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Editing Report #4

As promised, here is my irregular editing report for the Hardboiled Horror anthology.  Remember, if you are interested in submitting, the deadline is Sept. 30.  You can find the guidelines at Notorious Press.

I received the 200th manuscript today.  We've only been open for submissions for 52 days.  Not bad for an anthology that isn't paying a ton.  Of those 200, I've put 30 in the "stories for further consideration" folder, which works out to about one out of seven manuscripts making the first cut.  The book will probably end up with 15-18 stories or so.  Out of those 30 holding manuscripts, only a couple blew me away on a first read.  The rest are solid.  Some will grow on me.  Some will fade, and, of course, more will come in.  I'm betting that the last few cuts will be hard.

Of the rejections I've written, I've only added more to the standard note a dozen times or so to writers who I thought were close and maybe a specific bump might help.  I had one story where I made a suggestion (which included trimming a couple thousand words of fat out of it), where the writer rewrote and is now in the hold folder.

I remember something Jay Lake said about editing the Zeppelin anthology.  He said that the stories were better than they needed to be (or something close to that).  I hope I'll be able to say the same.  The book will only be as good as the material I can choose from, though, and hopefully I won't be such a bonehead that I won't recognize the best stuff and print less interesting work instead.

Fingers crossed.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 4th, 2007 01:58 pm (UTC)
I have found that editing teaches me an incredible amount about writing...
Aug. 4th, 2007 06:29 pm (UTC)
I think you're right. The editing I did in grad school for the California Quarterly I thought was a worthwhile as any class I took. It was sort of an editing-lite gig, though. We received four or five manuscripts a week. I'm doing that every day right now. It's hard to imagine reading for Asimov's or any of the big mags who get 20 a day!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )