There are a few writers who have provided me with such consistent quality stories that I’ve told them they can submit things for Abyss & Apex even if we are not open to submissions. One of those writers is the prolific James Van Pelt, who is no stranger to A&A’s pages.
Jim sent me something that I thought needed work, and we went through the rewrite process.(Note to writers: if an editor asks for a rewrite you might not get the sale but odds are higher that you will.) On the third rewrite we had what was still his story but cleared up things I felt needed done. I bought it. And he paid me a vast compliment and said, “Wonderful working with you on it. I haven’t been in a writers’ critique group for a long time. I forgot how refreshing a practiced eye commenting on a story can be.”
That’s me: A practiced eye.