I got home from the annual Anthology Workshop on the Oregon Coast yesterday, zombied around a bit and then fell into bed. Adrenaline builds up while I'm away from home at a special event, seeing old friends, meeting new people, learning things, finding out about cool new opportunities or services, and just generally having a great time. It happens at conventions, and it happens at workshops. The adrenaline shot is temporary, though, and when I get home I have to pay for it.
The workshop was great fun. We had three new editors this year -- WMG publisher Allyson Longueira, writer/publisher Leah Cutter, and writer/editor Dayle A. Dermatis. Having them up at the front of the room along with regulars Dean Wesley Smith, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, and Mark the Kobo Guy (Mark Leslie Lefebvre) was great fun, and added to the anticipation of each day. (And, I'll admit, to some of the nail biting.)
As usual, attendees were given guidelines to six different themed anthologies, one per week for six weeks. We wrote like crazy, submitting stories as we went, sometimes only a couple of hours before getting the next set of guidelines. Then once we were all done writing, we uploaded our stories to the workshop site, downloaded everyone else's stories, and started just as frantically reading. We had a little over 1.1 million words to read and about twenty-four days to read them in. Which is actually about the same as last year.
Each of the middle six days of the workshop, we went through the stories for one of the books. One story at a time, each editor at the front of the room commented on it, said whether they'd buy it or not if they'd been editing that book, why or why not, or of they'd have asked for some changes. The last person to comment was the editor actually buying for the book; if they said "I'm buying it," they meant it.
At the end of the day, some time during the third, evening session, the actual editor was left with two lists -- one of stories they were definitely buying, and another of stories they wanted to buy but might or might not. They went over the "Maybe" stories one at a time, and either finally bought or finally rejected each one, explaining why in each case, building their final table of contents in front of the class.
I sold stories to three of the anthologies, which is pretty awesome. I'll have stories in Feel the Love, which is about all different kinds of love, not just romance, Unlikely Heroines, and Spies.
There were a couple of other projects going on at the same time. As we've done for the last few years, we had a "stealth" anthology going on -- editors who really liked stories that were written for someone else, and which didn't get bought, had a chance to "save" a few stories each, to be published in an Editors Saves volume. We did that during the last session, on Sunday morning.
During one of the evening chats, I was talking to some other writers and for some reason brought up the dogs in Moscow who commute on the subway trains. It seemed like it'd make a great anthology theme -- not necessarily a whole book of stories about commuting dogs (although... [ponder]) but stories about animals making unexpected use of things or services created for humans. It so happens there's a group of writers who come to this workshop every year who do their own anthology projects regularly, so I found Dayle, who herds that particular group of cats, and suggested the commuting dogs as a theme-seed for the Uncollected Anthology. She thought it was interesting, and wrote it down. Then, on Saturday night, while we all hung out and decompressed, she came to tell me that the group had agreed to do an Animal themed volume, and wanted to invite me to be the guest author for it. Awesome! They already have a pretty long list of up-coming themes, so my story won't appear until 2018 at the earliest and probably 2019, but I'm looking forward to it.
But there's one other cool project in the works. Dean and Kris announced that they're bringing back Pulphouse Magazine. A lot of old-timers who were into SFF back in the day will recognize the name. For anyone who doesn't, Pulphouse was a weird, out-of-the-box magazine, mostly SFF but not always. It was strange and quirky. It started out as a hardcover magazine, then shifted over to the more usual paperback. Dean and Kris won a World Fantasy Award in 1989 for Pulphouse Magazine, and they got three Hugo nominations for it.
Pulphouse shut down about twenty years ago, but it's coming back in 2018. They're going to be reprinting some old stories from the original run of Pulphouse, to publish along with new stories. Dean bought one of mine for the magazine, and is considering another one.
If you had an on-going subscription to Pulphouse back at the time it shut down then contact Dean and let him know. They'll be honoring old subscriptions with subs to the electronic edition of the new magazine. I've never known a magazine to do this before; I think it shows an incredible amount of class.