Useful Post from Ekaterina Sedia

Really, really useful info from someone who has just edited an anthology (via the Bibliophile Stalker) … from Ekaterina Sedia.

Things I’ve Learned from BEWERE THE NIGHT

And that’s a wrap! All the responses went out, so please query if you haven’t received yours. I will announce the final ToC as soon as I confirm a couple of contributors, but for now some things I’ve learned while dealing with an open call anthology. Was it worth it? Yes, considering that less than half of the stories in the antho were solicited. The rest were received over the transom – some from writers familiar to me, others I only heard of, and finally some new ones to me.

In the course of reading 300+ submissions and many more queries, several things struck me as worthy of talking about. Take this list as descriptive of my experience and nothing more.

1.Guidelines contain all the information a writer needs. Some guidelines are very detailed and particular – and as a writer I tend to not submit to places which threaten eternal damnation if things aren’t formatted just so. For most venues, standard manuscript format is fine. No need to email the editor asking about margins – in fact, I feel that it’s counterproductive, since the time I’m spending reading emails asking about my format requirements is the time I’m not spending reading subs. As for definitions of what is and isn’t urban fantasy: unless specified, assume it is broad. Same for sex and violence: unless specified, assume there are no restrictions. I want stories, not assignments. I hate themed anthos that only allow for the narrowest possible interpretation of the theme because they end up bland and repetitive. Surprise me.

The rest lives here.

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2 Responses to Useful Post from Ekaterina Sedia

  1. Aaron Sterns says:

    Hiya Angela. I’m pleased to say my short story ‘Watchmen’ from GATHERING THE BONES was accepted as a reprint into this anthology (needless to say my cover letter was very brief). Everything Ekaterina says is spot-on.
    Aaron Sterns

  2. Angela says:

    Hey, Aaron, that’s awesome – love that story!