The Privilege of Being An Editor

By Mark Antony Rossi

The sole privilege of being an editor rests with the power to help writers reach their potential. For myself, all I ever wanted is to see writers published. As an associate editor you do not have the full confidence of those above to get the complete job done. Often you have to fight for the few pieces you are most passionate about.

In my learned opinion too many unprepared writers rush for the Editor in Chief title and then proceed to act in the same manner as those before them. Soulless reject form letters. Treating submissions as slush piles. Judging writers by their resumes instead of their manuscript. This behavior does not break the cycle. The abused becomes the abuser.

The editor should be more high priest than high anxiety. A direction must be known before it’s given out to the general public. And this is the heart of being an editor. Have direction. Provide direction. Be a direction. Caught in a raw rapture of radical magical words. We are now gatekeepers wishing, wanting, waiting for a certain magic to arrive.

But editors are not pied pipers whistling past a graveyard with a ghoulish gang in tow. Editors are leaders shouting signals to poets blinded by visionary verse yet still in need of rescue. Editors are managers organizing the patches of today for the quilt of tomorrow. The big picture need not be so big as to swallow the innocent artists exposing realities in good faith.

I serve art by directing artists to the plateau below the castle where I peek out with my childhood telescope. The landscape is familiar and familial and finer still as a workshop meant to showcase the offspring of progenitors faithfully leaving the next generation in our care. The privilege of being an editor is meeting each charge with grace and wit and learning to love each one.

About the Author: Mark Antony Rossi is a poet, playwright and author of the bioethics volume “Dark Tech” now available from Amazon. His most recent plays have been produced in Liverpool and New York. 

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