Posted on behalf of Lynne Jamneck. The ROR team would like to take the chance to congratulate Lynne. Gwyneth Jones's story 'The Voyage out' which appeared in Lynne's anthology, Periphery: Erotic Lesbian Futures, has been selected to appear in Gardner Dozois' 26th Year's Best SF.
Lynne talks about anthology editing.
The next thing that you're going to want to remember is that you're going to read a lot. Though I had specific authors who were contributing, I also sent out an open call, because there's nothing quite like the potential for discovering a gem of a story from someone unpublished. But the opposite is also true. The likelihood of reading a lot of bad stuff is, well, very likely. And for heaven sakes, when it comes to emailing writers to tell them that they're stories have unfortunately not made the final cut, be gentle. Don't be snotty and don't be mean. Be encouraging where you can. But be honest, too.
Once you have your stories, the editing process starts; working with your final contributors to make their stories the best they can be. There is a fine line here, and I think I'm lucky in the sense that I'm a writer myself. I thought "how would I like an editor to approach me, to ask me about potentially changing an aspect of my story?" And really, the only reason you would ask any author to do that is because a) something does not make logical sense, or b) a small change can potentially illuminate something deeper relating to character, motive or the general impact of the story.
Because my background is mostly in the creative side of things, I chose to leave the mailing out of contracts and payments to contributors to the publisher, who was happy to do so after I had supplied them with up to date details of contributors' contact details.
Rowena, here. What experiences have you had working with editors? I discovered one of my short children's books had been extended by one extra page without being consulted. What was disappointing was that the added text completely missed the point of the original text. It was just plain bad and it had my name on it.
Horror stories, anyone? Or have you been inspired by a great editor?