Monday, February 06, 2006

The Waiting Game

When you write short stories and submit them to various and sundry publishers, you start a waiting game that can last months. Of course, some publishers are on top of things and get back to you very quickly. I've even got responses in a couple of hours. Nice to get a response. Not as nice to have the response be a "no thanks."

But, the painful ones are those that drag on into months. I've mentioned Duotrope before (see links). They provide a submission tracker that an author can use to enter and track responses on her story. They also provide statistics on the various publications when they have them. I hesitate to submit to a magazine whose response time is 180 days and that one submission in the stats was a rejection. Seems like I'd be wasting my time to send my precious story off to those cold-hearted types.

There's another statistical tracking site, called Submitting to the Blackhole, that might have more information than Duotrope. The only problem is that it tracks specifically science fiction, fantasy, and horror publications. Still, it has a lot of them and you can get an idea of how long a specific publisher usually takes to accept or reject a submission.

I'll add Blackhole to my links list in case anybody would like to take a look.

Submitting to the Blackhole


  1. The waiting game is such a drag. I think the key is to be submitting so much stuff that something is always coming or going. I keep a detailed tracking sheet that includes dates I should expect a response, dates I should follow up, names, submission types, typical pay outs, and so on. I also keep a list of prospective publishers. I rank them. When one rejects, I just drop to the next one and move on. The tough part is that because I'm new, right now more is going then coming. I can't wait until a few months have passed and this will be staggered enough that I'm submitting on one thing and hearing back on another.

  2. Me, too. I currently have 29 stories out in the ozone. Didn't know I had that many, did you?

    When I get a reject, I just turn the story around and send it back out. Unless, of course, I get some type of feedback from the publisher that I can use to improve the story.


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