Dorothy Davies is one of my favorite publishing editors. She has put together countless themed anthologies for various publishing companies, presently editing anthologies for the Thirteen O’Clock Press imprint of Horrified Press.
Dorothy Davies lives on the beautiful Isle of Wight (reputed to be the most haunted place in the UK). As an acquisition editor, she is no pushover. She certainly has not accepted every story I’ve submitted. According to her, “I’m not the sweet and sugary type.” She reviews stories critically and she has a keen eye for what works and what doesn’t. In addition, she is among those few editors in the industry that often says something about why she rejects a story when it isn’t quite right. That kind of feedback is worth its weight in gold for writers serious about honing their craft.
In addition to being an accomplished editor, Dorothy Davies is an avid writer. Her list of published works is too long to itemize here. Her first love is horror, with history running a close second. This accounts for her varied output and those fine stories that have historical content with horror overtones. In addition, she has written an excellent guide to writing, How Many Miles to Babylon, about which she says:
We are at the gates of Babylon now. There’s very little else I can tell you, except that you will hear people talk of your developing your own ‘voice’. That’s shorthand for your own distinctive style of writing. It comes from endless writing, developing itself as you go without you realising it.
If I’ve gone the tiniest way toward helping you achieve that, this journey to Babylon and the chats we have had along the way will have been more than worthwhile.
See you there.
– Dorothy Davies (editor & author)
For writers and aspiring writers, How Many Miles to Babylon is written by an editor that has read more stories than most of us can imagine, and one that has a true passion for the craft as well as a sincere appreciation for writers, aspiring or otherwise. So I recommend the book as a wise addition to any writer’s library.
For short story writers, most of the anthologies Dorothy Davies edits are themed anthologies. She does not limit the stories she accepts to horror or history. I do not write what one would consider horror or history (although some of my works can be called dark with a ray of hope). Strong characterization, a good theme, a well-executed storyline, and a good finish can do the trick, provided it is well polished. I have submitted quite a few stories to Dorothy Davies, and I’m honored to say that she accepted and published stories from me for several of her anthologies, including the recent releases, Rain and More Tales from the Blue Gonk Cafe. Each anthology is a treat, and I’ve discussed each as it was released.
On top of that, Dorothy Davies communicates regularly with the many writers that contribute stories to her anthologies. She keeps us informed about the word-count progress and new acceptances of each, tells us about new themes as they arise, and she properly and honestly rejects stories when they do not meet her standards. Most of the anthologies require well-written stories of 5,000 words or less. The submission criteria and open calls for submissions can be found by CLICKING HERE. And for the flash fiction writers, the BLUE GONK series of anthologies are a particularly interesting challenge–five flash stories of 500 words or less.