Great interview with our Guest of Honour, Ellen Datlow, by fantasy author Anna Kashina on her blog. The interview serves as a useful introduction to the award-winning editor and she describes her approach to editing and selecting short stories in detail:
Q: Apart from the regular ones (such as “the year’s best”), how do you decide which new anthology to work on, and how does the theme get selected for these anthologies?
Usually I’ll think up a theme that interests me, then contact some writers to ask if they’re interested in writing for it (bigger name ones first), write up a proposal and give it to my agent. Then she sends it out and we hope that a publisher is interested and makes an offer I can afford to accept. (this includes paying the contributors at least 6 cents a word plus how much I need in order to acquire and edit the project). Sometimes a publisher approaches me with an idea I like (for example the Poe anthology in honor of the Edgar Allan Poe Bicentennial a few years ago). Also, my editor at Dark Horse suggested Supernatural Noir as a follow up to Lovecraft Unbound, which I edited for them a couple of years previously. As I love the supernatural and love noir it was a natural. I very much enjoyed editing that one. The third way I decide is that someone with whom I co-edit or who would like to co-edit with me comes up with a theme that I like. That’s how Terri Windling and I began co-editing our original anthologies. Nick Mamatas approached me about co-editing Haunted Legends (initially for the Horror Writers Association but that didn’t work out) because he thought my being involved would help sell the antho –which it did.
Thanks to Jeppe Larsen for the tip.