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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 1,600 editors.
Q: How much do you edit an accepted piece prior to publication?
A: [Levi:] This is something I think Tinderbox is still considering and evaluating. We believe poets are the experts of their own work, so we haven’t frequently asked for edits in the past. However, there are some submissions that I want to take a chance on but aren’t quite ready, and sometimes that means working with the author to hone a piece before it’s published.
[Majda:] I think this is why we’ve recently added the option of feedback subs to the journal. If poets welcome the option of a deep editorial relationship we can do that. We don’t typically ask the poet to make major changes in their work, We’ve suggested a title change before and it turns out the poet had only recently changed the title so a return to the original was the way to go.
A: We provide considerable substantive, line, and copy editing. The author always receives digital galleys to proof read and correct.
A: With the Review, not much. With books, which we ONLY solicit, we work with deeply the author.
A: We don’t accept submissions that have critical grammatical errors. But after a piece is accepted, we read it thoroughly, edit it according to our style for consistency, and proofread it to make sure the publication will be the best it can be.
A: We prefer to make no changes to any accepted piece, and rarely do. If we do see a need for a change (it has almost always been something small, like spelling or a typo), we email the author to get clarification or approval before we publish.
A: We try to keep the editing to a minumum. As we're evaluating a piece, we usually note if edits are needed in terms of grammar and sentence flow. If extensive edits are needed we usually don't accept the piece. If basic proofreading is necessary, we send the author our suggested edits, and the author gets to either approve the edits or not. We only edit the pieces we are sure we will accept regardless so that even if the author doesn't approve minor edits, the piece is still publishable in the edition.
A: I enjoy the editing process and I'm always eager to work on a piece with the writer if they are 1) open to it, and 2) trust that my vision for the work matches theirs. There are a lot of times that I will click with the subject or story of the piece, or fall in love with the writer's voice, and if the rest of the staff agrees that there is something there, I will completely dive in with an author to bring the piece to it's best realized version. I've only had one author who said absolutely not, but that person had also rejected even the smallest mechanical suggestions, and really just wasn't ready to be sending work out. Most writers are happy to hear your thoughts and to know that you love their work enough, and believe in it enough, to spend time with it.
A: On occasion, we will edit pieces if the piece has a great concept and enough good writing to sell us on the piece. Ultimately, we may make some suggestions, but the writer has the final say and approval.
A: We provide editing services for a fee as several specific, separate options for writers (see our submission guidelines). For our open submissions, we provide virtually none. Writers who require substantial editing are declined for publication and/or referred to third-party providers.
A: We edit extensively, providing substantive editing, line editing, copy editing, and professional proofreading for every book before we publish it. Our authors review edits at all levels of editing and production.
A: Not very much, generally. We like to accept pieces that are ready to go. Occasionally, however, we will request edits if we think a piece has potential but needs work in a few manageable areas. It's always very exciting when a writer comes back to us with just the right changes to make a piece work. The author always gets to approve the final version that runs in the magazine, and has an opportunity to sign off on it before it is released.
A: We typically won't take a piece if it requires substantiative edits.