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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 1,900 editors.

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

A: We do not have time for developmental edits, though on occasion have broken this rule to include content that our team believed told an important story. Because we are receiving more and more content, we can look for pieces that need minimal edits. However, if a piece really moves us, our team is willing to work with the author to get it up to publication standards. Our authors approve final edits, our managing editor then does a copy edit, and authors are given a second opportunity to approve any suggested changes. Our goal is to ensure authors put their best work out via Please See Me for their own portfolio of excellence, as well as to keep our literary standards high.

A: We seldom do substantive editing, preferring work that is more polished and publish-ready. We have, however, at times, worked with writers on what I would consider more minor editing, like smoothing awkwardness in phrasing or sentencing, clarification of time or movement through adequate use of transitions, or copy-editing and proofreading. The author approves all edits prior to publication.

A: Our editorial collective might accept a piece exactly as it is or request substantial revision. However, once it is accepted, it also goes through a rigorous copy editing process. We keep our work in line with the Chicago Manual of Style, 14th Ed. and the Merriam Webster Dictionary, 11th Ed. (although we do take into account poetic license in certain grammatical and conventional choices). In both cases, the author is ALWAYS notified of the proposed changes and must sign off on any modifications before the piece goes to print.

A: As a rule, I don't do a lot of editing--maybe a comma or line break now and then--but if the poem has great potential but isn't quite there yet, I will make suggestions and review them with the author.

A: Very little. We prefer to let writers speak for themselves, although we will proofread for grammar.

Kym Cunningham, Editor-in-Chief of Rougarou, 27 April 2021

A: Most of the time, we accept the poem as written by the author. If we feel the need to correct typos or suggest a word change or line break, we will mention this when we send the proof.

A: Generally, I'll only edit typos and spelling errors. However, now and then, I will make suggestions... often to help improve clarity. Certainly, the author gets to approve the final edits.

A: If we like the core of a story, for instance, if we find it is a diamond in the rough, we do engage in quite a lot of editing.

A: Generally, if I accept a poem, then I will publish it the way that it is. If a poet wants to make last minute changes, that's ok, although it can e a little annoying, especially if it is something minor like a comma here or there.
I do proofread before posting, and am quick to correct anything that slips through the net.

A: It depends: many poems are published exactly as they come, but we do all the above on occasions to varying degrees, and always with the author’s final approval.

A: I always proofread, occasionally copy edit, and rarely do more substantive editing.

A: It depends on the piece. Sometimes we edit nothing, and sometimes we spend weeks with a writer.

SE Harsha, Founder & Managing Editor of Press Pause, 23 March 2021