It’s been hectic for months now and the wealth of submissions Paper Swans Press had for its latest anthology meant that we were late in replying to those who had submitted (which made me tetchy) and also meant it was a much more difficult job then we had anticipated. We have, finally, selected the pieces for the book and I am confident it is going to be a interesting, cohesive collection. As an editor, I then had the job of letting people know our decisions. Sending acceptance emails gives you a warm glow. Knowing that you’ve just made somebody’s night and, as a poet myself, also knowing how elating that can be.
However, with every high comes a low, and I felt really sh*tty sending the rejections, especially as some of them were to people I know and respect. Actually, I still feel rubbish about it. I *know* that we all get rejections and it’s part of the game, but it’s still a kick in the teeth and, with bad timing, it can really knock you for six. I hate being responsible for that. But, editing has taught me a very valuable lesson, that it really is not necessarily down to the quality of a piece, but how it fits with the collection, both in subject and tone. A Picasso doesn’t work in an exhibition of Constable, but it doesn’t mean it’s no good. And whether you like either or both of them at all is down to that other editing gem: personal taste.
Further to this, I think (I hope) as poets/writers, we can acknowledge to ourselves pieces that need work and those that are ready to go to a good home.
Anyway, I wanted to get that off my chest. I can’t give individual feedback to submissions but I did want to voice my personal thoughts on the general highs and lows of editing.