Ask the Editor: Geoff Brown (Cohesion Press)

Geoff_Brown_Featured-767x311“Ask the Editor: Geoff Brown (Cohesion Press)” | 12th June, 2017 | AutoCrit.

“To many of us, especially if you’ve rarely (or never!) worked with your own personal editor, the ins, outs, expectations and daily frustrations of the editing life can feel like a bit of a mystery.

A strange land the writer just isn’t fully equipped to traverse unscathed.

Which of your possible submissions are likely to satisfy a particular editor’s needs? What do editors want to see when your information lands in their inbox? Will developmental editors take on any writer who’s willing to pay enough? And what exactly are they doing while the bill totals up?

To put an end to the confusion – and to arm all our beloved AutoCrit readers with the tools they need to transform that hard climb to the top into a chauffeured 4×4 experience – we bring you… Ask the Editor!

Throughout this new series, we’ll be enlisting the no holds barred expertise of editors from many corners of the publishing industry, and extracting as much gold from their waggling tongues as we can.

And our first guest is no holds barred, indeed!

Meet Geoff Brown, Co-director and Acquisitions Editor of Australia’s Cohesion Press.

Since chronicling his rocky history with his debut book, Hammered: Memoir of an Addict, Geoff has gone on to develop Cohesion Press into an award-winning small press, boasting some of his niche’s biggest names in genre fiction amongst his stable, including Jonathan Maberry, Weston Ochse, Joseph Nassise, and Greig Beck.

He even hosts haunted asylum tours!

Focused on military horror (think big guns and big monsters), with Geoff at the reins Cohesion Press has grown from strength to strength throughout the ongoing publishing of its flagship anthology series, SNAFU, and beyond. In fact, the release of SNAFU: Survival of the Fittest even managed to beat genre titan Stephen King out of first place on the Amazon US horror chart.

Not being one to mince words, Geoff came to the table with some brutal (yet tender) honesty and the lively language to match. If you’re repulsed by the odd bout of profanity, consider yourself warned…

But we think you’ll find the insights he has to offer will be of great value to you.”

Read more via Ask the Editor: Geoff Brown (Cohesion Press)

43 Words You Should Cut From Your Writing Immediately

lolcat-delete-300x146“43 Words You Should Cut From Your Writing Immediately” by Diana Urban | 8th September, 2015 | Diana Urban.

“When you’re revising any piece of writing — a novel, a news article, a blog post, marketing copy, etc. — there are certain words you should delete to make the text stronger and cut your word count. When I’m writing a novel, one of my last drafts focuses on cutting these useless words. Removing them helps speed up the pacing of both action and dialogue, and makes your work more polished and professional. While this might not be the ultimate list of all words you should remove, these are the ones I look for when I’m doing revisions, so I thought other writers out there would find this helpful! Also, my examples below might be exaggerated, but I hope they get the points across.

Words you should delete

Really, very. These are useless modifiers. You should be able to find stronger verbs or adjectives for whatever you’re trying to enhance. For example, “He ran very quickly along the really long field.” can be, “He sprinted across the vast field.”

That. If a sentence still makes sense after removing “that,” delete it. For example, “This is the most amazing blog post that I’ve ever read.” can be, “This is the most amazing blog post I’ve ever read.””

Read more via 43 Words You Should Cut From Your Writing Immediately

“The book didn’t sell and yes, I was mean-spirited enough to rejoice”: An essay on the dark arts of book editing

“The book didn’t sell and yes, I was mean-spirited enough to rejoice”: An essay on the dark arts of book editing by Stephen Stratford | 14th April, 2016 | The Spinoff.

One of New Zealand’s best and most illustrious book editors, Stephen Stratford (“I am a polite person, mostly”), vents about having to deal with writers and publishers.

What I dread #1
When meeting someone new, the question I most dread is, “What do you do?” It is really hard to answer. As a freelancer, I do lots of different stuff – writing manuscripts, assessing manuscripts, editing manuscripts. I never call myself a writer – at best I am an author; it is too tedious to explain what assessing manuscripts means. I can’t talk about the Secret Television Business or what I do for Creative New Zealand. So I say, “I am a book editor.”

And then the someone new launches into a monologue on their pet hates about punctuation and grammar and what gets published in newspapers and magazines and how it’s all wrong because it’s not what they learned in school.

They are always – always – wrong.

They think that the rules they learned in school are the right rules for every occasion. I am a polite person, mostly, so I never ask them what year their teacher taught them this, and what year their teacher might have been taught this by their teacher, and what year that teacher’s teacher’s teacher might have been taught this. We are back in the 19th century by now. They think that fiction should follow the same rules as non-fiction. They have no idea about register, voice, tone, about how fiction works.

This is also true of some editors.”

Read more via “The book didn’t sell and yes, I was mean-spirited enough to rejoice”: An essay on the dark arts of book editing

The Importance of Proofreading

proofreadingWhen advertising submissions markets, writing a blog, sending manuscripts to beta readers and/ or an edit, zipping off a tweet, updating Facebook, writing reviews or spruiking yourself and/ or a book it is crucial to use correct grammar, punctuation and spelling.

What you write, and how you write it, is your branding.

Today, while researching submission markets and writerly articles, I came across several simple errors that could have been picked up by proofreading. It seems, to me, it is becoming common practice to tap something out, publish it and promptly forget it.
Readers want to read an article, book, etc. without tutting over silly mistakes, putting the book down, or leaving the website.


The aim is to entice readers to read your work and encourage writers to submit to your market.

Mistakes in writing discourages writers  from submitting to markets in case the errors, found in the advertisement, are a foreshadowing of inept editors and/ or publishers.


Nothing turns writers and readers away quicker than editing mistakes.


 Image Source: Jablonski Marketing

Dangling Participles

Dangling Participles“Dangling Participles” by Mignon Fogarty, Grammar Girl. 25 July, 2013. Quick and Dirty Tips.

What Is a Participle?

Before we talk about what it means to dangle a participle, we have to answer the question What is a participle?

It’s a tough question because participles have a few different jobs. Today, we’re only going to talk about their job that makes them look like adjectives. They tell you more about the noun that follows.

Participles can be in the present tense or the past tense, and the present participle always ends with “ing.” For example, “dream” is a verb, and “dreaming” is its present participle. “Speed” is a verb, and “speeding” is its present participle. To use the verb, you could say, “He will speed on the freeway.”  “Speed” is an action, a verb.

To use “speeding” as an adjective-like participle, you could say “Follow that speeding car.” “Speeding” acts something like an adjective modifying the noun “car.” It tells you what the car is doing—what kind of car it is—a speeding car.

Read more via Grammar Girl : Dangling Participles :: Quick and Dirty Tips ™