How exciting to finally be able to share this here: I have a short story coming out in an African SF anthology called AfroSF. My very first published story – and alongside incredible names in the SF world (see the table of contents at the bottom of this post). I’ll admit to being a little star-struck.
Submitting the story and working through edits with Ivor Hartman was a great learning experience. He was my first ‘proper’ editor and made me realise how invaluable an editor can be. He guided me into the process of making Five Sets of Hands a better story without losing my initial vision.
Here’s a smidgen of what I learned from the process:
– Be professional. Writing is as much business as it is craft and you would do well to treat editors, agents and publishers as co-labourers rather than people who owe you a favour.
– Be open to suggestion. Ivor asked a single question that forced me to think carefully about how I was communicating my idea. I could have been stubborn and stuck to my guns but I think the story would have suffered.
– Work hard. A good story can be re-written many times in order to get it into shape. Don’t be afraid to re-write and re-write. Aside from crafting a better story, it also makes for good practise.
– Be humble. I am no expert and I still have so much to learn. I need to be humble in order to learn it.
– Don’t be afraid to try. You never know what might happen….
It’s a heady thing to see your name on a table of contents… and look at who I’m honoured to be published with:
AfroSF: Science Fiction by African Writers
Edited by Ivor W. Hartmann
‘Moom!’ Nnedi Okorafor
‘Home Affairs’ Sarah Lotz
‘Five Sets of Hands’ Cristy Zinn
‘New Mzansi’ Ashley Jacobs
‘Azania’ Nick Wood
‘Notes from Gethsemane’ Tade Thompson
‘Planet X’ Sally Partridge
‘The Gift of Touch’ Chinelo Onwualu
‘The Foreigner’ Uko Bendi Udo
‘Angel Song’ Dave-Brendon Burgh
‘The Rare Earth’ Biram Mboob
‘Terms & Conditions Apply’ Sally-Ann Murray
‘Heresy’ Mandisi Nkomo
‘Closing Time’ Liam Kruger
‘Masquerade Stories’ Chiagozie Fred Nwonwu
‘The Trial’ Joan De La Haye
‘Brandy City’ Mia Arderne
‘Ofe!’ Rafeeat Aliyu
‘Claws and Savages’ Martin Stokes
‘To Gaze at the Sun’ Clifton Gachagua
‘Proposition 23’ (Novelette) Efe Okogu
Amazing , right?