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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:17 pm 
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So what does the panel think?

Is it okay for editors of magazines and anthologies to include their own work?

I'd prefer they didn't, but let's hear some other voices.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:37 pm 
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I'm not completely opposed to it, but I'm with you in preferring an editor does not include his/her own work. And if the editor does do so, it had better be a really, really good story. I'll hold it to a higher standard.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:07 pm 
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Sometimes it's in the publisher's contract when dealing with an editor who's also a famous author. Can't blame the publisher for trying to push up sales, I suppose. Also, it can help keep the budget down for the editor since s/he doesn't have to pay for that story. Then we have shared world anthologies that originate from one of the editor's own creations. And anthologies and magazines, of course, need to find enough material in time to hit deadlines.

I'm generally against it, but there are lots of good reasons for editors including their own work.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 11:38 pm 
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It's OK unless it's a best of year or equivalent. That would be pushing it a bit far.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:59 am 
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I'm not against it in principle, but I think an editor who does it takes the risk of having their editorial judgment called into question if their story doesn't come up to scratch.

With TQF, we published tons of silly stuff by me in the early days (that was the original idea behind the magazine), but that tailed off once we started to receive submissions. If you're rejecting other people's work, you can look pretty arrogant still publishing your own. "Your work isn't good enough for this publication, but mine is...."

I think that's why I've never felt it's an issue with regard to non-fiction in the mag - I'm not rejecting anyone else's reviews to make room for mine.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:14 pm 
Including your own story if you're the editor of an anthology is fraught with risks, but, as has been observed above, if it is a really good story... I suppose it's a case of, if in doubt don't do it.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:24 pm 
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I included a story of mine in Dark Minds as I took over the project after I'd been accepted into it. But for the follow-up Darker Minds both Anthony and myself had no intention of including our own stories. I then went and missed our names off the copyright page so no-one can tell we edited it anyway!

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:44 am 
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I'm completely against it. The optics are bad. A publisher asked me to put one of my pieces in an anthology I was editing when a tale fell out at the last minute. I declined. As been mentioned, it's often a condition if Big name Author is editing an anthology, that he/she include one of their tales. I'm still uncomfortable with it, though.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:15 am 
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I think that my feeling on this has changed over the years. I used to frown really hard when I saw an editor's story included in the ToC of an original anthology but, now, I feel there are reasons that make it okay. Sometimes publishers ask you to include your own work: this happened to Andrew Wilson and I when we edited Nova Scotia, and we reluctantly agreed. We did have the advantage though of being able to edit each other's stories, and we were probably editorially harder on those stories than on the others in the anthology. Looking back, I don't regret putting them in there.

It seems we share a distaste for the practice though. Why is that? Is it that it smacks of editorial hubris? Is it that by including their own work the editor has gypped another writer out of a publication? Surely (he said with a certain amount of advocate de Satan (par Lentheric)), what matters is that the book is the best it can? If the editor, being 100% objective, in their heart knows that a story of their own absolutely belongs in and will enhance the anthology they are editing (hey, they came up with the theme, they should know what they're looking for), is it the right thing for the book to leave it out in favour of a story that may be less well written or not so apt to the theme? Are they short changing the reader because it's "wrong" to include their own story?

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:03 am 
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Like Neil, I seem to have softened my attitude to this. But on the whole I still prefer anthologies without an editor's or Publisher's story included, and thus I will not be contributing to 'Horror Without Victims' even though I feel sure I have a brilliant story within me exactly suited for it!

Having said that, a few books I reviewed in recent times had great stories included by those wholly or partially responsible for those books, eg Johnny Mains in Screaming Book of Horror, Gary Fry and Paul Finch in Terror Tales of East Anglia and Jeff VanderMeer in The Weird.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 6:19 pm 
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At Eibonvale, we solve this issue by having the editor's own work submitted to (at least) two of the contributors already accepted to comment on, as brutally as they like.

Putting yourself in a "best of" would be way beyond the pale though obviously.... crikey, has anyone ever done that ?!


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:14 am 
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I don't have anything against seeing an editor's own story in their anthology, provided it meets the same criteria and standard as the other stories.

I like Alexander's solution with Eibonvale.

In a magazine, it's only acceptable to me if there is a panel of editors that judge it, preferably blindly. This was the situation when I was on the original editorial board of Flashquake. We were invited to submit stories for some issues, but as with all the stories we judged, the author's names weren't known when we received stories. We were a very strict bunch and our selection procedures were very democratic.

Jonette


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