Tag Archives: editors

Wednesday Writers: Abigail Nathan

As I have mentioned before, one of my favourite things about going to Conflux was the chance to meet so many amazing people who share my love of the written word, and learn more about how the industry works. Something that that has become increasingly clear to me as I continue on the writing journey is how vital editors are to the process and how a good editor is a writer’s best friend. Here, Abigail Nathan gives us a fascinating insight into some of the work that is involved, and dispels some of the myths about the freelance lifestyle.

David has asked me to write about being a freelance editor. Now usually I would point out that this is Top Secret Business not to be shared with the Uninitiated… but I have agreed in the interests of laying some myths to rest about the Rockstar Freelance Lifestyle (™ In Association with Kylie Mason). Here are just a few things that have come up in the past few weeks:

Freelance editors:

Choose their own hours. This is… only sort of true. Freelancing = running your own business. If you’re not working, you’re not getting paid. And freelancing is a notoriously feast or famine scenario so there’s always The Fear (always capped) that if you say no to any job offer you will Never Work Again (capped at will). Sure, it’s a nice idea that you can take a day off whenever you like, and there are countless articles about time management for freelancers, but the reality is that you’re probably managing multiple deadlines for different clients. It’s far more likely that you grab free time or jobs when you can.

All work in their pyjamas. You can. I am sure we all have done more than once. And when you work from home and you’re on a particularly tight deadline, it can be very easy to lose track of the day. However, everyone has their caught-out-by-the-courier limit. Or the shock of an author showing up on the doorstep “to go through some edits”. (In my case said author was a High Court Judge.) Continue reading

Submission Limbo

Well, after much revising I submitted a short story last night, after a rewrite request from the editor.

So, currently I am in that terrible state called submission limbo. You know, the state where you have worked hard on a story, polished it up and sent it off…and now you have to wait for that email, torn between excitement, because maybe they will accept it, and dread, because noone likes rejection!

With this particular anthology, I know that they are planning on finalising the TOC this weekend so that’s not that long to wait, but I am really not going to be much good to anyone until I hear back!

So, currently I have two stories in the wild, and three currently in progress, with specific markets in mind. I am also going to rewrite my most recent rejected piece, because I think it is a good story, it just needs work.

Hopefully, I will have some good news to post soon!

My first rejection letter

It has been a bit of a crazy week. I had some minor surgery, so I am a bit sore and woozy, but recovering fine. About an hour before I checked in I received a rejection letter for one of the stories that I submitted at the start of the month. It seemed to be a form letter (well it read very much like a form letter), but I didn’t have time to think much about it, other than a natural flash of disappointment.

Later that night, I sent off a polite email thanking them for their reply, and asking if they could give me some further feedback, whether it was a quality issue, or whether it didn’t suit the theme of the anthology.

I woke up this morning to a very kind reply from who I think is someone further up the editing tree (judging from their forum) with some encouraging words, telling me that the quality of my work was definitely up there and that if I keep submitting to markets (he suggested using www.duotrope.com, which I use, and www.ralan.com, which I haven’t been) I will get published.

He went on to say that out of 200+ submissions mine was on the shortlist, and it came down to space, and then went on to tell me what he thought was the story’s only weak point. He finished up by saying that when I do get my first acceptance to drop him a line, and to continue to submit to them as they do further anthologies.

It is amazing how much someone taking the time to do that makes such a huge difference to one’s mindeset. It’s not that I would have given up on trying to become an author, but it was definitely a lovely email to receive and will to continue to inspire me as I work towards my goal. It’s great to know that I am not that far off the mark, because it is very hard to judge where you are at when you first start out.