Skip to Content

Editor Interviews

Members' Area: You are not logged in. You need to log in to access this feature. Sign up if you haven't already. All new accounts start with a free trial.

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.

Free Preview

Here is a small sampling from our recent Editor Interviews. We have interviewed over 2,225 editors.

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

A: I read submissions at the beginning of each month. Normally it takes 1-3 days to do the prior month's unsolicited MS.

A: I think I've pretty much covered it as far as my process goes. I set up my submission manager with some basic automations which I'm quite proud of, that helps me keep on top of the work and keep authors informed at each stage. I try to turn things around as quick as I can because as a writer myself I truly loathe those six month silences.

A: For me, I am an Assistant Professor of English, a mom, and a contributing member to my community. So this literary journal is truly a labor of love. I -- we -- consider every piece carefully. We work in "bursts" when we have time. There's a rule: if it is not fun anymore, then we stop. So far, it's been an amazing ride. We read, we consider what we like and what fits our theme, and we go from there.

A: The joy of connecting with poets and their poetry and bringing new collections into the world.

A: The reading process is carried out primarily by myself and my Secondary Editor, Emily Clark. Occasionally, our creative team members Matthew Powell-Palm and Tanner Houselog will also sometimes assist with the reading process. All final editing decisions are made by me, Ian. Reading submissions is a three round process- each submission is given an initial read through. We then decide what submissions have made it to the second round of readings and eventually to the third round, and thus publication. The whole process takes a few straight days of diligent reading to carry out.

A: The average routine involves reading submissions every day; updating and maintaining our submissions trackers; creating social media posts; selecting/commissioning illustrators; writer outreach; responding to submissions and queries across email and social media accounts; strategizing and planning future events; and editing accepted works to strengthen the piece or fit our in-house style.

A: It’s like being twisted in a kaleidoscope! (In a good way!) The submissions we receive are often very successful in transporting my mind to another universe entirely. By the end of the day, I feel as though I’ve visited the universes of so many different imaginations.

A: Since I don't do this full time, I'll give you just the snippet of my day that I spend on Reader Beware, which generally starts with me checking the social medias and emails for correspondence. I like to answer questions as fast as possible, so they are my number-one priority.
After that I transition over to administrative work, which is specific to me as Editor-In-Chief: I see what stories have been read, move them to the appropriate email folders, and consider who is going to need motivation/reminders for reading, etc. If any of the readers want a new batch of stories to work, I'll send them out.
Once I've made some progress with admin work I shift over to reading, entering each story and a few details about it into our Reading Spreadsheet, along with a rating on our prospective response from No to Maybe to Yes. I read from the oldest submissions toward the newest. I try to break up my reading into smaller chunks of time, so I can stay focused. (I'm doing this interview on one such break!) During the breaks I'll organize more emails, check on my other projects, or get up and move around.
Once I've gotten enough done I sign out and do a quick stretch break, then move on to whatever other thing I planned for that day!

A: I work full time, have a family, travel some, and manage Centaur alone, barring the web designer on retainer. That means I have to be organized, so I check the email box early each morning, stay on top of acceptances, declines, and correspondence, and plan each quarterly issue early so I can get the art and content in to be laid out.

Lynn Mundell, Founder, Editor of Centaur, 02 May 2024

A: I wait for a pause in my lively and varied work life so I can approach submissions from a place of openness. Sometimes that means I read subs at 5 am with a puppy on my lap, sometimes it means I read subs in the evening with a cup of tea. When I'm not entirely sure about a piece, I go back to it a few days later to be sure I've given it fair consideration before accepting/rejecting it.

A: Usually I try to handle submissions in batches! Between submission reading, website layout, and additional side projects, there's always something to do!

A: Writing in the morning, editing my own work, answering emails, reading through submissions, hosting events, balancing taxes, paying royalties, signing contracts, conducting interviews.
All of this is typically done from home, a coffeeshop, The Center for Fiction, or in some field with a cellular connection.