Strange Horizons seeking (volunteer) fiction editors

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Strange Horizons seeking (volunteer) fiction editors

Postby s_c_baker » Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:44 am

Some of you may be interested: http://www.strangehorizons.com/Jobs.shtml

I am interested, but with this full-time job, two children, MA thesis, and fiction writing... wotf002 wotf001
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Re: Strange Horizons seeking (volunteer) fiction editors

Postby Fobok1 » Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:48 pm

I'm so tempted, but yeah, I just don't think I could manage the schedule and still keep up with my writing. It's also cutting off a potential market for no real gain except getting to read a ton of fiction every week.
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Re: Strange Horizons seeking (volunteer) fiction editors

Postby Alex Kane » Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:23 pm

I applied. It has the potential to be a really interesting and educational experience, to say nothing of the prestige and credentials that accompany an editor or former editor of such a publication. That said, I have no intention of getting my hopes up. I imagine there are hundreds of applicants, and like most, it wouldn't do my schedule any favors -- but I do think it would be an opportunity worth taking, should the offer present itself.
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Re: Strange Horizons seeking (volunteer) fiction editors

Postby Grayson Morris » Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:52 pm

Oooh, good luck, Alex!
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Re: Strange Horizons seeking (volunteer) fiction editors

Postby Alex Kane » Thu Feb 16, 2012 7:44 am

Grayson Morris wrote:Oooh, good luck, Alex!

Thanks, Grayson!
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Re: Strange Horizons seeking (volunteer) fiction editors

Postby s_c_baker » Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:40 am

Definitely an opportunity worth trying for. :)

(I'd do it if I had the time, and if I could name even one story I'd ever read in SH. Since I can't, that might not make me a good candidate anyway... wotf001 )
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Re: Strange Horizons seeking (volunteer) fiction editors

Postby morshana » Thu Feb 16, 2012 2:04 pm

Yeah, good luck, Alex!
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Re: Strange Horizons seeking (volunteer) fiction editors

Postby Fobok1 » Thu Feb 16, 2012 2:13 pm

Yeah, good luck!
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Re: Strange Horizons seeking (volunteer) fiction editors

Postby gower21 » Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:31 pm

yeah Alex! You'd be a great candidate.

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Re: Strange Horizons seeking (volunteer) fiction editors

Postby Alex Kane » Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:23 pm

Thanks, everyone! Yeah, I'd absolutely love to nab the position. But let's not kid ourselves -- there will be at least a hundred or so applicants, and I'm sure some of them will be folks vastly more qualified from a proof-in-the-pudding standpoint. I've got a handful of sales I'm proud of, sure, but who knows what Mr. Hartman will think of my application letter. It was written in a frenzy of do-or-die enthusiasm, and I hit send immediately, careful not to let myself overthink it. So we'll see.
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Re: Strange Horizons seeking (volunteer) fiction editors

Postby s_c_baker » Sat Feb 18, 2012 10:16 am

Alex Kane wrote:Thanks, everyone! Yeah, I'd absolutely love to nab the position. But let's not kid ourselves -- there will be at least a hundred or so applicants, and I'm sure some of them will be folks vastly more qualified from a proof-in-the-pudding standpoint. I've got a handful of sales I'm proud of, sure, but who knows what Mr. Hartman will think of my application letter. It was written in a frenzy of do-or-die enthusiasm, and I hit send immediately, careful not to let myself overthink it. So we'll see.

Being published does not an editor make.

You will note on the page that they explicitly asked for people who are readers, not people with the best stories of their own published in the biggest-name magazines. wotf011
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Re: Strange Horizons seeking (volunteer) fiction editors

Postby Alex Kane » Sat Feb 18, 2012 4:42 pm

Well, I have to assume that folks like Cat Rambo, Kelly Link, or Paolo Bacigalupi would qualify as experienced readers to the same degree that they're respected as writers. Different skills, but you can hardly have the latter without the former. But yeah, hopefully magazines seek editors based on things like interpersonal skills, familiarity with the language, and an understanding of the literature, as opposed to how many times they've appeared in Asimov's.

