06 January 2009

Do's & Do's

We Editors have all been through quite a bit of slush lately. Thank you, authors, for sending your stories in! We appreciate it! Without you authors, Electric Spec couldn't exist.

In the face of so much slush, I must admit, I do have some advice for folks...

In the interests of being positive, I'm calling it

Do's & Do's:
  • Do send us your short stories, rather than your novels. We don't publish novels.
  • Do include your story as an rtf attachment.
  • Do send us spec fiction. This includes science fiction, fantasy, horror and any combination thereof. In fact, I'd love to see more SF/Fantasy and/or horror combos. :)
  • Do send us one story at a time.
  • Do send us a unique original story. The following plots will be a tough sell:
    • Aliens land on earth.
    • Aliens land on earth and attack humans.
    • Aliens land on earth and have sex with humans.
    • A person is changed into a vampire.
    • A person is killed by a vampire.
    • A person has sex with a vampire.
    • A robot is built.
    • A robot attacks one or more people.
    • A robot has sex with one or more people.

    Actually, this robot stuff reminds me of a really funny story I saw in The Onion: Roomba Violates All Three Laws Of Roombotics. You know I'm an Asimov fan, right? :)
  • Do use correct grammar and spelling.
    • Do note MSWord Spell Autocheck (or whatever it's called) is not always your friend, e.g. from/form, etc.
    • Do use first-person pov OR third-person pov consistently (2nd-person is a tough sell).
    • Do use past tense (present tense might be okay).

  • Do have your critique group critique your story. You know I'm a big advocate of critique groups, right? In the absence of a critique group, do have your buddy/mom/spouse/alien?/vampire?/robot? read over your story and make sure there are no glaring errors.
  • Do include a cover letter with your name, pen name, email address, story title, story word count, previous pub credits. You can tell us about your hobbies, your kids, your insert-whatever-here, but we don't really care about that stuff.
  • If you feel you MUST reply to our rejection/hold-for-voting email, do be polite and professional.
  • When your story is accepted do be professional with your editor. :)



David E. Hughes said...

I "do" think these are excellent points, Lesley. I hope potential Electric Spec authors "do" read our blog so they can be in the inside track. I wonder we should give faithful blog readers some sort of priority in a review process.

lesleylsmith said...

Interesting idea, Editor Dave. Any suggestions on how to implement this? :)

Anonymous said...

That sounds like a good project for Dave! :D

laughingwolf said...

i'm a faithful reader with BOTH of your sites linked :D