Friday, May 1, 2009

A Pause

It seems to me that I'm reading a lot of posts lately where writers are waiting for responses from editors or agents. Nothing new there.

But it seems that the trickle of responses we are used to has also dried up.

I make it a point now not to submit in batches if I can possibly avoid it. Most markets seem to have a 3 month response time so if I submit 5 stories at once, chances are I'm not going to hear anything back on any of them for at least 8 weeks, usually more, sometimes a lot more.

So I space them out and have found I get a trickle back which keeps me moving forward. Not lately.

I've fallen into that deathly quiet place along with everyone else.

A few people have sold to exposure markets and a couple have gotten onto the TOC for an anthology. An occasional rejection has found its convoluted way home.

So I pulled out my tracking sheet to see what's going on.

This is where I'm at:

Wild Flowers - Was never given a solid respond by date. It has now been with the publisher for 14 months. I've been in touch with the editor and she is still hoping this anthology is going ahead, but until she knows more she is unable to say yes or no, so it sits and waits.

Mobile - Has been with the editor for 8 months, was queried two months ago and told it was still under consideration.

System Failure - Has been with the editor for 7 months, was queried two months ago and told it was still under consideration.

Too late the rain - 2 months at a market with a 30 day response time. Probably need to query.

Swirls In Obsidian - 2 months. Has been knocked back from the open call for the anthology but I'm still waiting to hear about the competition section. May not hear about that until June.

Dreaming - 1 month. Was shortlisted the day after sending. Deadline is actually today so I'm hoping I hear something back about this sooner rather than later.

Wamphryi - was rejected from one market this month but has gone back out. Won't hear from them until at least June.

Penguin Article - Freelance markets have no response times for articles submitted on spec. Sometimes they just never reply. It's only been there a couple of weeks so I'll leave that for a while yet.

Digging Up The Past - was rejected from the Devil's Food anthology (it seems I may have gone too far outside the box from the TOC I've seen), and has now been entered into the AHWA short story competition. Deadline is end of May so I won't hear anything back for a while on this one.

God's Piscatorial Church - Submitted to the AHWA flash contest. Deadline is end of May so I won't hear anything back on this one for a while either.

Untitled - Still working on a submission for the Australian Xmas horror anthology. Deadline is end of June (I think), so this has a way to go before resolution. **Late Update** I forgot, this has been titled, "Spoilt Rotten" - which I have just finished and now stands at 3901 words and has been submitted. Just then :c)

Also still working on A Kookaburra's laugh as the need hits me. I have an outline of a YA project done and waiting for my attention. And my biggest issue at the moment is finding a six page script to hand in as my next assignment.

So the only way out of this silence from editors is to write more short stories, but finding target markets above exposure paying is difficult and that's where I want to be aiming. Or ignore it and worry more about what I can control.

And the only thing I have control over is my writing. So I will finish the antho sub I'm working on, do some work on AKL, flesh out my YA outline, write a six page script (and one or two more assignments), and maybe write another short as (if) the mood hits me. No point in going gray any quicker than I already am ;c)

So good luck with your submissions to editors and agents alike. If things are coming back, then it may be time to revise. If things aren't coming back, query when it's time - otherwise forget about them for now. And keep on writing.


  1. So true about the only thing you can control is your writing.

  2. I have some stories due back from limbo. Always gets me on pins and needles!

  3. I think I've been getting everyone else's rejections this month. :0

  4. I heard nothing for months, then received 2 rejections in one day.

    Being on the other side of the slush-pile, I know how iffy those response times can be. I know some say 20-30 days and are actually more like 70. So far, New Bedlam has been under 30. So far. ;)