Current Submissions

I intend to use this form to update on the status of my writing; where I’ve submitted, who I’ve heard back from, and hopefully on lots of future sales. As this blog thing is still in its infancy, I’ll do a complete run-down of what’s out, where, and since when to bring you up to speed:

* “I Think That I Shall Never See” (sf) – currently with ABYSS & APEX (sent Nov. 3/06)

* “The Great Hymn of the Aten” (alt. hist./sf) – currently with ASIMOV’S (sent Nov. 3/06)

* “Citius, Altius, Fortius” (sf) – currently with ANALOG (sent Nov. 3/06)

* “Endorphins Anonymous” (lit./sf) – currently with ON SPEC (sent Aug. 8/06)

* “The Hushed Voice” (dark sf…well, I think it’s kind of dark, in a psychological/spiritual way) – currently with INTERGALACTIC MEDICINE SHOW (sent Feb. 6/06)

I’ve had two very nice, personalized rejections for “The Great Hymn of the Aten” from STRANGE HORIZONS and PARADOX, both encouraging me to submit more work, and I’ve been getting a lot of these “almost, but not quite” rejections from magazines for a variety of stories. I’m hoping to pick the brains of the WotF judges on what exactly I’m doing/not doing/ought to be doing that gets these stories close, only to stumble with the finish line in sight.

I also got my first (sort of) personal rejection from Sheila Williams at ASIMOV’S in the last week or two. It was still probably a form letter, but it wasn’t the usual “thanks, but no thanks” form letter. This one encouraged me to submit more work “when you have it.” My first such invitation from any of the Big Three. And well, it just so happens I do have something

And “The Hushed Voice” is in a weird, but hopeful situation. Submitted way back in February, before the new editor–Edmund R. Schubert–started, it got caught in IGMS’s massive backlog. However, I’ve since received two messages from the editor; the first in August to say that my story is in his ‘read again’ pile while he clears out the rest of the backlog, and the second in October letting me know that it’s still in consideration, but the backlog is taking longer to clear than he thought. Okay, fair enough. I can only imagine with horror what any new magazine has to deal with when it starts up–everybody pulling things out of the bottom drawer and submitting hoary old tales passed on by dozens of editors already (not that that’s my story, of course…) Having Orson Scott Card’s name associated with the magazine and actually paying pro-rates, too…might as well paint a bull’s eye on their backs.

Working as an editor (albeit in scholarly non-fiction) I know how varieties of responsibilities compete for time reading manuscripts. And authors who pester early and/or incessantly instantly have strikes against them. Always work to remain in your (potential) editor’s good graces.

So I’m fine with IGMS holding the story as long as they need to. The longer its under consideration the better the odds in its favour become, I figure, as other stories get whittled away around it.

To be fair, Mr. Schubert did say in his first e-mail that “the ‘read again’ pile is still three times as many stories as I can use in the next year,” so the odds (like manuscripts) are stacked against it, but I remain forever hopeful. You have to in this line of work! 🙂

– S.

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