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Editorial Philosophy

 

In the service of our Mission and Beliefs, we ask our editors to adopt the Polyphony Lit philosophy, which aims to be both encouraging and constructive to emerging writers. We ask our editors to:

  • Believe each writer's words are valuable.

  • Be committed to one aim: helping the author write the best poem, story, or essay they can write.

  • Avoid a cookie-cutter approach to reading for acquisition (editing with an eye toward publication). Our student editors hail from all over the world and represent a variety of cultures and literary tastes which help us create a magazine that we hope will be reflective of the world at large.

  • Give clear and specific feedback about a work's strengths and areas for improvement.

  • Strive to find successes buried in the work of all writers, regardless of their level of experience.

  • Constantly work to acquire more knowledge of literary devices, narrative elements, and poetry forms, which are tools to skillfully encourage richness and clarity.

  • Learn to recognize devices and techniques that make good writing.

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"It's hard to focus on both craft and compassion, but somehow Polyphony pulls it off, which I
think is a pretty incredible feat."

— Dana D.

Our Editorial Process

The Polyphony Lit Editorial Staff, comprised of volunteer high school students from all over the world, provides editorial feedback to every submission, excluding seasonal contest entries, and decides which pieces are accepted for publication in our triannual online and print publications. Each piece is read and commented on by two Junior Editors and one Senior Editor. The final decision on publication is made by an Executive Editor, Genre-Managing Editor, or Editor-in-Chief. At the conclusion of the editing cycle, editorial comments are compiled and sent directly to the submitter. Since we seek to provide editorial training for young writers, our editors also receive feedback on their commentary from other editors.

 

Response time may vary, depending on the size and availability of our volunteer staff, but we are always searching for ways to streamline the process.

Editorial Roles

Junior Editors

  • Are first to read poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction submissions.

  • Write specific and general comments about the piece and then recommend "accept" or "decline."

  • Receive feedback on their commentary from other editors as the piece advances along the editorial pipeline.

  • Sometimes serve as readers for Polyphony Lit's seasonal contests.


Senior Editors

  • Read poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction submissions.

  • Recommend "accept" or "decline."

  • Review the comments of Junior Editors for tone and content and edit these comments as needed. 

  • Shape the final message to the author and provide evaluative feedback directly to Junior Editors.

  • Sometimes serve as judges and readers for Polyphony Lit's seasonal contests.

Executive Editors
  • Read poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction submissions

  • Recommend "accept" or "decline."

  • Review the comments of all previous readers for tone and content to ensure that all feedback to writers adheres to our editing philosophy.

  • Prepare feedback for the author and send decline letters.

  • Sometimes work directly with the author to make in-house edits and prepare pieces for publication.

  • Sometimes serve as judges and readers for Polyphony Lit's seasonal contests.

  • Sometimes serve as Teaching Assistants for our editorial training workshops and provide detailed feedback to editors-in-training.

Genre-Managing Editors

  • Assist the Editors-in-Chief by assigning submissions and overseeing each submission's progress through the editorial pipeline.

  • Assist the Editors-in-Chief in reviewing the work of Junior Editors, Senior Editors, and Executive Editors for promotional purposes.

  • Answer questions and provide support for the editorial team.

  • Sometimes substitute as Executive Editors for Executive Editor tasks.

  • Sometimes assist in organizing other facets of the magazine such as the Voices Blog or the Junior Board.

  • Sometimes work directly with the author to make in-house edits and prepare pieces for publication.

  • Sometimes serve as judges and readers for Polyphony Lit's seasonal contests.

  • Sometimes serve as Teaching Assistants for our editorial training workshops and provide detailed feedback to editors-in-training.


Editors-in-Chief

  • Assign submissions and oversee each submission's progress through the editorial pipeline.

  • Review the work of Junior Editors, Senior Editors, and Executive Editors for promotional purposes.

  • Approve final decisions on acceptance and compile pieces for seasonal issues.

  • Write foreword letters for each seasonal issue.

  • Help to shape editorial policy by examining the day-to-day operations of the editorial pipeline and refining the process.

  • Assist the managerial team with organizing / promoting workshops, events, and other Polyphony Lit projects.

  • Communicate regularly with the Managing Director to expand Polyphony’s editorial community with new projects and programs, and to ensure that we respond to our authors in an effective and efficient manner.

Managing Director

Julian Riccobon serves as our Managing Director. As the only non-student position on the editorial staff, he:

  • Oversees the editorial workflow and coordinates all departments of the editorial staff, including the graphic design team and blog team.

  • Answers questions and provides editorial advice / tech support for the editorial team.

  • Helps to shape editorial policy by examining the day-to-day operations of the editorial pipeline and refining the process.

  • Organizes seasonal contests and develops new projects and programs.

  • Communicates regularly with the Editors-in-Chief to produce the seasonal issues and create cover jackets for each seasonal issue.

  • Assists with the mentoring and training of new editors and develops educational material for creative writing workshops.

  • Reviews the work of all editors for promotional purposes.

  • Completes a variety of other miscellaneous tasks to support the magazine's mission.

Junior Editors



Senior Editors



Executive Editors



Genre-Managing Editors



Editors-in-Chief



Managing Director
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