Editors on Reviewing: Quill and Quire

Editor: Stuart Woods

Reviews editor: Steven W. Beattie

Pay: $110 per review

Approach to reviewing, as per Steven W. Beattie, Reviews Editor:

I manage the reviews for adult books while Dory Cerny manages the Books for Young People section. Publishers send the editors at Quill books that are then assigned to reviewers based on a number of criteria, including gender, regional mix, publisher mix (an attempt to give play to both major multinationals and smaller presses), genre mix, etc. Reviewers come to me from various avenues: some contact me requesting to be reviewers and I sometimes decide to give them a shot; others I contact directly because I’ve been impressed with the work I’ve seen them do elsewhere. Once again, I try to maintain a diversity of voices, genders, and locales (i.e. I don’t want all my reviewers to be based in Toronto).

As for specific instructions given to reviewers, the only thing I insist on is that the reviewer approach the work respectfully. I do not in any way insist on a positive or negative response to a book, and I do not tell the reviewer what angle to approach the work from. Ad hominem attacks and nastiness are not allowed in Q&Q, but otherwise, the specific reviewer is open to whatever approach he or she wishes to take with the book. Having said that, I do try my best to match up reviewers with work I think they will feel sympathetic toward.

I don’t want to make any guesses about submissions and/or pitches by gender, in large part because this varies depending upon the month or the season. (That’s for submitted work from publishers. The pitches I get from prospective reviewers probably run 50-50 male/female.)

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