I’ve always imagined what life would be like for an editor. I imagined that editors reading a slush pile probably do sound a lot like Simon Cowell from American Idol. Faced with mountains of slush, sifting for gold among the lumps of rocks; each writer, myself included, convinced of their own story’s greatness, sometimes presuming to tell the editor so (uh, I don’t do that).

I know I left the guidelines for my Dark Faith anthology purposefully vague to allow writers room to interpret as they need to, but I’ve been a little bothered by those who, I don’t know, didn’t read them at all. The most egregious offenders have:

-pitched me a novel
-submitted a comic book
-passed off thinly disguised fanfic
-sent stories that are on the front page of the sender’s website (yes, we do look you people up)
-submitted the “white woman gets raped by a black guy then goes on a killing spree” stories

And though I have appreciated the go-getter spirit of some of the artists (the cover and interior artists have already been lined up, thanks).

Some cover letters have made me laugh and caused their stories to jump to the top of the TBR stack. Others have intrigued me enough with their personal story to do the same. This is not an encouragement to do likewise. Others have put me off just as much.

For the most part, folks have been extremely professional. If I do say so myself, the competition is VERY stiff (though I’m sure that won’t stop the eternal writer’s grouse: “my story was better than that one” when the anthology comes out).

Wait, this just in which certainly qualifies at unprofessional behavior: if you’re going to simultaneously submit to us (which I’m on record as saying that I don’t mind), be sure to let us know if you sell the story elsewhere. At least before we read said story in the magazine of, I don’t know, the same company publishing the anthology. That’s not a way to make friends across the board.

If nothing else, this is another take home lesson: editors talk to each other.