I'm pleased to kick off a new week with a fascinating insight into how one editor selects stories for anthologies.
Check it out...
Judy Penz Sheluk (editor/author) is the bestselling author of two mystery series, both set in Canada: the Glass Dolphin Mysteries and the Marketville Mysteries. Her short stories appear in several collections, including Live Free or Tri and the Superior Shores Press Anthologies The Best Laid Plans: 21 Stories of Mystery & Suspense, and Heartbreaks & Half-truths: 22 Stories of Mystery & Suspense, which she also edited. Judy is a member of Sisters in Crime, the Short Mystery Fiction Society, International Thriller Writers, and Crime Writers of Canada, where she serves as Chair on the Board of Directors.
Some important things to know about Judy...
Ketchup or Mayo? Mayo
Night or Day? Day
Inside or Outside? Outside
Dogs or Cats? Dogs
Twitter or Facebook? Facebook
Ebook or Paperback? Paperback
Sun or Rain? Sun
Keyboard or Pencil & Notebook? Both
Comedy or Drama? Drama
Chips or Chocolate? Chocolate
Title: Heartbreaks & Half-truths: 22 Stories of Mystery & Suspense
Name of Series: A Superior Shores Anthology
Number in Series: #2
Genre: Mystery & Suspense/Short Stories
Editor: Judy Penz Sheluk
Authors: Sharon Hart Addy, Paula Gail Benson, James Blakey, Gustavo Bondoni, Susan Daly, Buzz Dixon, Rhonda Eikamp, Christine Eskilson, Tracy Falenwolfe, Kate Flora, John M. Floyd, J.A. Henderson, Blair Keetch, Steve Liskow, Edward Lodi, Judy Penz Sheluk, KM Rockwood, Peggy Rothschild, Joseph S. Walker, James Lincoln Warren, Chris Wheatley and Robb T. White.
Lovers and losers.
Whether it’s 1950s Hollywood, a scientific experiment, or a yard sale in suburbia, the twenty-two authors represented in this collection of mystery and suspense interpret the overarching theme of “heartbreaks and half-truths” in their own inimitable style, where only one thing is certain: Behind every broken heart lies a half-truth.
And behind every half-truth lies a secret.
Selecting Stories for an Anthology: An Editor’s Point of View
I’ve been on all sides of the anthology fence, as a story submitter, a publisher, editor and judge. I’ve felt the thrill of acceptance and the disappointment of rejection (as the intake coordinator for Passport to Murder, the Bouchercon Toronto anthology, I had the dubious distinction of sending a rejection letter to myself).
I’m also an avid reader of short mystery fiction. Love it. And so, in October 2018, I sent out my very first callout under my recently formed Superior Shores Press imprint for The Best Laid Plans: 21 Stories of Mystery & Suspense, published June 18, 2019.
Buoyed by the critical acclaim and commercial success of Plans, and convinced that this time around I’d be able to streamline the process somewhat, I sent another callout in October 2019, this time for Heartbreaks & Half-truths: 22 Stories of Mystery & Suspense, for publication on June 18, 2020.
Now, with Plans, I’d received a total of 71 submissions, and I was expecting about the same number this go-round. Not so. In all, 105 submissions were received for Heartbreaks, representing authors from Argentina, Australia, France, Germany, Scotland, the UK, US, and Canada.
But, how does one make the cut from 105 to 22? The truth is, reading is subjective. I’ve yet to read an anthology where I’ve liked every story in the collection (my own anthologies excluded). The best you can do is even up your odds. Here are some questions to ask yourself before you submit:
Interested in submitting?
If all goes according to plan, I’ll be sending another callout for the third anthology under the Superior Shores Press umbrella. Sign up for my newsletter as I’ll announce it there. Until then, I hope you’ll check out The Best Laid Plans and Heartbreaks & Half-truths. At the very least, it will give you a good idea about the types of stories I select.
Want to guest blog or be interviewed? Got a cover reveal or book coming out?
Get in touch today!