Drive-by:Ellen Datlow

Photo: Based on art by J.K. Potter

Ellen Datlow is one of the leading editors in the spec-fic world. According to her website, she is (currently) tied as the winner of the most World Fantasy Awards in the organization’s history (nine), with frequent co-editor Terri Windling. She has also won Stokers, an International Horror Guild award, the Shirley Jackson award, Locus awards, Hugos, the Wooden Rocket award and the Karl Wagner Award. Her editing touch is deft and worth its weight in gold, directing writers firmly but gently in the best direction for the story and her bibliography will make your head spin. No, really, it will. You may want to have a lie down afterwards. She’s been responsible for the Year’s Best Horror and Fantasy anthologies – sixteen volumes with Terri Windling, and five with Gavin Grant and Kelly Link.

1. I was drawn to editing because …
… I had no idea what else I, a book lover, could do professionally. It was that or work in a bookstore.

2.What’s the one thing that will guarantee a story’s rejection?
Bad writing.

3. A story can always be improved by the deletion of …
… overused words/phrases within the manuscript.

4. The worst thing that’s ever happened to me at a con or a reading was …
… .my first convention was Lunacon in Hasbrouck Heights, NJ and I had to hike through brush and fields and mud to get from where the bus dropped me off and the hotel. Come to think of it, something similar happened at WFC in London years ago. I took a bus that dropped me off in the middle of a block, tried to hail a cab during rush hour and when I failed to do so after about an hour, I hiked to the hotel with my luggage. I was exhausted and miserable by the time I got there. (Never have had bad experiences at conventions themselves.)

5. Donuts or danishes?
Donuts (Krispy Creme).

She blogs here.

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