Saturday, September 20, 2008

For authors: What gets a story submission rejected by this editor?

Many common sense dos & don'ts in this fortnight-old post titled "Lessons from the slushpile: the secret art of wooing editors" by Nathan Shumate, Editor & Publisher of to debut next month "free PDF magazine of weird fiction ... peering into things man was not meant to explore" called Arkham Tales.

"I don’t owe any submission more than an unprejudiced read of the first page. After that, any prejudice I hold comes from what you, the writer, have put in front of me."

He also has some "Editorial pet peeves". Mostly about the language used in submitted stories, but other things too. One that caught my attention: "Before you rattle off a character’s entire life history which has brought him to the point at which the story starts; look closely at whether the readers need this information at all, and if so, whether they need it immediately in order to understand what comes next." I'm not an author - not even an aspiring one - but this sounded like it has meaning in professions other than creative writing too!