Looking back on the process, having shaped the special issue from its inception and written the Call For Papers pinpointing its specifications and the criteria, I was curious to see the response I would get. The time span, from the announcement of the Call For Papers and the deadline for submission of articles was about 9 months, I think. Given that I was requesting full articles, rather than abstracts followed by selection, I think this time frame was probably about right.
So, after the release of the Call For papers, I sat and waited...
An excellent bunch of submissions arrived, and the next phase of reviewing and editing began. Then followed the process of assembling the issue, writing the Editorial, writing the Contents page, and the Permissions page. Fortunately during the last weeks of this process I had this little lady to help me:
Editing a special journal issue is excellent experience for academics, and I would warmly recommend it. You get to work with a bunch of really interesting contributors and their material, while having the opportunity to put shape to a publication. As well as giving other scholars and authors the chance to get their work published, the publication will also be of use to other scholars and students working in the field and doing research on crime fiction. Of course, as the editor, I also had the opportunity to get a bit obsessive with my red mark-up pen (on my own work, not least...):
As always, however, I am better at spotting other people's errors and typos than my own...
Editing a special issue of a journal or a book can be a stop-start process which involves periods of waiting and reflection, busy periods of writing, and intense periods of reviewing and editing volumes of material within a reasonably short period of time. I am currently editing 3 books, the details of which you can find here. So I am having plenty of experience within this important area of academic apprenticeship.
So, for the American, British and Canadian Studies special issue on contemporary crime fiction, the final waiting period now begins - the "in-press" time between submission of the MS and the print publication of the journal issue. I am excited to see the final product, but as always this wait is tinged with a sense of anxiety - a feeling I think is familiar to many academics as they await the appearance of their publications in print.
The special issue comes out in June 2017.