Well it’s been a while since I let you all know where things stand with my submissions:
* Hushed Voice – still with Holy Horrors (since 12 Feb 07)
* Gagiid – back with the Missouri Review (since 30 Apr 07) after changes made in light of a re-write request. I hope they like the revisions–it would be fantastic to be published in a literary journal!
* Festival of Toxcatl – is out with a great little magazine of historical and alt. historical fiction called Paradox (since 8 June 07)
* Shipbreaker – is my little triumph of the month. It’s out (since 01 May 07) with Interzone, the British SF mag, and is being held for a second reading.
I’ve had some very pleasant dealings with the editor who, with Herculean endurance, handles their twice-yearly electronic slush, Jetse de Vries (who, incidentally, gets my vote for SF editor with the coolest name…Gordon Van Gelder is a close second.) While Jetse politely declined the last two stories I’ve sent him (on the grounds that something with a similar theme had recent appeared in IZ) on both occasions he’s had some very encouraging things to say about the tales, seems to have genuinely enjoyed them, and I’ve subsequently been able to sell the stories elsewhere.
So I was quite pleased when Jetse e-mailed to let me know he was holding SHIPBREAKER for a second reading. This is always a nice feeling–kind of like getting through the first round of the playoffs and into the quarter-finals–but even more so because of what he later posted on the IZ discussion board regarding the May submission period.
He apparently received 499 submissions, with a whopping approximate word count of 2.5 million +. Yikes! He says:
Finally, with the number of submissions rising, the number of high quality stories is rising, as well, meaning competition is getting fiercer by the day. So sending in a nice, competent story isn’t going to do the trick: I get loads of these. What is needed are highly ambitious, strongly compelling, and increasingly inventive stories.
Luckily, I’ve seen a couple of those already (I’m talking 4 from the first 200), but this means that only your very best stories stand a chance.
Only 4 from 200–and one of them was mine; a “highly ambitious, strongly compelling, and increasingly inventive” story. That’s the kind of stuff what keeps me going 🙂
From here, Jetse says he holds 25-30 for second reads (quarter-finals), and passes between 12-20 up the line (semi-finals), and IZ accepts around half of those (Stanley Cup).
(As an aside: I’m concerned that my SASE sent to the Missouri Review and Paradox are short on postage now that the US Post has raised their rates for letters from the US to Canada by 6 cents. I always supply an e-mail address, too, but I wonder if the responses might be mailed without a second thought and get turned back… If it seems like I haven’t heard for a long time I’ll just have to e-mail them. But you’d think if they wanted a story and hadn’t heard back from the author they’d try a phone call or e-mail or something, right?…Right?)