Archive for January, 2010

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

For those who haven’t heard, I’m now one of the Submissions Editors for APEX MAGAZINE. I’ve been on the job for a couple of weeks now and here’s what I’ve discovered so far.

1. The cover letter can provide clues about the quality of the story.

when i recieve a cuver leter written in lowercase letters with know punctuation and plentee of spelling errors, i no i am in four a reel treet.

2. A high percentage of authors must have been bad used car salesmen prior to taking up writing fiction.

When the guidelines say APEX wants only “dark/horror/thriller SF,” don’t try to pull the ol’ “bait & switch” on me. If we wanted to read romances set in the Old West, that’s what we would have asked for.

3. A story can be good, yet still be rejected for a number of reasons.

If APEX passes, find another market to submit to. Don’t take it personally. Move on.

4. View the submission process as a continuing education opportunity.

A “bad” story can almost always be improved. If you are fortunate enough to receive feedback from an editor, listen to what they tell you. If they took the time to give you feedback, you must be doing something right. Don’t let the anger/disappointment of being rejected cloud the opportunity to become better at your craft.

and finally,

5. Reading one “good” story can erase the memory of one hundred bad ones.

I wish you the best of luck in improving that ratio and look forward to reading your work.

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

I’m a little late to the party…here are my top ten favorite books read in 2009:

1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

2. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

3. Morbid Curiosity Cures The Blues edited by Loren Rhoads

4. Dope by Sara Gran

5. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

6. Starkweather Dreams by Christopher Conlon (This is really a poetry collection but I loved it so much I’m including it here anyway.)

7. The Darkness by Jason Pinter

8. Ghostwriter by Travis Thrasher

9. Audrey’s Door by Sarah Langan

10. The Deep Blue Good-by by John D. MacDonald

My record keeping got sloppy toward the end of the year but I know I read at least 50 novels, 10 short fiction anthologies, 5 poetry collections and 5 non-fiction books related to the craft of writing. This was an improvement from 2008. Here’s hoping I can keep up that pace in 2010.