By Eileen Wiedbrauk, Editor-in-Chief.
June submissions are my favorite. I’m not sure why. Perhaps it’s the long hours of daylight, or maybe the weather. Spring in Michigan has been cool and wet, which I love. Or at least I love reading during rainstorms. Once the rain stops and the lawn’s shot up four inches overnight, the flower bed’s full of mushrooms, and the basement’s become home to a reflecting pool’s worth of groundwater that seeped in for a visit . . . then I’m not so enamored.
It’s been a few months since my last “From the Editor’s Desk” column, in part because big behind the scenes changes were going on. I teetered between writing about them, and consequentially announcing them too early, and being too exhausted post-change to sketch it down in some coherent form. But here they are! Unpreemptive and (hopefully) cogent!
In addition to our recent releases Legally Undead and Far Orbit, we’ve unveiled a new WWP logo, new WWP website, and the new imprint Red Moon Romance for—you guessed it—romance fiction, both speculative and not-so-speculative varieties.
This imprint has been on our to-do list longer than WWP has. Indeed, when we first started building a small press, we thought we’d start in romance and grow into speculative fiction—but I’m quite happy our final approach was the other way around! For the next month, you can enter the social media giveaway: follow Red Moon Romance on Twitter and Facebook by entering the Rafflecopter giveaway to win a giant stack of romance novels for your summer reading pleasure.
And the new logo is pretty snazzy--Legally Undead, Taming Fate, and Fae will be the first books to debut it on their spines.
But my favorite of the three has to be the gorgeous new website. Not only have we streamlined content, but we now have the capability to take online orders directly through our site, including ebook orders with instant digital delivery. And pre-orders! Can’t forget that!
We’re on track to make the leap from “small press” to “mid-size press” in 2014 (in industry terms that means releasing more than ten new titles per year). And that’s just World Weaver Press titles—we’ve opened Red Moon Romance with calls for submissions to three big, sexy anthologies. We’re in the process of defining another imprint, World Weaver Serials, which publishes—you guessed it—serialized speculative fiction. For the present, queries for serializations can come in the same way as other WWP fiction submission.
We continue to grow, to mature as a press, as editors and publishers. We’re watching our authors grow, and we’re so impressed with what they’re doing and the direction their novels and series are going. We’re bringing those books to you as fast as we can, and I hope you’re enjoying reading them as much as I am. Because that’s the essence of our acquisitions process: find manuscripts I enjoy so much I want to read them again and again.
Everyone wants to ask me “what are you looking for in the slush pile?” and I try to respond in a way that’s (a) useful or (b) interesting but the truest answer is most likely (c) uniquely intangible . . . or at least not concise:
First and foremost, if the sentences must be easy to read, which isn’t to say they must be plain or simplistic. It’s to say that they should be smooth. That a reader should be able to traverse them at speed without tripping, with a clear vision of where they’re going and what’s happening around them, and most importantly, without ever having to stop and reread (assuming they’ve been paying attention). There are tangled and meaning-knotted sentences that are grammatically perfect, yet they do not pass my consideration. Second, empathetic characters. Particularly in regard to the main character but, really, all characters including villains. Third, fun. The reasons why people read fiction vary from person to person, which is why articles like the Slate's "Against YA: Adults should be embarrassed to read children's books" and Washington Post's "No, you do not have to be ashamed of reading young adult fiction" can appear almost simultaneously—each individual reader places different value on reading. For some it is an activity that must transcend the mundane to reach a higher plain of art, life, and thought, for others it’s catharsis, for still others it’s entertainment. Awe, wonder, wit, empathy, and entertainment—those rank high on my list of why I read fiction. And lately those things are being provided to me predominantly by space opera that embraces Grand Tradition science-positive heroism crafted in a modern writing style, and humorous fantasy (both contemporary and second-world fantasy).
Also, Dear Internet, one day we’re going to have to have a talk about what the genre term “fantasy” means and the fact that it is not a “time period” (e.g. Medieval) but rather a world with magical elements which can occur anywhere or any-when the author sees fit (e.g. Chicago 2050).
It’s time for me to get back to reading even though today is sunny with nary a rain cloud in sight—which my (temporarily) dry basement appreciates even if the rhythmic sound of rain on the windows won’t be adding to my manuscript reading pleasure.
World Weaver Press
Publishing fantasy, paranormal, and science fiction.