World’s Collider – The Submissions iFAQ

I’m now deep into the selection process for the forthcoming World’s Collider anthology, and as I progress I’ll try to keep everyone up to date via this website, time permitting. Given the amount of work people have put into the proposals, I feel it’s only fair to let people know where things stand. So here’s an FAQ on the selection process. Well technically it’s an iFAQ (inFrequently Asked Questions) but what are you gonna do?

Did you get my proposal?

You should have received an e-mail acknowledgement when you sent me your proposal. Regardless, you’d be wise to check my list of titles to ensure your submissions are under consideration for inclusion in World’s Collider. Let me know right away if you think something is missing.

How many proposals did you get in total?

I got 80! Half of them came in during the final week before the deadline! I call this the “deadline deluge”.

How will I know if I’m commissioned or not?

The verdict will come in an e-mail with a subject line that includes the words “the” and “verdict”, perhaps even in that order. I will tell you yes or no in the first sentence of the e-mail. I might say hello first. Anyway, you won’t have to scan urgently through pages and pages of waffle to find that all important answer.

Will you tell me why my proposal was rejected?

I will do my best to articulate why I did or did not select your story idea. I’ve always appreciated feedback from editors whenever I could get it. You took the time to send me a proposal, it’s the least I can do to give you an honest opinion. And it will be honest. I’m not going to be rude or derogatory, but I will tell you what I thought of it.

When will I hear back from you?

As soon as I’ve made my final decisions. This could take a little while given the number of them. I hope to have responded to everyone before the end of September 2012. Oops, I mean 2011. Or do I…?

How many stories will make it into the collection?

That depends. I have a maximum word count for the whole anthology, I will commission enough stories to fill it. That’s why I asked you to provide a rough wordcount with your proposal. See how it all makes sense now?

Will all the best ideas get in?

If all the best ideas made it in, this book would be as long as all three volumes of Lord of the Rings. Well, maybe not. Anyway, of course I’ll be commissioning the ideas I like the best but at the same time I’ll keep in mind how the stories will eventually fit together, and which ones could work well with elements from earlier stories mixed in, and what interesting world changes will have knock on effects for later stories. I’m going to have to reject ideas I love by writers I love. That’s the nature of the beast unfortunately.

If I get rejected, can I post my pitch online?

It’s up to you, but if one of the chosen writers drops out then I’ll be looking for a stand in. If you’ve already revealed your idea online I likely won’t come to you asking if you’re prepared to write it up as a replacement. Plus, there could be a sequel… (Worlds’ Collider? Worlds Collided? Will’s Colitis?)

How do I know you haven’t missed my story off your list?

I’ve done everything I can to make sure I didn’t miss anybody’s story. But you are welcome to check your pitch is on my list. Bear in mind that titles may change before the book goes to print.

Are bull sharks scary?

Hell yeah.

Is it going to be tough choosing who’s in and who’s out?

VERY tough. I’ve managed to round the list of just under 80 proposals down to… um… 75. This may take a while…

What happens if I disagree with your verdict?

Of course you’re going to disagree with me if I don’t go with your idea. Tough titties. That said, if anything in my verdict e-mail doesn’t make sense, feel free to respond. I don’t want to get into a back-and-forth argument though. Editor’s decision is final and no correspondence blah blah blah…

Where can I ask a question that’s not in your iFAQ?

Leave a comment below, or e-mail me if you don’t want everyone reading the question.

Does this iFAQ ever end?


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