So no shit, there I was, poised to send a flood (118) emails to writers who submitted to my anthology.
I’ve got a lot of mixed feelings right now, let me tell you. Part of me is excited because this is one step in a long process of putting an anthology together, and it also means that my slush readers and I have managed to go through the entire beautiful, terrifying pile. But I also feel no small bit of guilt, because I’ve been there, man. I’ve gotten plenty of rejections. And now it’s my turn to give other writers one more piece of paper to pin to their wall.
As I joked with the Skiffy and Fanty crew earlier, I have become the enemy. Paul quoted, “I have become death, destroyer of worlds.” To which I answered, “I have become editor, destroyer of dreams!”
It’s a weird feeling.
The No Shit Anthology has a pretty modest slush pile, as slush piles go; when the dust settled, we were at 176 stories. Not bad for a particularly themed anthology, nothing at all like what people who run magazines get. But that alone has given me an appreciation for how much time and work slush readers and editors put in. It ain’t easy. And it’s honest to say that my readers and I have enjoyed the vast majority of what was sent to us, which I think means we hit the jackpot.
I’ve got 118 emails queued up now, to say thanks for letting me read this, but it’s not going to work out. And really, thank you for letting us look at all these stories. We mean it. The remaining 58 stories, we’re holding on to for use in building the ToC, which is the part where I hear blood is going to be both sweated and cried, so here goes. If you don’t receive a rejection today (and you did get an acknowledgment of receipt when you submitted) you are in that second round. My hope and intention is to have the ToC mostly decided before ConDFW in a couple weeks (this may or may not be to avoid any awkward conversations about the state of the slush at barcon) so expect the rest of the rejections and the smaller number of acceptances to trickle through soonish.
I’ll make another post here once everything is decided so you’ll know.
And for now, I take a deep breath and hit send.