: views from the Hill

Sunday, December 10, 2006

[WR] (old) Interview with New Yorker's fiction editor, Deborah Treisman

People Are Nearly Getting Hit by Beer Bottles Every Day
An Interview with the New Yorker's Deborah Treisman

Nov. 2005

I'm sure you get asked this every time you do an interview, but how does it work? How do you choose the stories you choose?

There are six people in the fiction department. Most of us do nonfiction as well, so we don't have as much time as it sounds. But basically stories come in, whether they come in through slush or to one of the editors or to me, and they get read and whatever we're taking seriously gets circulated to all of the editors and we have a meeting once a week where we sit around and argue. Everyone writes a short opinion of the story and those get attached to the manuscript as it makes its way around. And sometimes it happens that all six of us think a story is great—that's maybe one in 10 of the stories that get to this level. What most often happens is three people like something and three people don't, or four people versus two. It's a funny mix and there's lots of argument—you know, arguments that can be very frustrating because you're never going to convince the other person, but that is probably what the response is among the readership as well. You just hope that, in general, the majority is going to be affected by what you publish.

No comments: