Anthology Editing

Bespoke services for authors, writing groups, guilds, organizations, and publishers assembling anthologies featuring multiple writers with diverse skill sets. Scroll down for à la carte editing and coaching.

What is an anthology?

A short story anthology is a selection of stories by multiple authors edited into a single volume. The stories are typically connected, often by genre, theme, original publication, date published, award received, writer relationship, etc. As a cross-section of style, skillset, and author, the anthology makes for a powerful collaboration between writers and a diverse narrative experience for readers.

Do we need an editor for our anthology?

Assembling the work of multiple authors with diverse skill sets can be a tremendous undertaking. I can guide you through the entire anthology process: developing the tone, theme, and message behind the project, creating and managing your submission call, curating stories, group critique sessions, feedback integration, and, of course, short story specific editing.

Approach.

A memorable anthology requires attention to the cohesion of the book, the coordination of the authors, and the preservation of each story’s unique style.

Thematically Cohesive.

Whether the premise of a collection is as broad as “the best stories published this year” or as specific as “the ancient ways of sapphic fire,” we want to strike an unforgettable tone with the stories, create a certain mood in the reader, and send them away with a clear message. I look at the ensemble of stories in the same way as I look at the songs in a music album. They are powerful on their own, but something greater emerges when the reader experiences them together in their intended order. I will guide your group through the initial planning stages so that your contributors know exactly what is expected of them, and the submission call generates stories that are aligned with your vision.

Developmentally coordinated.

Unless your submission call is large enough to choose stories at the same standard of polish to fill your anthology, you are working with writers with diverse skill sets. Some writers will have lots of experience and a clear sense of story, while others will just be learning their craft or translating their skills from novel writing. Because working individually with each author and story at every level of revision would be exceedingly expensive, I facilitate skill sharing by teaching your writers to critique and revise short stories together. The stories that result need less editing and are more evenly written.

Unique while unified.

Once the group has finished critiquing and revising their stories together, I will work individually with the authors and their stories to maintain their unique style within the unified style of the anthology. Then, I will copy edit the entire anthology to ensure an immersive reader experience.

What can we expect?

We’ll start with a free, thirty- to sixty-minute initial consult to discuss your goals and vision for the project, what I can provide, and what it will cost. I will follow up this meeting with a written proposal and estimate for you to take back to your group.

If we decide to work together on your anthology project, we’ll begin by meeting to schedule the following milestones:

  1. A development meeting to set up your call for submission. Before this meeting, I will send you the set-up package to complete and send to me. During the meeting, we’ll use the information you’ve gathered to create your submission call and selection criteria. After the meeting, you’ll finalize the details and send it to me for editing. I’ll return the copy, and you can release it into the world.
  2. Story selection. Using criteria established during the development meeting, you will choose the stories to be included in the anthology and send out acceptance and rejection replies.
  3. Drafting and developmental editing of cover copy and front and back matter.
  4. Group critique and revision. I will facilitate four one-hour sessions covering the basics of how to critique and revise for each phase of short story revision. Authors will work in small groups between sessions to critique each other’s stories and then integrate feedback. The authors will send me their final drafts and I will do my first read-through of the stories.
  5. Individual line edit. I will provide each author with an editorial letter summarizing the strengths and weaknesses of their manuscript, plus inline edits and detailed suggestions in the margins. The authors will integrate changes and return their copy to me.
  6. Anthology assembly. A meeting where we use the information gathered in the development of the anthology and the final drafts of the stories to decide on the best order for the stories in the anthology.
  7. Anthology copy edit. We will assembled the entire manuscript, including the front matter, stories, back matter, and cover copy. Once you approve it, I will complete an inline copy edit of the entire manuscript, style sheet, and clean copy.
  8. Final read-through and project wrap session.

Rates.

The cost of managing and editing an anthology depends on the number of contributing authors, the final word count and the timeline. For example, the cost of a 40 000-word anthology of 12 authors’ stories starts at $3,200.

Waits.

Depending on the season, collection and anthology slots may be booked up to four months in advance. I can give you exact wait times at your initial consult.

Dates.

At our first meeting, we will schedule the deadlines for each project milestone together. Once the dates are set and the contract is signed, we are committed to the timeline. I will give you plenty of reminders and help if needed, but missed deadlines will incur additional fees and schedule-dependent wait times.

Curious about anthology editing?

Editing and Coaching à la Carte

Individually priced editing and coaching services for groups that have anthology management covered.

Group Coaching Package

Four virtual, hour-long group coaching sessions to help your authors level up their story revisions together. I outline each phase of editing, common issues, focuses for productive critique, and how to efficiently integrate feedback. ($20 per participant, per session (min five participants))

Developmental Editing

An assessment of how plot, character, POV, setting, and world-building work together to develop a cohesive narrative. ($0.04 to $0.06 per word (min $100)) Learn more about developmental editing.

Structural Editing

An assessment of how form, genre, timeline, and pacing coordinate to draw the reader into the story and keep them there. ($0.04 to $0.06 per word (min $100)) Learn more about structural editing.

Line Editing

An assessment of how narrative mode, logic, coherence, tone, mood, theme, and uniqueness of voice contribute to your story or anthology and style. ($0.03 to $0.05 per word (min $100)) Learn more about line editing.

Copy Editing

An evaluation of the story or anthology for the sentence mechanics, grammar, spelling, usage, punctuation, continuity, and accuracy of facts. ($0.03 to $0.05 per word (min $100)) Learn more about copy editing.

Lisa’s knowledge, experience, and patience met the participant’s needs at every level and ability.

Anthology Editing FAQ

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