Editor's Page

Summer 2013

Dear Readers,


When I receive a submission for the Fiction and Nonfiction sections I usually know right away which pieces I want for future issues and which have strengths and weaknesses I cannot resolve with editing. Then there are the great Perhapses for which I need advice from my teammates.

Here is a peek into the process: I recently sent the team three very different pieces and asked for help deciding what to do. [You will undoubtedly notice the usual protective devices to keep from hurting anyone’s feeling.] The results came back:

Margaret loved Piece A and Piece B; didn’t think Piece C went anywhere.

MaryMargaret hated Piece A.

Maggie liked Piece A, was bored by Piece C, couldn’t open Piece B.

Meg thought Piece A was not well written, but found the story interesting, wanted Piece B to have a new ending, claimed Piece C was not original.

Molly hated Piece A, Piece B and Piece C.

Surprisingly, the responses helped me sort things out; I accepted two of the pieces.

On to more editing,



For 45 years, Sue Leonard taught every variety of history except American mostly at independent high schools for girls — with a brief stint in a poverty program school for pregnant teens in Bedford Stuyvesant. In the mid-nineties she and her late husband John Leonard were co-editors of the Books and Arts section of the Nation Magazine. Once retired, Sue filled up her days with reading, needlework, family, friends and long walks.

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