Getting Ready to Accept Story Submissions for Your Anthology

August 14, 2012 — 4 Comments

Hey everyone. The blog post today is as much for writers as it is for everyone else. We’re going to talk about the submission process.

So far we’ve come up with a theme for our anthology and have decided on how we’re going to solicit submissions. Easy part done.

Now comes the fun/mind numbing portion:

Story selection

Depending on your choice of genres/themes, you could have either crap tons of submissions or hardly any. And, once again, depending on your earlier choices, the quality of these submissions could range across the spectrum.

(I also want to add as a side note that everything you’ve read about story submission criteria applies across the board to micro/indie/large publishers. If I, the editor, tell you to put something in PDF format, put it in freaking PDF format. If I tell you put it in .DOC, put it in that format. If I say “email it to me and make sure you paste it into the body of the email”, just freaking do it. We’re like your parents. We have reasons for our effin’ rules, and we want them followed. We aren’t going to explain the why’s to you, but they’re there for a reason. If you don’t follow MY rules that I took time to type out and post for a reason, it’s a pretty decent indicator of the quality of your story.

Just saying.)

((Also, another helpful hint to aspiring anthology creators: Do yourself a favor and accept only .DOC or .RTF file formats for short stories. Every layout software out there works with these two formats. They also both allow track changes for the editing process, better formating, and printing.))

Submission Pile

I can’t remember the exact number of submissions Dieselpunk received, because I didn’t have to go through the slush pile. I was also only asked to offer my opinion twice on story selection (which is about one more than average on a normal PULP! book). But I know it was easily fifty or more quality submissions. Which can sometimes be more a curse than a blessing. What’s worse than having to winnow a selection of fifteen stories down to twelve? Trying to winnow a selection of sixteen stories down to twelve. Yes, the quality of the book is better, but the selection process is that much more brutal as you try to encapsulate all the aspects of your genre together, as you produce the editor’s creative take on a subject matter.

When Chris and I started  Twit Publishing, he and I established firm protocols on job duties and powers. We’re brothers, after all, and the fights over what stories would go in to each anthology would be EPIC if we both had creative control. Luckily, he and I have very similar tastes, so I hardly ever have a problem with any of the stories he chooses.

But, with Dieselpunk, there were several stories that Chris loved, but couldn’t decide if they fit the genre. Mainly, it’s because they fell outside that neat time frame established by fans. So, we had to look at thematic elements, settings, and elements of the characters. Were they more steampunk? Or did they evoke a definite art deco feel in the mind of the reader? Was that a drinking house the characters were in? Or did it feel more like a jazz club?

Stuff like that.

So, that’s kind of a glossy overview of the process. Remember, I took only six-hundred words to describe what is actually several months worth of work. It’s grueling, with a lot of reading, re-reading, and arguing.

And I haven’t even gotten to the editing part. That’s tomorrow.

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4 responses to Getting Ready to Accept Story Submissions for Your Anthology

  1. 

    How graphic would you consider for the horror story? I have a horror story I am working on that is quite violent with references to fetish and Marquis De Sade — images of rotting piss, dried blood and decaying shit are in the story. Then elements of self-cannibalism like Survivor Type

    • 

      Hi Nickolaus,

      We’re actually finished with the PULP! series for the time being. That said, our editor has 100% control of what he publishes. We’ve put out some pretty gory stuff before.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. The Editing Process « Twit Publishing - August 16, 2012

    […] it out, hand edits it, and enters the changes when he’s finished (using track changes, like we talked about in an earlier post). Depending on the length of the story, and the number of errors, it can take him any where from a […]

  2. Submissions for the newest PULP! « Twit Publishing - September 5, 2012

    […] In recent weeks I’ve covered much of what goes into creating an anthology, and now’s a good time to revisit one of those earlier blogs. […]

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