Welcome to the new DNA Magazine UK blog and the launch of our #EditTheEditors feature. The selection process is a brilliant but difficult part of editing a magazine. Some decisions are subjective – based on what writing styles and topics a particular editor likes. Some decisions involve compromises or rejecting pieces that an editor enjoys. At DNA, we're opening up this process so that you can see what goes on behind the scenes after submissions close.
Here is everything you need to know about #EditTheEditors:
There are three editors at DNA. I'm Katie and I'm the editor of the magazine. Gary Clarke is our prose editor and Eliza Burmistre is our poetry editor. For each issue, one of us will write a piece of Flash Creative Non-Fiction prose/poetry. Two writers who have submitted work to us before will then act as DNA editors and #EditTheEditors.
We'll produce a piece of work for each call for submissions theme. If you're writing on the theme of ‘Lies and Confessions’ (Issue 4) so will we. We'll follow the same submission guidelines as other contributors and the #ETE editors will use the selection criteria we use to judge the work.
There are three results from this stage:
- Acceptance: both editors like a piece and send the writer an acceptance email. This work will be kept on our blog so that you can read it and get to know us and our writing styles.
- Rejection: both editors find it unsuitable and send the writer a rejection email. This work will be removed from the blog – though we may archive it elsewhere on the site.
- Deadlock: one editor accepts the piece and the other rejects it. At this point, we'll ask you to vote on whether to accept or reject the work.
The editor's pieces will be forwarded to the selected #ETE editors before the submission deadline. The #ETE editors have 10 days then to consider their decision and respond.
All work produced for this feature will be posted on the DNA blog, alongside the editorial feedback. Eventually, all the pieces will be moved to an archive section.
My Mum told me never ask other people to do something unless I was also willing to do it myself.* If we ask you to send us your work, we should also be willing to have our work critiqued. We're writers – just because we're also editors doesn't mean our work is perfect.
As a writer, I’m conscious of the amount of time it takes to write, edit and polish work ready to send it off to a magazine. Then you wait to hear back, hoping that that editor likes your piece. That they get what you are trying to portray. That they find value in what you have to say. You open yourself up for judgement and know that the response will fall somewhere thrilling and disheartening.
As an editor of a magazine, I can only publish a certain number of pieces. I've rejected some brilliant pieces based on available space as well as work with great concepts that needed a little more work. Rejections, no matter how constructive, will always sting.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to take part in #EditTheEditor. If you've submitted work to DNA before, you're welcome to take part – even if your work was rejected. Include the hashtag in the subject line and the issue that you contributed to in the body of the text.
*I'm sorry that I didn't also listen when you asked me to keep my room tidy, Mum.