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 1,625 editors.

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

A: We always do copy editing and proofreading, and depending on the piece there may be substantive editing. The author always has to sign off on our final edits before we publish.

A: Often, the work that we take is completed work, so our edits are usually minor and consist of typos and grammar edits. Occasionally we do work with the authors for more substantial revisions of pieces we loved but didn't feel were quite "there." The author always has control over the final output.

Anna Sandy-Elrod, Editor-in-Chief of New South, 15 January 2019

A: I would love to accept every story as is, without a single change, but I have a feeling some stories may need heavy lifting to be acceptable. I will work with authors and I promise to listen to their thoughts on requested edits -- we'll do this after the submission period has closed. I respect that their vision and mine may not always be the same. Of course they get to approve final edits. Issues of Triangulation have been compared to any issue of a pro magazine. I would like to continue that tradition and I take that goal very seriously.

A: We have the great luck of having a professional copy-editor as part of our editorial team who is also an expert in the history of science. It is one of the exceptional services that we provide to authors: professional and high quality copy-editing by someone who really understands their text.
In order to make sure that this service is sustainable, however, we only accept manuscripts that are already acceptable in readability, formatting and English vocabulary and grammar. We cannot rewrite manuscripts from scratch, but submissions must be advanced enough linguistically so that we can make them into excellent articles.
In short: we do provide line editing, copy editing, and basic checking of the proofs, but it is crucial that the quality of the prose, and especially the quality of the English, is good enough before we start this process. It is therefore crucial that authors have the final version of their texts revised and proof-read by a native English speaker with some competence in the history of science. The author gets to approve the final edits and is expected to do a very careful proof-reading before we move the article to production.

Koen Vermeir, Editor-in-chief of Centaurus, 06 January 2019

A: Depends. Sometimes not at all, sometimes we suggest re-writes.

A: It depends on the piece. Some stories require little, if any, editing. For some pieces, we may go back and forth with the author a few times. If the story shows promise but doesn't quite fit a theme or genre, we might send comments to the author with a request to revise and resubmit.

Lisa Godfrees, Editor of Havok, 28 December 2018

A: We call out typos, grammatical errors, and other problems that may annoy readers. Author gets to approve final edits, unless they are merely glitches.

A: We expect a piece to arrive to us edited to the best of the author's ability. We will change all words to Canadian spelling, add Oxford commas, and do light copy editing when required. On rare occasions, when we really believe in a piece, we request edits by the author before we accept it for publication. Every contributor receives a PDF proof of their work within our layout before we go to print and is invited to offer up reasonable requests for changes. Final approval still rests with myself.

Alanna Rusnak, Editor-in-chief of Blank Spaces, 27 December 2018

A: Aside from formatting adaptation to the blog - i'm trying to avoid getting into the text as much as possible.
If there are some problems with the text - i'm cooperating with the author to fix them.

A: We copy edit for spelling, and grammar and typos, but check if the writer is using an unusual spelling. We proofread before the layout and after the layout. We occasionally make a suggestion to a writer on a line. We would like to receive the best and final version (at least for the present) of the poem rather than be sent rewrites.

A: The amount of editing we're able to do with each piece varies, but the speed of our editorial cycle generally determines the plausibility of deep edits. If we accept a piece with substantial flaws, we'll generally only accept it if we happen to discover it very early in the process; otherwise, we may have to pass on a piece that we love. We copyedit each piece (we do have a Style Guide to which we try to adhere), do some line-editing and proofreading, and we do give writers the chance to make tweaks/approve edits before launch. Situations in which we'd question a poet's spatial choices or ask a prose writer to change a major plot point are exceedingly rare.

A: Minimal edits with basic proofreading. The work should remain in the author's original voice and intent.