Since 2011 I’ve been a first reader for Strange Horizons. It’s a good job and I recommend it to anyone who wants to understand what editors look for in a story– you read a lot of fiction, rate it, and send some of it to the senior fiction editors. Reading submissions has taught me quite a few of the ways a story can be good but not grab me, or be competent but not exciting, or be suited to another publication rather than ours, or be something we’ve seen a dozen times before. I could go on for hours about the experience, and I have in the past.
I’ve also told Alphans each year that they will not get a rejection from me. I’m staff at Alpha. It’s my job to encourage and help young writers. You don’t have to worry about seeing my name on a rejection, not as long as I’m a first reader.
Which means… now you do, oh my Alphans.
I’ve accepted a position as the newest senior fiction editor at Strange Horizons. This means I’ll be helping choose our weekly fiction offerings. It also means I can’t refuse to read a story just because I know the person writing it– that would be irresponsible as an editor.
So write the best stories you can. Send them to Strange Horizons. I’m really looking forward to reading them and seeing us publish more Alphans.