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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 2,200 editors.
Q: What is a day in the life of an editor like for you?
A: Margaret R. Sáraco, Poetry Editor: While I check the submissions frequently, I enjoy reading several submissions in one sitting. Once I have my editor hat on, I take a deep dive into the work. I read the poems several times. Mary and I will discuss the work every couple of weeks, going through each submission. Because we are writers as well, we feel it is important to take time when making decisions.
Mary Brancaccio, Poetry Editor: I log in weekly to check our submissions, usually mid-week after a morning cup of tea. I’ll read through and log new work, then take time to read through the work and think about it. I will post my initial reaction and any questions to my colleague. Every two weeks or so, we will run through our line-up and finalize decisions and posting schedules.
A: The EIC leans into their Gemini rising energy, and their life is varied and full of small animals and chronic migraines and poetry. Sometimes submissions get read in bed (night reading is a fairly common practice for editors with day jobs and small children). Weekends offer the best time to sit with submissions.
A: The submitted works are collected by the assistant editor who sorts them into categories and sends them to an editorial unit. Here creative work that do not meet explicit submissions criteria are removed. The submission goes through an initial vetting process; the ones that make it through are sent to the 'subject' editor, who also reviews, selects, and recommends stories for publication. An acceptance offer is made in addition to whatever needs to be done in relation to ensure the submission is fit for publication. After this process is completed, the publisher receives and creates a proof that gets sent to the Managing editor who makes final comments on the publication status of each work. The work is sent back to the publisher who prepares the issue for public consumption.
A: Currently this is a one-man band run by me out of my home office. I am retired so I set my own hours and have the time to consider all submissions carefully.
A: We are very busy people. Between the three of us we have four jobs, five music projects, six calls on hold, and a partridge in a pear tree. Additionally, we’re writers, too. So, in the interests of our mental health, we often alternate taking steps back from editor duties so not to overwhelm ourselves. That said, at least two of us are always actively reading and voting on submissions, if not daily, weekly. Our response time is between four minutes and four months.
A: Since Hard Case Crime is a one-man labor of love, I do a bit of everything and every day is a grab-bag of whatever needs to get done. Everything from reading submissions and sending contracts for those rare few we do select to commissioning cover art and working with the artists on what it should look like to typesetting and proofreading and writing marketing copy and trying to get reviewers to pay attention when a book is coming out. Soup to nuts.
A: Jonathan and I (Nidhi) will both read a submission and log it into an Excel sheet to keep all submissions organized. Then we will write preliminary notes about the poems, and we will meet on Zoom at least twice to read all the submissions together and make final decisions.
A: I sit down at a computer and edit. Who's mystified by this process? It's very boring. Trust me. My cat sits on my mouse hand most of the time like she's guarding an egg in a nest?
A: Varies. One day may be clearing slush, another may be sending contracts, another approving cover art.
A: as above - but we definitely take note of pieces that make us laugh or cry!
A: Tons of text, four sets of eyes.