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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 2,200 editors.

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

A: It depends entirely on how much editing a piece requires. We've bought some books that were basically perfect the way they were -- a few typos to fix and that's it. We've also had books where I had to revise literally every sentence -- a little or a lot, but every sentence needed something. It happens. Nothing wrong or right about either situation. If a book is good enough to publish, it has something precious about it. But some gems need polishing and setting. Of course in the end the amount of editing an author is willing to accept is up to him or her. But if I feel a book requires editing and the author isn't receptive, we're not the right publisher for that author. That said, most authors are glad to get the editing help if their book can be made stronger by it.

A: We tend to accept poems as they are, however, we provide basic proofreading and will sometimes ask an author about a specific line/word/phrase to clarify what they meant to say and brainstorm if there are more effective ways to get their point across.

A: Basic proofreading. We do give specific feedback when we feel that a story has something to return to but for the most part our rejection process is based on a limited number of slots since we are a micro publication at the moment.

A: If it's working, very little—grammar, formatting, Gamut style, my personal preferences. So I'd say 1-5%. If I feel there is going to be MORE than that I'll say that when I send out the acceptance. "Love the story, want to accept it, but are you willing to work with me on the ending, it's not quite where I want it to be." Most say yes. I always want to retain the author's voice and vision.

Richard Thomas, Editor-in-Chief / Editor of Gamut Magazine, 01 February 2024

A: We do everything we can to support and retain the writer's voice.
That said, we provide substantive editing, line editing, copy editing, and proofreading, all of which is a co-collaborative process with the author, who gets to approve the final edits prior to proofing.

A: I don't edit an author's work. I expect them to have a completed story when they submit it.

Gary A. Markette, Senior editor of Anotherealm, 28 January 2024

A: We do not publish work without the express approval of the author.

Chelsea Rector, Editor-in-chief of Linked Verse, 14 January 2024

A: We do minor edits and always ask our contributors if that's okay with them.

A: The referees can demand changes on the paper, that the author has to incorporate or rephrase. Our proof-reading process suggests modifications that the author can decide to include or not. All the technical issues concerning quotation and adequation of the text to our style sheet are not negotiable.

A: We go through an edit or two on the way to publication. It's collaborative and should be a positive experience for the author. Yes, naturally the author gets final approval. It's their story, and their name on the story.

A: Very little. We expect each piece to be edited and revised by the author. We will fix obvious typos or mispellings, but that's about it.

A: Very little. We expect each piece to be edited and revised by the author. We will fix obvious typos or mispellings, but that's about it.