Monday, January 11, 2010

Phase 2 Complete

Phase One - read 267 stories and narrow the choice down to the best and most appropriate 30.

Phase Two - send shortlisted 30 to copy editors so we have a panel of three to reduce subjective variances and come up with the best 12-16 (preferably under 70K total).

Over the weekend just gone, my brilliant minions have returned their lists and comments on the shortlisted stories. I then carefully went through everyone's choices, added my own thoughts and finalised the ToC for Dark Pages Volume One. I then went through and wrote up comments for the unlucky stories that didn't make the final hurdle. Everyone should know where they stand within the next few days.

I'll take this opportunity to make an observation on the writing of comments for stories that didn't make the final cut. I wasn't kidding when I said before that I've been somewhat spoilt by the quality of the submissions. When I came up with the shortlist, I really could have created volume one and two and been happy with both. Instead, we took only the absolute cream and, I believe, will be turning out one kick-ass anthology. So how do I then write comments to stories I thought were extremely good but didn't get in? Not an easy task.

So if you are one of the unlucky few waiting on a response and it turns out to be a rejection, please know that you were very close, and your story was well liked and passed on with extreme reluctance.

Sometime this week, we will announce the table of contents. Behind the scenes we will be moving onto Phase Three - editing!

Onwards - and once more I thank everyone who submitted to us.


  1. I'm done blotting the sweat from my brow now. Thanks for keeping us so updated during the process. You've been more than a trooper.

  2. It is nice and, at the same time, frightening to know that there are that many good storytellers out there. There must have been a paradigm shift since I read for the Nebraska Review.

  3. Glad my story, The Stain of the Psychopomp King, made the cut Mr. Tomlinson. I already took the liberty of doing a little promotion on my website, and I'll be pimping it hard as soon as it's released.
    I think this one is gonna be great!

  4. It's been really awesome to watch your journey from reading, to choosing, and now finalizing. Not only is it educational, but it sure drums up more excitement for what's clearly going to be a fabulous collection.

  5. Firstly - please, don't call me Mr Tomlinson - I'm not that old and I don't deserve that much respect. Be friendly and just call me BT :c)

    Aaron - Lucien: extremely happy to have you both on board. Stay tuned - once all notifications have gone out, we'll be announcing the ToC.

    Jamie - things haven't changed. we will end up publishing around 5% of what was sent to us. I'm guessing around another 25% was good enough to be published as is, somewhere. A further 65% of the remainder need various amounts of revision and/or polishing. There were very few that I just said no to due to ability or major problems.

    In the end, there is still only a very small amount of subs to any market which is suitable and of excellent quality. I consider myself blessed that so many within the upper brackets of writing excellence decided to sub to this anthology.

    Thanks Katey. Stay tuned - much more educational insights to come on this journey and one very big sound off about a very big no-no to come.