Monday, October 30, 2006

Editors' Top 5 Tips for Adult Anthologies

If you were teaching a class to wanna-be writers in the adult markets, what would your Top 5 teaching points be?


1. Read the entire call for submissions, and pay very careful attention to every detail.

2. Consider whether you have the time/inclination to write for this particular publication; you don’t need to send your work to every single call for submission out there. It’s better to focus in on what you want to achieve rather than spread yourself too thin.

3. Read widely within your given genre and note the level of explicitness and what the genre’s aim is.

4. Don’t write what you think an editor will want to read; write what you want to write and then see where it might fit. Often, when I’ve tried to write something that wasn’t truly uppermost on my mind, I’ve been distracted and it showed in the writing.

5. Proofread very, very thoroughly.


1. Write the story just like any other.
2. Use active voice.
3. Develop characters
4. Set the scene
5. Let the sex flow from the characters, conflict, scene, etc.


1. Learn how to read a call for submissions and follow it.

2. Learn how to read a contract and know what you're signing.

3. Learn how to do research and apply it in your writing.

4. Learn the basic mechanics of storytelling: the difference between plot and action, how to control pacing, how to control your tone and voice, how to use point of view effectively, etc.

5. Learn how to spot a cliche at 100 paces, even in your own writing, and shoot to kill.


I don't mean to duck your question, but I wrote a book to be as frank about this as possible. It's called: How To Write a Dirty Story

Please go here for bios on all the editors.

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