Electronic Submissions

As I mention in an earlier post, I submitted my first novel to a publisher after pitching at the Spokane Science Fiction Convention (SpoCon) in August. My mistake was assuming that the email went through with all attachments, so I didn’t follow up when I got no confirmation back. The editor did, after all, ask the first three chapters and synopsis after the pitch.

So, being the kind, patient, and sensitive person that I am, I waited. And, waited.

After a bit more than two months, I sent a little note to the editor requesting an update. The last thing I want to do is get an editor upset with me. I have no standing in this business, so I think it’s appropriate to tread carefully for now. I used my most polite and diplomatic language in the note. It turns out, she never got the original submission. Whether it ended up in the spam bucket or just never arrived, I can’t say. But, rather than be upset, she kindly asked that I resend the material.

I did. This time I followed up with a note to check that it did, in fact, arrive. She responded that it did arrive and she had sent it on to the acquisitions editor.


Okay, this means I wait more. I still have fingernails left. Well, a few anyway.

Nothing in this business moves quickly. When you read the submission requirements for book or magazine publishers, they often include statements that they don’t want you bugging them about your work for a specific time (one to six months). However, if they accept electronic submissions–and you don’t get some kind of confirmation that they got it in a reasonable time–I don’t think it is out of place to send a quick note to verify they got it.

Any number of things can happen to an electronic submission. You can make a typo in the email address. Someone, somewhere, will get a copy of your first three chapters and synopsis and wonder why. Your submission may end up in the spam bucket for one reason or another. The editor may not check the spam bucket and just empty it. It may have arrived, but in the frenzy of the convention, she may have accidentally deleted it, or shoved it into another folder and forgotten about it. Or, it just might not have arrived.

So, it’s a good idea to verify an electronic submission.

Keep writing.


Rejection and Waiting

The Deadliest of Games is still making the rounds. I got another rejection this morning.

Rejection is difficult and something you must expect when submitting to markets. It doesn’t mean that someone at some magazine or journal won’t find the story “fits” their publication. So, you keep trying. The novelette went back out within a couple of hours, again, to another market. Like taking off a bandage from a wound. Pull it quickly and with conviction. The pain only last for a moment.

But, that doesn’t help with the waiting. That’s what I have to do now. Wait. While the work gets examined, judged, evaluated and either rejected (again) or accepted. There is pain in the waiting, and that is the long, creeping, aching pain of anticipation. In comparison, rejection seems insignificant to the waiting.

So, I work on something else.

Keep writing.


Neo-Opsis SFM

This is a little blatant promotion, today.

The magazine that accepted my story, “New Kid,” is Neo-Opsis Science Fiction Magazine, out of Victoria, BC, Canada. The magazine’s publishing schedule has been a bit erratic of late, due to a number of personal blows in this family run operation. Normally, they publish three or four times a year. Still, they are surviving and will be shipping the next issue, #24, in the next few days.

If you like good science fiction, you can buy a single copy, a three-issue subscription, six-issue, and up. If you want to catch my story (I don’t yet know in which issue it will appear), you would be making a safe bet by getting the three issue sub, starting with the current issue, or the next issue.

I know, I’m promoting them and I’m being bit self-serving. Still, I want you to get a chance to see the story in print. I’m happy they chose it and found it good enough to include in their magazine. I did buy a short subscription when I submitted my story, and after reading through issue #23, I worried that they would reject me. The quality of the work is very high, much more so than you might expect in a market that is “semi-pro” pay.

Here is the web site for buying subscriptions:


Thank you, in advance, for your support and know that I really appreciate it.

I hope there are more blog entries like this and I can share more stories with you.

Keep writing.



The novelette The Deadliest of Games did not place in the Writers of the Future contest. I just got the notification.

Unfortunately, there are few markets for this length for new writers. Most markets I’ve found only publish the novelette length when the author is well-known. I won’t give up. I think it is a strong story and will find a home. I just have to keep looking.

My inner critic has had its say during the writing and editing process. It keeps wanting to dig back into the story again, but there are limits to how much you can do with a story before you have to decide it is either ready or never will be. For me, this one reached that point after the last rewrite. It either floats or sinks from here.

So, back to the market lists and find another possible contender.

Keep writing.



I don’t like waiting. When I go to a doctor’s office, if I have to wait, I often end up pacing around the room. Or, I’ll get out the phone and Tweet or hit Facebook.

Waiting for news on a manuscript is a killer. I can’t pace around the office for 50 to 90 days. I do use Doutrope to track submissions and see where things are. So this means I log into it every morning and see the days out go up by one day, and the estimated days to response go down by one day. It is about as much fun and productive as watching grass grow.

In the meantime, I’m editing and rewriting the first novel. I’m still hoping for some feedback from my “beta” readers. I’m getting some rides in on the motorcycle and time with the grandkids.

But every time I have some quiet time, my mind goes to the project out there. Who’s reading it? What do they think of it? Do they like it? Did I make a hash of it? Self doubt creeps in. I start beating myself up for thinking I could write well enough to submit a story. Why am I even trying?

And, then, I think of the t-shirt my half-sister’s husband wears.

4-30-14 Therapy

Dang! I think I’ll go for a ride.

Keep writing!