Again, I'm not harboring any expectations one way or the other. If it happens, I'll be ecstatic and forever grateful; if not, life will go as it always has. I've sent in enough applications and submissions of various kinds over the past couple years to know better than to ever expect anything but a negative response -- or sometimes even no response at all.
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Re: Strange Horizons seeking (volunteer) fiction editors

Postby s_c_baker » Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:23 pm

Alex Kane wrote:Well, I have to assume that folks like Cat Rambo, Kelly Link, or Paolo Bacigalupi would qualify as experienced readers to the same degree that they're respected as writers. Different skills, but you can hardly have the latter without the former. But yeah, hopefully magazines seek editors based on things like interpersonal skills, familiarity with the language, and an understanding of the literature, as opposed to how many times they've appeared in Asimov's.

Actually, being a writer considerably alters your reading habits. At least, this has been my experience.

Since we know what goes into the process, we tend to experience things in different ways. Presumably, this would also affect how you read slush submissions--SH wants (I guess) a magazine by writers for readers, not a magazine by writers for other writers.
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Re: Strange Horizons seeking (volunteer) fiction editors

Postby Alex Kane » Sat Feb 18, 2012 10:21 pm

In what way do you think being a writer alters your reading habits? I suppose that I read more widely and more analytically than I once did, but really I can't recall a time when I was reading novels regularly that I didn't consider myself a writer -- I wrote my first novel at age 13, and wrote a great deal well before that -- so I guess I don't see the difference. I still read Star Wars and other tie-ins when I feel like it; I still read Stephen King novels and honest-to-goodness science fiction and all the other things I've always loved. Every read for me is half entertainment, half learning experience.

So I'm not sure how the average editor approaches a manuscript any differently than a writer-slash-English-major: They go to the page hoping to love the story, but expecting to be disappointed and knowing their time and budget is limited, and they have to read with a somewhat critical eye to spot flaws that might make the piece unpublishable.
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Re: Strange Horizons seeking (volunteer) fiction editors

Postby s_c_baker » Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:00 am

Alex Kane wrote:So I'm not sure how the average editor approaches a manuscript any differently than a writer-slash-English-major: They go to the page hoping to love the story, but expecting to be disappointed and knowing their time and budget is limited, and they have to read with a somewhat critical eye to spot flaws that might make the piece unpublishable.

Good points. But I think that also highlights the difference between the average reader, who does not go into the story expecting to be disappointed.

Since you started writing at such an early age, I suspect you're the exception to the rule. I didn't start writing (well, anything worthy of the name) in my mid 20s. How I read books before I started (e.g. in high school) was waaaay different than how I read them now. I would suspect the same is true for other readers.

SH is (for whatever reason) explicitly asking for people who are readers rather than only writers, although I think I tend to agree with you that a more analytical reading would be more useful for editors--so perhaps I'm misinterpreting their request.
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Re: Strange Horizons seeking (volunteer) fiction editors

Postby Alex Kane » Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:58 am

s_c_baker wrote:Since you started writing at such an early age, I suspect you're the exception to the rule. I didn't start writing (well, anything worthy of the name) in my mid 20s.

Trust me, nothing I wrote prior to the last two years is worthy of my name either. But we all have to go through that stage. wotf001
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Re: Strange Horizons seeking (volunteer) fiction editors

Postby Grayson Morris » Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:45 am

Becoming a serious writer (i.e., someone paying attention to craft and working to get better and get sold) has ruined my reading. My writer-critiquer is almost always in my way -- even on really good stories. I'm told this is a phase and it will pass. I sure hope so.
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Re: Strange Horizons seeking (volunteer) fiction editors

Postby Alex Kane » Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:50 am

Grayson Morris wrote:Becoming a serious writer (i.e., someone paying attention to craft and working to get better and get sold) has ruined my reading. My writer-critiquer is almost always in my way -- even on really good stories. I'm told this is a phase and it will pass. I sure hope so.

Yeah, I think it's something you just have to learn to ignore. For a while all I did was analyze what I was reading, and it really sucked. But then I discovered Joe Hill's Horns and Card's Ender's Game, and I learned to love reading for sheer enjoyment again. Sometimes the analytic voice pops up again, but when it does I listen and then move on. This usually happens when I'm reading something especially good/resonant. So it's not always a bad thing, once you get past the worst of it.
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Re: Strange Horizons seeking (volunteer) fiction editors

Postby Fobok1 » Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:50 pm

It is definitely possible to turn off your inner critic. I went to college for film and video production and for the first couple years after that I had trouble watching anything on TV without analyzing how they did the lighting or the camera angles or the editing. Oh, and don't get me started on the continuity errors I spotted.

