Editor Interviews

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Read all the editors' answers to Duotrope's interview question: How much do you edit an accepted piece prior to publication? Learn more.

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Here is a small sampling from our recent Editor Interviews. We have interviewed over 1,775 editors.

Q: How much do you edit an accepted piece prior to publication?

A: Very rarely if there are signs of proof-reading errors. We go through these with poets before publication.

A: I provide whatever edits I feel to be needed, and then I go back to the author for their input.

A: The author always gets to okay the final edits. Absolutely. I do not want to have to do a lot of editing. When an author submits a story it should already have been edited several times by the author. I get too many submissions with typos that could easily be fixed if an author took the time to look over their submission a couple times before submitting it. When I edit a story, I go through paragraph by paragraph and I look at the science, the mechanics. For example, a character has enough charge in their engine to make it 100 meters, but the distance between these two features on the moon is actually 400 meters. I look at word structure "this sentence sounds awkward" or "You repeat the same word three times in the same paragraph." among other things, like two character names are too similar sounding.

A: We do go through an editing process, which usually consists of a gentle line edit and, sometimes, suggestions about more substantive changes. We see it as a collaborative process with the writer. If a piece really needs a lot of work, it's not ready for us to accept anyway, so the editing stage isn't usually a big deal for either us or our writers. We certainly proofread.

A: We make minor edits, e.g., for spelling and grammar. If more editing seems needed,
or we have a question about something, we contact the author and then request their
approval of the final version.

A: We provide basic proofing and authors are allowed to proof the issue before it publishes. We don't accept work that requires substantive editing.

A: Due to the fast-turnaround times and frequent publications, we do not provide substantive editing for pieces in our monthly issues. If we do change anything, it will most likely be any grammatical discrepancies or typos. These are sent over to the author for approval prior to publication.
We do however engage in substantive editing for the pieces sent to 'The Thread', our biweekly column for essays, and have a dedicated editor that gives comments and feedback to accepted authors. There are often multiple drafts that are sent back-and-forth between editor and submitter before publication.

A: We rarely edit, although there are times we ask the author for clarifications or reconsiderations of words or lines. We do silently correct as we proofread. We work fast, and so the poet does not get to approve the final draft prior to publication. However, we can and do correct and update, in conversation with the poet, the version posted online.

A: It depends on the piece, but we run all major edits by the author before publishing.

A: Currently, we go through one round of edits and then we let everyone take a peek at the final manuscript for formatting reasons, etc. The one round of edits is mostly to check for the odd spelling mistake or areas where sentence structure could be improved. Then the final manuscript review is because sometimes the transition from 8.5" by 11" Word document to smaller pages with book formatting doesn't always translate well.

A: The only editing to we do is for clear typos. The author does not get to approve these typos changes. We never make substantive changes to a submission of any kind.

A: As editor, I use a light editorial hand. If a poem, for instance, is truly fine except for a word choice or a phrase, I will contact that writer to discuss the possibility of change. The author always has the last word on the nature of his or her work. Once a piece is accepted, it is typeset following the design of the publication and that portion of the publication created by an author is then sent to the author who has final editorial responsibility for that piece. Authors "sign off" on these galleys. Otherwise, we apply very very close editing on everything before the book is sent to the printer. The first printing is a single bound proof that I as managing editor check character by character before the full print run is authorized.