discuss which pieces they find potentially worthy of publishing, then inform the Editor-in-chief of which submissions they find to be the very best. The Editor-in-chief then reads the approved submissions and makes the final decisions of what will and what will not be published.

A: (I believe this question was answered in my previous answer.)

A: I thought editors did a lot of reading and spent the balance of their time thoughtfully marking up copy for discussion with an author toward publication. There is some of that, but a lot of what I do is promoting the submissions period, conducting events including readings and reviewing budgets, filing out forms and reporting to our oversight committee actually takes up the bulk of my time.

A: It's not glamorous. We thought there would be more time for larger discussions, promotion of pieces internally, the kind of things you see on TV. In reality, it's a lot of strained eyes and trying to remember our Submittable passwords. It's a huge time investment and if you're not careful, can consume all your personal writing time too. So it's all about finding a balance.

A: I'm also a writer so I write in the mornings and edit in the afternoon and sometimes the evening. Decisions about CafeLit are normally made about 2 p.m.

Gill James, editor-in-chief of CafeLit, 02 October 2019

A: It is challenging, fun and it takes many hours and discussions to get to the final product. Many times we are having editor meetings to discuss a piece that has a majority vote or split decision, but someone may have a very strong preference to keep it, while others may not. We listen to each editor and when we are in the final selection process, we continue to allow editors to express their opinion for acceptance. This process allows any piece to receive the best opportunity and allows different perspectives to be heard, viewed, challenged and accepted.

K. China Myers, Senior Editor of Duende, 29 September 2019

A: It depends on where we are in the publication cycle, but when we're open for submissions, a typical day is reading new material, trying to keep ourselves in the social media mix, and, of course, trying to come up with ways to find money to keep the magazine going. Once we're closed for submissions, we're busy selecting work, corresponding with contributors, proofing, and working on layout.

A: We both work full-time in other fields so more often than not we're reading on our phones throughout the day and then double checking our short-lists at our computer terminals in the evenings.
The lion's share of our work is spent typesetting and formatting the internals of the magazine to ensure that the aesthetic needs are met.

A: It will generally go to some of the student editors first, and they will give me some feedback about what they think about it. Then I'll give it a read, and we'll all discuss the work.

A: Writing is assigned randomly to one of several readers. Reads are done earlier in the day-fresh eyes. It’s assigned a reject, maybe, or accept (or conditional accept) status.

William Gensburger, Editor and Publisher of Books 'N Pieces, 19 September 2019

A: I personally read all submissions and decide yea or nay, and then edit the yeas as I am reading them, if needed. I will never add words to a piece; just delete what doesn't belong. If words need to be added, I will ask the writer for clarification or addition.