Gordy Dickson told me close to half a century ago that if you were good, and prolific, and an aggressive marketer, there would come a point 25 years into your career where you received a pleasant surprise (which is to say, a reprint or foreign sale) in your mail box every week, all for writing just those two words, Ã¢â‚¬ËœMikeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ and Ã¢â‚¬ËœResnickÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ on a contract.
written by Carl Slaughter
I have counted seventy Hollywood actors, most of them A-Listers, who have switched from films to television. The studios are reducing the number of movies. Meanwhile, 48 television networks are offering scripted episodic dramas series. The only people outside the industry who can keep track of the number of shows are journalists on the TV beat.
Television is where the storytelling is and television is where the job security is. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s only a matter of time before the likes of Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts join the party.
In the 1990s, Mike Resnick launched more careers with his anthologies than Asimov’s, Analog, and F&SF combined. He’s at it again with Stellar Guild. He gives Diabolical Plots the inside story on the nature and process of anthologies.
Jeanne Cavelos is a writer, editor, scientist, and teacher. Her love of science fiction led her to earn her MFA in creative writing. She moved into a career in publishing, becoming a senior editor at Bantam Doubleday Dell, where she created and launched the Abyss imprint of innovative horror and the Cutting Edge imprint of noir literary fiction. She also ran the science fiction/fantasy publishing program. In addition, she edited a wide range of fiction and nonfiction. In her eight years in New York publishing, she edited numerous award-winning and best-selling authors and gained a reputation for discovering and nurturing new writers. Jeanne won the World Fantasy Award for her editing.
Workshop instructors Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith take a different approach to coaching writers:
“We do critiques at first because people want them. We time the critiques and give rules:
If you liked this and would have bought it as an editor/reader, then say that and nothing else.
If it’s not your genre or your kind of story, say that and nothing else.
If you would like it and would buy it if x, y, and z were fixed, then say that.
And say what you believe is strong about the story. No grammar nits.
You have only one minute in which to say all of this. If you go over, you get cut off. If you’re under, that’s good.
Then we teach them how to read like editors/readers. If they don’t get caught by the beginning, they don’t have to keep reading.
The SF award nomination season is here. The Nebulas (the writer-voted award) have been open for a while and close in February. The Hugos (the fan-voted award) opened on January first. Both sets cover works published in the 2012 calendar year. About this time of year, every writer and their dog posts a list of their eligible works.
Back in 1996, I asked the various editors Ã¢â‚¬” for an advice column I was writing Ã¢â‚¬” how many slush submissions (i.e., unagented, by writers they didn’t know) they received in a month. Asimov’s got about a thousand, F&SF about 750, etc. So the answer, of course, is that the editor isn’t going to give detailed feedback to 1,000 beginning writers a month. The meaningful feedback that he gives to every unsaleable story is a rejection slip.