Out of the blue, an incredibly generous offer arrived in my email today. Without even a vestige of extortion on my part, no less a personage than Dave Zeltserman stepped in to offer his services to help judge the short story submissions from the ten invitees to the Watery Grave Short Story Invitational. That Dave: talented, generous and classy.
Before Dave started getting glowing reviews from the likes of NPR's Maureen Corrigan for his novels, such as Small Crimes and Pariah, for five years he ran what was arguably the finest crime fiction web-zine around, Hardluck Stories, as it attracted some notable guest editors and contributors (Ken Bruen, anyone?). Dave has seen a lot of short crime fic, so I expect everyone to up their game. It's not just me you have to impress now.
The real reason this is such great news is that for the invitees, those ten stories are going to be looked at and evaluated by an author who knows of whence he judges, and not just by some blogger whose opinion carries only cash value. I'm no writer, but if I were I would rather have my work approved by Zeltserman than a $25 check. And one of you invitees, whoever you are, is going to have both. Such a deal!