I just read a new submission, so beautifully-written it nearly brought me to tears. How I wish I could write that well.
I dutifully passed it along to the other editors, and of course, everyone agreed: we had to include it in our first issue.
Now I’m ready to send the contract, and while I’m feeling excited, I’m still feeling a bit nostalgic. The story brought feelings I thought long-buried to the surface. As acquiring editor, I’ve been counseled to not let emotions get in the way of my work, yet . . .
I’m first a writer. And a reader. I’ve loved stories since my grandfather read to me about knights and their ladies, and I’ve lived their lives in my imagination, laughing and crying along with the characters. I’ve worried about them, rejoicing when they overcame their disasters.
So I’m involved. Totally. Completely. Must I separate my emotions to be a good acquiring editor?
When I freelanced as a fiction editor, I always told my clients that if I didn’t feel the emotions, they needed to rewrite until I did. And I guided them on how to do so. But as an acquiring editor, do I need to feel the same?
I’d think so. If I felt something while reading, wouldn’t the magazine readers do so as well? Yet we all have different tastes, and I’m very glad of that. While some browse the best-seller lists to select their next read, I’m off exploring a second-hand store for old favorites.
So here I am, wondering about the pile of submissions I’ll read. Should every story submission touch me in some way?
Please, feel free to comment. I’d love to know what you have to say.
Editor in Chief