Friday, October 15, 2004

Time steps slowly

I've had it with waiting. A mag I like a lot has been sitting on a story of mine for about 8 months now. It's a good story. Not amazing, but good. Their website states a turn-around time of 4-5 months. I waited six, emailed the editor and got a pretty quick reply that he was backed up and should be caught up in a month.

"Ok," I thought. "I can wait a month."

I gave them two months, emailing them again this past Monday. Got the same reply today, almost word for word.

Now I understand editors are busy, most lead lives separate from their mag and I have at least some idea of how much they get in the mail. But I think at this point I'm justified in starting to shop the piece around to some other places. I will let this nameless editor know once I send the piece out; I figure it never hurts to be courteous when I can. But, quite frankly, I probably never would have submitted to this mag if I knew it would take this long.


Sorry for the angry content. I just needed to vent, even anonymously. I'll aim for happier thoughts next time.



LadyLitBlitzin said...

Man, you are preaching to the choir! Lots of my blog posts are ranting about waiting soooo long for replies and feeling, well, so taken advantage of (given lit mags' traditional dislike of simultaneous submissions).

Like, I have had a piece at McSweeney's since May 2003. UGH! I finally did give up and as you said, I figured it was dead in the water and have started submitting it elsewhere.

On the bright side though, one market did have one of my stories for a year. The editor kept telling me to wait when I'd query and I thought for certain he was giving me the runaround, but lo and behold, he did (finally!) accept it. So maybe that can serve as a source of hope! BUT, I do think you're WELL within your rights to send it elsewhere, and the quick note to let them know it's become a simultaneous submission does give them the common courtesy of knowing you're shopping it around elsewhere (and maybe, will light a fire under their asses!).

Good luck!!!!! I hope they accept it!



Hebdomeros said...

Thanks for the encouragment. It's easy (at least for me) to imagine a lot of my submissions being read by some soul-free robot, and said robot just shooting off a rejection form at the appropriate time.

I had thought about sending this very same piece to McSweeny's . Perhaps I'll wait, though. They probably get a ton of submissions as high-profile at that mag has become. I have a couple others in mind now, anyway.

On a sidenote, another place I submitted to, S1ngularity, about three months ago seems to have vanished. They're online only, and the site's been down for about two weeks now. As has the editor's blog, something he seemed to approach like a religion. That's the writing biz, I suppose. Good luck on your submissions!

LadyLitBlitzin said...

Yeah, I can't say that I'm feeling so good about McSweeney's right now, at least in the sense of getting published by them. I know they're a good magazine and a good operation, but I felt pretty screwed over by the submission and lack of response (and on their guidelines, they're pretty much like, "if you don't hear back within X months, then resubmit" -- which I did, and still no response).

Yeah, Jen, another person who visits my blog upon occasion, mentioned the fact that some sites just seem to disappear. That's a bummer. Easy come and easy go.

Nothing for us to do but just keep plugging along!