I recently submitted Angelhands to Clarkesworld Magazine, a fantasy/sci-fi magazine. After submitting, I discovered something truly amazing about this magazine. I’m not talking about the content, which is entirely excellent, and which you can check out on your own. No, I’m talking about that little word circled in red on my poorly-done MS Paint edit above. If you can’t see it, the word is queue.
A queue. Can you believe it? This is a magazine that tells the reader exactly when it can expect a response, and lets you track the progress. How cool is that? I’ve been submitting my work for about three years now, and I’ve never seen anything like that before. I’ve seen submission managers that let you check on your story, but all they ever say is “received”, “accepted”, or “declined”. There’s no in-between. I never expected any kind of in-between. Until now.
When I first submitted my story, two days ago, it was #66. Now it’s #38. Therefore, I can reasonably assume that I’ll be getting a reply in the next few days. Because this magazine doesn’t accept simultaneous submissions, this is important to know. The more information that I have to aid my planning, the better.
This queue is fantastic, and I thank Clarkesworld for providing it. Whether or not you accept my work, you guys are rocketsauce awesome.
Angelhands, a story about Natalie Heidelmann, a girl with the ability to make people sick by touching them, has just been rejected from Asimov’s Magazine. This is after being rejected from Daily Sci-Fi and The New Yorker. Unlike some my stories that were widely rejected, I have yet to come to the conclusion that the work isn’t good enough. I still believe in the quality of this story. I just haven’t found a home for it as of yet.
I’m not sure what angle to take with it. So far, I’ve been submitting to paid markets. I don’t know why, I guess I was feeling ambitious. The fact that I want money could also be a factor. The New Yorker was obviously rather unlikely. The other two were both difficult to break into, but I thought they were worth a shot because my story can be categorized as sci-fi. From here, I’m not sure where to go. Do I keep trying with paid markets, or is that an exercise in futility? Do I keep trying with sci-fi markets, or do I send it to mainstream literary markets?
Sigh sigh sigh. All is complexity and woe.
THE ALMIGHTY LIST OF THINGS I AM ATTEMPTING TO WRITE, AND MY PROGRESS THUSFAR*
*This list will be updated whenever I have something of note to report. Additionally, it will serve as a links page for entries discussing these projects.
1. A novella about a teenage boy named Andrew whose best friend murdered his little sister. Andrew is obsessed with revenge, dependent on his tutor for the affection he no longer receives from his parents, and furious with his other best friend, who could have stopped the murder but didn’t.
Progress: I have written an outline. I also started a word document entitled “Novella”, which has no words it it as yet.
2. A short story about two teenagers trying to figure out a place to bang outside in NYC.
Progress: It’s about halfway done in terms of the plot, but it’s going to need a lot of editing.
3. My 2011 NaNoWrimo Novel, Find a bird and put it in jail. It’s the second draft of a story about a woman named Rhiannon who can make people sick by touching them.
Progress: About 40 pages. I’ve got all the characters living in the same house now, but the plot hasn’t really started to move yet. I’ve got a long way to go.
4. Editing my 2008 NaNoWriMo Novel. This is a complete story about two badly damaged teenage boys who slowly develop a meaningful and idiosyncratic relationship. Either that, or they exude seme-uke stereotypes, because I developed these characters as a twelve-year-old weeaboo. I’ve written their story in many different ways, ranging from a series of short stories, to a 347-page novel that was so awful that I can’t look at it without laughing. My 2008 novel is the version I’m satisfied with, but it’s a hot mess. It needs editing.
Progress: None. This project has been stagnating while I focus on short stories.