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Implementing Editorial Feedback

Updated: Oct 3, 2020

By Pauline Paranikas, Jessica Kim, and Daniel Boyko


One of the most beneficial aspects of the Polyphony experience is receiving feedback from other editors. It’s easy to get stuck with a potentially harmful editing habit, but a second editor can look at your work from an alternative perspective and help polish your commentary. Editorial feedback can be troublesome to implement, so here are our top three tips for improving your editing through editorial feedback:

1. Keep track of your feedback: When you receive a lot of different advice from different editors, it can be difficult to remember all of the comments you’ve received. Creating a list of feedback which you have received (some might include checking grammar, maintaining a respectful tone, and checking the formatting to make sure all the line numbers are accurate) can make it easier to implement changes, as you can reference this list before turning in your commentary.

2. Re-read the commentary that the feedback is about: It can be hard to understand the flaws in your commentary if the feedback is given to you in a giant paragraph with no context. Try going back to the commentary you wrote and reading the editorial feedback within the context of your original commentary to get a feel for the editor’s meaning.

3. Keep an open mind: You might think the commentary you wrote on the submission about blue whales was your best yet, only to receive some strongly critical feedback from the next editor to read it. This can’t be right, you might tell yourself. My commentary was amazing; this editor clearly doesn’t know what they’re talking about. When this happens, wait a few minutes and try re-reading the feedback. It is okay if you still disagree with the editor, but attempt to at least understand their perspective as it may help you in the future. By learning to value different perspectives, you can improve your commentary significantly!

The beauty of the Polyphony Lit community is that it consists of editors who are all willing to give you feedback. Being able to implement their suggestions is one of the easiest ways to improve as an editor. Some of the biggest (and most important) changes in the way I craft my commentary have stemmed from other editors’ suggestions. I wish you all the best of luck in improving your commentary!

How do you go about implementing editorial feedback?


Pauline Paranikas is an Executive Editor at Polyphony Lit and the Editor-in-Chief of Voices.

Jessica Kim is a First Reader at Polyphony Lit and and a blogger at Voices.

Daniel Boyko is an Executive Managing Editor at Polyphony Lit and a blogger at Voices.

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