GETTING THE STORY STRAIGHT: THE WHYS AND HOWS OF SUBMITTING STORIES TO ANTHOLOGIES
Many of us cut our teeth writing short stories. But how do you find markets for your work? Consider submitting to anthologies. This book will help you tailor your stories for the best chances for acceptance and publication.
Why anthologies? I always found them to be easier markets than magazines in my early years of writing fiction. The odds are in your favor with anthologies because the acceptance rate at many magazines and journals, despite their proliferation now online, is discouragingly low.
Anthologies, on the other hand, typically have narrower themes—and the narrower the theme, the better your odds of acceptance. Assuming, of course, that your story meets that theme. Stories that squarely hit an anthology's target will likely go to the top of an editor's pile of submissions.
Another thing to consider is that an anthology can provide a market for your previously published work. Although many anthologies accept only unpublished work, many are also open to reprints. In fact, some anthologies accept only previously published work. If one of your stories meets an anthology theme and the anthology welcomes reprints, polish it a bit and send it along.
I am the founder and executive editor of Smart Rhino Publications, a small independent publisher that focuses on horror and suspense anthologies. Like many other anthologists, I've worked on both sides of the desk—editing and writing for anthologies. My focus in this book comes from both perspectives.
As I wrote this book, I also asked other editors and writers (many of them contributors to Smart Rhino anthologies) for their observations, suggestions, and advice. I've quoted them throughout the book, and I hope you find their opinions and recommendations helpful.
One last note about this book. This is not a how-to on writing technique. I won't tell you how to write your fiction—there are plenty of other books and magazines to help you with that. I assume you are already writing short stories if you decided to read this book. The focus here is on how to submit your work to anthologies. If that's your goal, read on!