It’s hard being an editor…

31 Jul

When the fate of your submission is in the the hands of an editor, it’s easy to imagine them atop some lofty ivory tower in a well-cushioned throne quaffing nectar as they sit in judgement upon your work, but being an editor is actually hard work. I had that rammed home to me while deciding what to accept for the booklet due out in August to celebrate the 15th birthday of author HP Lovecraft. Due to the popularity of the theme and a space of just two weeks or so between the deadline for submissions and the planned release date, I found myself having to read and decide upon a lot of very good submissions in a very short period of time. I originally envisoned the booklet as a fairly-slim one, but had to up the page count just to fit those I really wanted to include. In fact, almost all the contents ended up being those that made my initial ‘Yes’ list, with only a couple of those on the ‘Maybe’ list joining them. Unfortunately, there were many more on that ‘Maybe’ list that could easily have gone in, but I was already worried enough about meeting the planned release date without adding even more pages!

Oh, how I found myself agonising over just what to include! The trouble was that most of the submissions been stories (had most been scifaiku, there would have been even more contributors!) and, other than a few that didn’t really fit in with those I definitely wanted to included, there was a lack of clear reasons for rejecting any. When you only have room for, say, one more story and there are a dozen of equal merit, how do you choose? With great difficulty!

So, the next time you’re waiting to hear back about a submission, spare a thought for the poor editor who is struggling to choose which pieces make the grade…

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