Editorial Reviews

I thought that the point of the submission queue was the editors are reading the serials, and when you live you get an editorial review. Have I got that wrong?

If I have, is their a process to get one, or is it random?

I don't think it works that way. New stuff shows up but doesn't seem to come with an editorial review for each one.

Alas, the editorial system is pretty much dead at WFG. None of the past editors -myself including- are currently very active at all.

With the current volume of submissions, there would need to be an army of editors to give everything a review. Palladian and I, the last two active editors, tried that for a few months a couple years ago, and burned ourselves out. It's also probably the wrong way to go. It can be very hard to write a review about something that's not really bad, but not particularly exciting to you...which category a lot of stuff tends to fall into. And then sometimes the story is abandoned right away anyway, and a few times I felt like I'd spent more time on the review than the author did on the story.

In the early days of WFG, there was a team of volunteer editors, and the goal was to give each story several reviews to ensure fairness. That lasted...actually longer than you might think. Such was the innocence at the dawn of time.

The submission queue is just for Chris to check that the submissions meet the WFG guidelines and for the most basic level of readability.

If there are twelve new listings a week, and it takes, say, an average of five hours to read and review each one (I imagine it likely takes a lot longer than that), that's a minimum of sixty hours work a week...

Even if you had enough editors so they only had to review one serial a week, that's still asking a lot of them. Sure, you could cut things down by being selective in what they review, but then who decides what serials are chosen, and by what criteria?

Okay, now that you've explained it, the whole thing sounds terrifying to have to do, and I'm glad I'm not one of the volunteer editors, ha.

Thanks for letting me know how it works.

5 hours. Ha. Ha ha. Ha HA HA HA HA!


Dary must be a fast reader. It takes me 5 hours just to write the review *after* all the reading's done. And I read slowly, so the reading can take a *long* bloody time. If I was trying to review all the submissions, well, this job would have to pay. A lot.

In terms of the submission processing, I read over the first page or three, make sure the writing doesn't make my eyes bleed (I've been getting pickier about that, of late), make sure the pages are linked together (usually after going to find the first page, which most people don't submit for no reason I can understand ("oh, check out my book! make sure you start at the end!")), verify that at least some of the requested tags seem reasonable. If the writing really grabs me, I might post a comment to call attention to it. All in, that takes somewhere between 20 and 60 minutes per listing, depending on how much I actually try to read, and how much I actually have to try to convince myself to forgive (or not forgive), and how distracted I am by other things.

In terms of the editor reviews, I do need to do something about the system. Unfortunately, I've started two new jobs in the last 5 months, and now I'm additionally taking some courses in various topics, plus 10 hours of skating a week. Plus the submission queue. All in, it's hard to squeeze in anything new with WFG. :(


Five hours was a conservative estimate based on my own, very slow, reading speed. I guess I was a little bit off the mark!

I know it would take me a fair amount of time to do a review. It's why I don't write them!

Glad to know there's other slower readers out there. (And writers, it actually took me an hour to put together my analysis post in the other thread here. That's not the main reason for my review reluctance though - I feel like they'd come out more as editor critiques, so I stick to the star rankings.) Part of my time issue is distractions. But part is needing processing time after reading something dramatic or revealing. It needs to sink in. I applaud you, Chris, make sure you don't burn out or anything.

Sidebar, every time I see some sort of comment on a serial saying the likes of "Just spent last weekend reading all 200 posts so now I'm caught up!" my first gut reaction is "Get out."

Well Chris... if the old crop of editors used to keep up and have become less active over time, would you like some more help?

If I read slowly, it's always because the story didn't grab me. No one (not even a WFG editor) should have to read something for the sake of reading it, especially when there's so many submissions every week. Free time is valuable!

I guess it's necessary to at least check the first chapter to see if it fulfills submission requirements, though.