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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 1,950 editors.

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

A: Most of us work other full time jobs, so fitting in submission reviews fill the evenings and weekends. It’s exciting to see the submission notifications come in and to assign different editors to consider each piece. The worst part of the day is having to spend time replying to submissions where the guidelines were not followed. The best time comes when the editors meet as a group to discuss their favorite pieces.

A: I love publishing people's work! My inspiration for the Journal of Expressive Writing came from having the supreme honor of listening to hundreds of AMAZING stories over the past 5 years in my Women’s Writing Circles. During these circles, I watched as people wrote about hurts and aspirations. Regret. Adversity. Forgiveness. Sometimes, when people were feeling especially inspired, I got the privilege of listening to them as they wrote about their gifts and talents. Those were truly magical moments, not just for them, but for ME. I always left these circles feeling SO INCREDIBLY LUCKY that I got to witness not only people LOOKING for their voices, but FINDING them! And not only FINDING their voices, but generously and fearlessly SHARING their voices with the rest of us! This was the vision for the Journal—a place where I could publish these stories— AND other people’s stories—for the whole world to read, because what was written—in often just 5 or 10 minutes from a single prompt—was TRULY remarkable! I knew these stories NEEDED to be shared with the world, especially at a time when we were all so disconnected (literally and figuratively!) during the Covid-19 pandemic!

A: I will generally read through 1-2 novel/novella submissions a day, and perhaps 3-5 flash/poetry submissions a day. As I mentioned before, I will generally have an idea early on if I am going to reject a piece. At any given time, I usually have 2-3 full manuscript requests I am reading through as well.

A: It's hectic but I love my job anyway. My day starts with sipping Indian tea followed by 4-5 coffee errands to the kitchen. As editor-in-chief, I set up a catch-up meeting with the Wingless Dreamer team that consists of editors, and artists to assign them their tasks, discuss the progress, or the next theme of the contests. We also discuss improving our ways to support amateur writers in the best way possible. We talk about the ideas on how to help creative people to harness their creative skills and additional publishing issues among others. Then we all go back to our respective works and stay connected through our online system.
Once the shortlist is finalized we all sit together and discuss each submission one by one. Finally, by the end of our judging process, we chose our winner and start working on the publishing process of the book and its promotions. Alongside, we never stop helping aspiring writers with their work and try to give the best assistance we can. We review their work and help them by giving feedback so that they can improve, learn, and feel confident about their literary work. All this for free of cost.

A: I usually save submissions for one day, usually a Sunday morning. I then read everything that has come in and send emails out, then work on the site. I schedule the posts for the coming week. As I am a spoken word artist who tours and performs regularly, I don’t have a huge amount of time just to spend on Spilling Cocoa matters.

A: I check the Guilty email first thing in the morning. If there are submissions, I'll give them a once over to see if they meet all the guidelines. If they don't, they're rejected and if they do, they go into the slush pile. They may be read immediately or later that day or a few days on, depending on what else needs to be done. Writing and editing are my full-time employment, so sometimes I have full days to devote to Guilty and sometimes, I have my own personal work that needs to be done. Either way, I try to respond to all submissions as soon as possible, to keep people from having to wait too long.

A: When I read essays, I tend to read submissions right when I get them. I also like to let them sit and give them another read a week or two later and try to have a response for the writer within a month of their submission. I know with poetry we usually don't make decisions until we've received all our submissions. Fiction decisions also tend to be made after we've received all of the submissions.
I coach baseball in the spring and summer as well, so response times can vary. But I also always tell the writers to please give us a nudge after the deadline passes. We do sometimes miss pieces. We just published a poem that ended up being our poetry editor's favorite of the issue, but I forgot to send it over to him until we were nudged.
I will say, the sooner you can submit, the better. We will often give feedback asking for some edits or ideas of how to make it better, and it's a lot easier to do that earlier in the submission period.

A: Generally speaking, submissions are open for a 1-2 month period, during which we will rank our submissions for second reading. We generally won't accept or decline during this period because we don't know which will be the crème de la crème! After final submissions, we will generally respond to those who have been declined in the first round - so if your submission takes some time, please be patient and take it as a good sign. After our final rack and stack, we will respond to those authors who have been accepted and declined in the second round reading. If you have been declined in the second round reading, please note we really did enjoy your work and would love to see you submit again!

A: Reviewing submissions
Dealing with orders
Dealing with queries
This is not a paid role, so I have a day to day job as well

A: Lots of paper, notes, and a tenuous relationship with a scanner.

A: This is mostly not applicable as the competition winners chosen for C.U.P. publication are selected by a qualified judge, and our organization only publishes these manuscripts. After winning manuscripts have been selected, I begin work on formatting them for publication. Competition winners are contacted for additional material which includes dedication, bio, and picture. Recommended edits are sent to the author for approval. I have a co-editor who works on the cover design, and we assist each other with proofreading duties.

A: I receive all submissions by the 15th of the month (for the coming month's issue) and I read them as they come in and apply an initial rating to each. Each day, I share to our social media sites with previous month entries as well. After the 15th, we do a full review and by the 28th we have selected the final pieces. I typically have the layout and design ready to go by the 25th and spend the final days of the month pulling in the final selected submission, making any tweaks to the issue, and updating our website. Every third month, we layout our quarterly anthology and proof that before putting through blurb and amazon.