I learned, though, to flip that switch off. I can still turn it on again when I want to, (though given I've never found a job in the industry I've had very little reason to), but when I want to watch for enjoyment I can. It took practice and some willpower at first, but I could do it.

I'm pretty new at trying to seriously write, so with writing my inner critic is still quiet for the most part when I read, but I've already noticed when I start to analyze when I'm not intending to, I can turn it off and just enjoy what I'm reading in the same way.
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Re: Strange Horizons seeking (volunteer) fiction editors

Postby Alex Kane » Fri Apr 06, 2012 1:27 pm

Probably no point in mentioning it, but I made it to the second round of screening for this.

So we'll see what happens. If nothing else, I get to "play editor" and do a week's worth of behind-the-scenes slush duty. No idea how many others made it to the second phase of the application process, but I'm guessing a boatload. wotf017
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Re: Strange Horizons seeking (volunteer) fiction editors

Postby MJNL » Fri Apr 06, 2012 5:08 pm

Hopefully you'll make it further than I did when I applied a year and a half ago. Made it through stagetwo, then got cut. No biggie, though. SH stories are typically hit or miss for me (I either love 'em or hate 'em), so I wasn't that surprised when my taste didn't fully coencide with theirs. If you consistently like what they turn out, I bet you've got a good chance, Alex. Good luck!
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Re: Strange Horizons seeking (volunteer) fiction editors

Postby gower21 » Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:49 pm

Good Luck Alex! Hope you get it.

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Re: Strange Horizons seeking (volunteer) fiction editors

Postby Alex Kane » Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:02 pm

gower21 wrote:Good Luck Alex! Hope you get it.

Thanks, Tina! I hope so too. Applied for Clarion, Clarion West, a Science Fiction Columnist Position at LitReactor, and the Strange Horizons gig. Of those four, three have been either rejections or non-responses (plus, they hired a guy to do the LitReactor column, so that's rejection enough). I've been getting nothing but rejections for my writing for months now, so...it'd be nice to hear "yes" for once. But I suppose this is a universal problem 'round these parts.
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Re: Strange Horizons seeking (volunteer) fiction editors

Postby gower21 » Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:44 pm

Alex Kane wrote:
gower21 wrote:Good Luck Alex! Hope you get it.

Thanks, Tina! I hope so too. Applied for Clarion, Clarion West, a Science Fiction Columnist Position at LitReactor, and the Strange Horizons gig. Of those four, three have been either rejections or non-responses (plus, they hired a guy to do the LitReactor column, so that's rejection enough). I've been getting nothing but rejections for my writing for months now, so...it'd be nice to hear "yes" for once. But I suppose this is a universal problem 'round these parts.


It ebbs and flows, I guess. In June it will be one year since I sold anything...but part of that I expected when I let my Non-fiction die a natural death so I could write (and get better at) fiction.

You're trying for Clarion next year right?

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Re: Strange Horizons seeking (volunteer) fiction editors

Postby Alex Kane » Tue Apr 10, 2012 10:06 pm

gower21 wrote:You're trying for Clarion next year right?

Almost certainly. Depends on my job situation, I suppose. There are things that might potentially get in the way, like if I decide to get married or for some reason can't take leave. But I suppose I have to get accepted before worrying about that kind of nonsense.

If I got in, I'm sure I'd find a way to go.
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Re: Strange Horizons seeking (volunteer) fiction editors

Postby Alex Kane » Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:00 am

Didn't get the gig, guys. Guess this means I'll have plenty of time to work on my novel instead.
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Re: Strange Horizons seeking (volunteer) fiction editors

Postby Grayson Morris » Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:15 am

Bummer, Alex. But good for the novel. :-)
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Re: Strange Horizons seeking (volunteer) fiction editors

Postby Alex Kane » Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:34 pm

Grayson Morris wrote:Bummer, Alex. But good for the novel. :-)

Yeah, I'm going with the glass-twice-as-full mentality. I'm sure the job would have been very demanding, as well as rewarding. This way I'll be able to concentrate on doing what I love and (hopefully) getting better at it.
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Re: Strange Horizons seeking (volunteer) fiction editors

Postby gower21 » Wed Apr 25, 2012 4:42 pm

They will miss out. Glad you're already focused on the bigger and better. Things always have a way of working out for the best-- Something better is in the horizon for you then.


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