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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.
Here is a small sampling from our recent Editor Interviews. We have interviewed over 2,100 editors.
Q: How much do you edit an accepted piece prior to publication?
A: In rare instances prior to accepting a manuscript, we may decide that, while we like the work a lot, there are significant issues that need attention before we're willing to accept it. We will provide our notes to the author accordingly, who is free to incorporate them and send us the revised version for our consideration, or to look elsewhere.
Once we've accepted a manuscript, we have a dedicated content editor who will look closely at each work and suggest areas that the collection could be sharpened or rearranged, which the author can choose to pursue or leave as is. After that process is complete, our copy editor combs through the whole thing to ensure that it's grammatically correct/consistent. At every stage, the author is communicated with and called on to resolve points of ambiguity.
A: Generally speaking, we don't.
A: From very little to quite a bit.
If the edit is heavy, we will give the author the choice to run it or not.
A: In general, most edits are copy edits. Occasionally I will request something like switching two sections. For the most part, at this length, if a piece needs extensive edits it might not be ready yet. All edits are absolutely approved by the writer!
A: Short fiction submissions go through a different editorial process than a full manuscript. It is unusual for us to make major edits to a short story. Full-length manuscripts will go through a full editorial process during acquisition and production.
A: We try to edit as little as possible. Mostly for clarity. We tend to ask if the edit is not purely grammatical, although our editorial vision is sharp and we have essentially never found this process difficult to navigate.
A: Editing honestly depends on the story. We prefer stories that require minimum effort. However, if there is an amazing story buried under poor grammar or sentence structure, we're willing to put in the effort to get more eyes on it!
A: We want the published pieces to be similar to what our readers or reviewers fell in love with. We try not to edit for you, but we will suggest minor, possibly grammatical, errors. On occasion we will ask for something more than that, but rarely.
A: Often, we accept poems or prose as is. And often, we suggest revisions to the work -- from basic proofreading corrections to substantive editing. The author always has final approval.
A: Poetry submissions are rarely edited; we leave the content and style up to the poet. There might be some rearrangement of poems in a book as part of the publishing process. All manuscripts should be carefully proofread, and the spelling and grammar checked when required.
A: Not much. It should be print ready. We do sometimes engage with authors.
A: We edit when necessary.