TESSERACTS 17 – How Anthologies Work…

It is going to be a hectic month.

As you know from yesterday’s blog post – my middle-grade novel SINKING DEEPER has made it to the short list of the 2013 Silver Birch Award. That isn’t until the spring – but I’m already got a LOAD of preliminary work to do.

Besides that – it’s October. Means my busiest month of the year.

Let me tell you about the rest of the week.

This morning in a couple of hours I am off to entertain the kids at the Halifax Grammar School. They are having a HUGE Book Fair – put on by one of my favorite local bookstores – namely, WOOZLES. I’ll be telling stories to kids from primarty to Grade 1 – ALWAYS a challenge.

Then I grab dinner and head to work for a solid night shift.

Tomorrow I do get a morning to myself. I have a whack-load of correspondence to get to. I need to go through a few more submissions for TESSERACTS 17 – (more on that in my next blog entry)

Then off to work for a night shift. I am being picked up at the office at the end of the shift and driven to Annapolis Royal where I’ll spend the night. Friday morning I will give a short but intensive writing/storytelling workshop to two groups of high school kids.  Then a drive home and a little bit more quiet steady breathing.

Saturday is Election Day. I might end up voting online – but I don’t like that idea one bit. I don’t like the idea that we are eventually putting all of those seniors who come out every election and work a few hours out of work.

Then I catch a bus to Bayers Lake for a book signing at the Chain Lake Chapters outlet from 2:30-4:00pm.

Wheee.

But you didn’t open this blog entry to hear me whine, did you?

Let me tell you about anthologies…

Let me tell you about the anthology that I am working on as an editor.

Namely, TESSERACTS 17

Here’s the link to the guidelines if you haven’t checked it out yet.

http://www.edgewebsite.com/books/tess17/t17-catalog.html

We are a little behind schedule on turning around stories for TESSERACTS 17 – and by “we” I mean “me”. I am – I’m afraid – very definitely the weak link in our editorial team. My colleague Colleen Anderson has been NOTHING but the absolute epitome of organization.

I, sadly, am the definite Yang to Colleen’s professional Yin.

(Mmm, that sounds like a good title for a movie – “The Bitter Tea of Professional Yin”)

We are getting set to send out the first wave of rejections – which, as always, means that it is a good sign if you haven’t heard back from us yet. Means you might have made the “Maybe” pile.

You see – that is how most anthologies wind up working. The editor – or editors – will cull through the slush heap of submissions and will set them into three piles.

Pile One is the “this just doesn’t work for us” – which can be either “Oh my god I need to cut my nose off and feed it to my bulldog ‘cuz this story stinks so bad” – or, more often what it means is “Oh my god you sent a “haunted hat” story to an anthology built around “haunted shoe” stories”.

Pile Two is the “Maybe, baby” pile – which is where the editor will put the stories that might fit – “Okay, this guy is writing about haunted socks – which is pretty close to haunted shoes”.

Pile Three is the “If we don’t buy this story RIGHT NOW we might as well load a bulldog full of cut-off noses and haunted shoes and blow our collective editorial brains all over Pile One and Pile Two”. This is DEFINITELY the pile that you want your story to land upon – but it is DEFINITELY the shortest pile in the entire process. Editors don’t want to take that big leap right away – just because if they say YES-YES-YES to the first twenty stories that are submitted they might miss out on a truly wonderful story that comes in on the very last day of submission.

So we hold off. We play hard to get. We like to keep you guessing.

So – if you haven’t heard from us here at Tesseracts 17 yet – maybe that’s a good sign. Maybe you are on Pile Three – or at the very least Pile Two – unless maybe we’ve fed your story to the bulldog.

So – what are we looking for here at TESSERACTS 17.

Well, for starters – we are looking for CANADIAN authors.

Here it is – right from the guidelines.

“The Tesseracts anthology series is only open to submissions from Canadians, landed immigrants living in Canada, long time residents of Canada, and Canadian expatriates living abroad.”

Might I also add – NO MULTIPLE SUBMISSIONS. You send us a story – send us your best one – and we’ll look it over. We like it, we’ll keep it. I was just kidding about the bulldog. But you send us two stories at the same time and we’ll get confused trying to decide which one to keep. Means we’ll most likely wind up shooting both of them right back at you.

So rule two – DO NOT CONFUSE THE EDITORS.

Put one foot forward. One story, one poem – let us read it. Don’t try to swamp us with your entire back catalogue of three hundred and sixty-eight trunk stories – no matter how wonderful your Mom thinks they are.

Lastly – let me tell you what I am looking for.

This is me talking – not my colleague Colleen – and not Brian Hades, our boss of all bosses.

This is me – the dude with the beard.

I would love to see a few stories that say “I AM CANADIAN”.

Some Canadian settings, some Canadian characters – something that tells the reader that he has picked up a copy of TESSERACTS – a by-god collection of Canadian speculative fiction.

That’s on my wish list.

Now I’ve got to get ready to go to school.

Yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

PS: If you’d REALLY like to get an idea on what TESSERACTS is all about pick up a copy of TESSERACTS 16. And definitely take a look at my story “Three Thousand Miles of Cold Iron Tears” – which involves Bigfoot, the ghost of Sam Steele and the building of the Canadian Railroad – if you’d like to get a better idea about how I truly think.

order here – http://www.amazon.ca/Tesseracts-Sixteen-Parnassus-Mark-Leslie/dp/1894063929

Or here – http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1894063929/edgescienceficti

or here (for Kobo) – http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Tesseracts-Sixteen/book-e2V4rvKmiUOZkGXBdPzpyw/page1.html?s=msvvDDaOlka8xxG9qDqyTQ&r=1

or here (for Kindle) – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009DK6UHK/edgescienceficti

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One response to “TESSERACTS 17 – How Anthologies Work…

  1. I’m glad you’re the one with the beard, Steve. And don’t forget, every yin needs a yang so your diverse and talented skills come into play, even if it’s not organization. 😛 I’d love to see Canadian stories as well, and various cultures, and times. A haunted hat story might be nice but if it’s set in Prussia in the 1300s it will be even more interesting (and if it’s written well).

    Like

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