Sunday, May 18, 2014

People Eating People updates and advice

Hello folks. The submissions started off slow but are coming in at a regular pace now. Not overwhelming, thankfully, but enough to keep me busy. So I'd like to offer some thoughts on what's been coming in so far. But first...

Accepted pieces as of May 18th:
Bouillon de Bebe by Michelle Knowlton
Supply and Demand by Robert Hart
*All Consuming by Edward Martin III
*His Great Power by Edward Martin III

Before anyone gets excited, Edward's stories only combine to about 2000 words. He'll be getting a single stake of royalties for the two stories.

The biggest problem with the submissions so far is simply the writing. The writing must be tight. Even the most flourishing prose isn't needlessly wordy. And proofread! I'm not a big stickler on this. But if it looks like you haven't taken the job seriously then it's hard for me to take the story seriously.

The twist ending: Don't use it here. At least if it includes cannibalism as the revelation. People who buy a Cannibal anthology are not going to be surprised by the cannibal twist ending.

Think outside the box. Maybe give me a world in which cannibalism isn't taboo. Maybe it's the norm. Give me aliens who eat each other to reproduce. Baby elves that eat their parents as infants. Give me urbanites who eat vegan rednecks. Surprise me.

Format is important. If you don't use something approximating Shunn format then I'll assume you're not taking this seriously.

Cover letters: What the hell is up with the huge cover letters? Some editors will simply reject you outright for crazy cover letters. Give me three previous writing credits and that's it. A short bio is okay. I know a lot of places ask for that so it doesn't bother me. But I've gotten cover letters that list 30+ publication credits. One guy actually wanted me to look up someone reading his work on YouTube. Didn't even provide a link, just told me to search for it. That's not happening.

Also, list your best credits, whatever they may be. If you don't think you've got credits an editor would recognize, then don't list any. Not listing credits is perfectly fine.

1 comment:

Be nice to me, please.