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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 2,125 editors.

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

A: CRAFT has a great team of experienced readers who process contest entries. As editor in chief, I field ongoing questions and concerns, both from readers and submitters. Eventually, I shepherd the longlisted and shortlisted entries through our internal deliberations. I then deliver the shortlist of anonymized work to the contest's guest judge.

A: Children, pets, day jobs! We both read between teaching classes, or in the evenings. We juggle full schedules and many moving pieces, like most small press editors. We often text or message each other while reading submissions.

A: It's chaotic, but fun. Curious Curls is still small, so I take care of most duties. I do everything from designing and updating the website to reaching out to authors to marketing. Editing is actually a smaller part of the overall process than you might expect. I do try to get outside when I can, so when you are waiting to hear back from us, know that your work is probably being read in an expansive, flowering field and not being skimmed across in some fast-paced office.

A: I don't even know where to start. I love every part of our contests but reviewing (and even organizing) 1.5-3k submissions is a wild ride. It takes a cool head, a good system and an open heart.
I think one of the most amazing parts is watching newer readers settle into the fact that not all of the manuscript can win, and that to celebrate a book, to create a chance for one to be celebrated they really need to say no, and a lot of times and that ideally, they can learn that no can be an act of love. Without no, there is no yes, no contest, no chance for all these authors.

A: Our co-editor team is entirely volunteer, so we juggle press duties with our 9-5 teaching jobs, our own writing careers, and mothering.

A: My days are mostly a mad scramble. I spend almost 8 hours working non-stop, alongside my dedicated team to make The Wise Owl, a magazine that every literature and art lover will be addicted to. There is lots to do. My day begins with the clock striking 9 a.m. My first order of the day is to take a quick look at my Inbox and respond to the mails we have received. I prefer to respond to all our contributors with a personal email which takes up a lot of my time but is extremely rewarding because it establishes and strengthens our bond with the contributors. The rest of the day is spent in parleys with our Editorial team, social media team and tech team about the content and layouts for the next issue. The best part of my day is the time I spend on reaching out to established poets/writers/artists for interviews. This requires a lot of research. It is painful when on account of time constraints, we are refused an interview but our team celebrates every time a big name in the world of literature or art accepts our request for an interview.
But I love my work, so my gruelling 8-hour schedule flies by and before I know it, it is 6 pm in the evening and I receive a call from my better half or my children telling me it is time to shut down for the day.

A: I spend about 5 hours each week editing the journal, which includes emailing with authors and peer reviewers, routing submissions through our online system, reading articles, and doing final edits on accepted pieces.

A: It's a gut response.

A: I may read a submission several times, but I depends on my colleagues for advice

A: After a deadline passes, I'll spend the hours between getting home from work and going to bed assessing what's come in through our form. Each staff member provides input for each piece in a collaborative spreadsheet. As a group, we'll discuss anything that we're on the fence about before we decide what is ultimately accepted. While this process used to take as little time as possible (resulting in a lot of late nights), we're trying to be kinder to ourselves and stretch it out over a month for future issue cycles.

A: When the Dawn Review was just starting out, I was involved in every aspect of the magazine, from tracking submissions to writing feedback to reading staff applications to marketing. Today, the process looks quite different. Evan and Grace, our executive editors, meet biweekly with each editor to assign submissions and discuss pieces from the previous two weeks. Sometimes, when both editors agree on a decision, we respond to the submitter immediately. After that, I have another discussion with Evan and Grace to finalize more difficult decisions and write edits for conditional acceptances. During each of these conversations, our editors are looking for reasons to accept your piece, not reasons to reject! Meanwhile, I design issues, create our social media posts, manage staff applications, update the website, and communicate with contributors about in-house edits. Our editing process is incredibly fluid, and many editors are also involved with various other aspects of the magazine, such as the blog, the Dawn Prize for Poetry, and higher-level editorial decisions.

A: Running the journal is a labor of love and literary expression; there is no typical day. Submissions are read and discussed as soon as we can get to them. We value our contributors' time.