The Hardest Things

Apr 29th, 2009 | By | Category: CG Blog

One of the things I enjoy about editing for Crossed Genres is reading submissions.  It’s also pretty much the most time consuming part of my job and sometimes it’s a bit of a downer.

I get to read a lot of fiction every month, which has always been one of the greater joys in my life.  Some of the fiction I get to read is very good.  But, oy, some of it isn’t.  The stories that still need a lot of work, or are fabulously written copycats of other stories and concepts are fairly easy to save to our “no” file.  No drama, just a polite rejection and maybe a line or two of constructive feedback if we have the time.  Sometimes we get a story and we know right away it’s a “yes” because it’s obviously been polished, it’s right for the genre of the month, and it is a damn good read.

Then there are the “maybes”.  Those stories that would be “yeses” except for that expository drag at the beginning.  Or that hokey ending.  Or that one flat character.  The “maybes” are where the action is this time of the month.  We can’t publish everything we like – space constraints have the last word, in their own way – so we have to choose.  And it can be hard to reject a decent story just because we had a few that were a little better.  I am a soft heart, I guess, but I can’t help thinking of those stories as our “almosts”…


Leave a comment »

  1. ::grins:: Of course the hardest part of the way you’re running things is that one month’s maybe can’t be held to be next month’s yes.

    It’s reassuring to hear that it leaves you a little wistful though. 🙂

  2. True, although there have been rare occasions where a submission crossed more genre lines than just the genre of the month. When that’s happened, we’ve asked the authors to resubmit to the next month their story fits if they haven’t already sold it elsewhere by then. It doesn’t happen often, though, you’re right.

    Wistful is a fitting description. Especially when I know very well that the author is just starting out. It’s a pleasure to receive submissions from popular authors, and flattering, but there is a special kind of fun to be had when the time comes to send an acceptance letter to a first-rate first-timer. 🙂

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